This pub was recently spruced up by new tenants with culinary ambitions. It looks good, nicely understated to the point of being spartan, with chummy staff and a simple printed menu on the bar.
On our visit there was only one real ale available – Young’s Bitter, at an affordable £2.75 a pint. The wine list is confusingly written, but contains some decent wines across a spectrum of prices.
At the moment food is only served on the ground floor, while the first-floor dining room is still work in progress.
We tried a starter of monkfish liver, which is a delicacy in Japan where it’s called ‘ankimo’. There, the huge livers are bought sushi-fresh and served lightly steamed as a winter delicacy. At the Perseverance, ours were cooked in butter, but their offal flavour was overpowering and not pleasant. This can happen if the liver is anything other than very fresh. The shallot and caper dressing didn’t mask the flavour.
The main courses were better, though the pricing is a bit steep for pedestrian cooking. A venison wellington (£14.50) had a pastry shell that was doughy and undercooked; filleted mackerel (£11.50) was harder to get wrong. Puddings include prune and Armagnac tarte, or chocolate pecan torte.
We’d pop into the Perseverance for a glass or two of wine, but on the basis of our visit, there are many gastropubs doing a better job, at a fairer price, to make this a culinary destination.