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Bell's Diner & Bar Rooms

Restaurants Stokes Croft
5 out of 5 stars
Bell's Diner & Bar Rooms

Small plates are inspired by Mediterranean and North African flavours, while wine pairings help to make dishes pop. The three-for-£10 deal is a good value lunch

Nobody does small plates better than Bell’s Diner, a neighbourhood restaurant par excellence in bohemian Montpelier.

A change of ownership in 2013 saw chef Sam Sohn-Rethel poached from the excellent Manna in Westbury Park to head up the kitchen team and produce dishes inspired by Spain, North Africa and the Mediterranean. 

A special touch is the wines that are chosen to complement the dishes. The outstandingly onomatopoeic passionfruit pavlova with pomegranates and pistachios (£7.50), for example, is matched with the Domaine Fontanel Rivesaltes Ambre from France.

If you’re heading over for lunch, you can do no better than the three-small-plates-for-a-tenner deal. The salt and pepper prawns are recommended, as are the fresh anchovies (charcoal-grilled with tzatziki) from Source in St Nick’s Market. More substantial main courses include chicken oyster pinchos marinated in chipotle with harissa yoghurt (£13), and venison and red wine ragu, soft polenta and chanterelles (£16). In the winter months, try the Off-Piste Dark Hot Chocolate, which is even better with tequila and chilli, or wild strawberry liqueur.

As for the atmosphere, an antique record player and a selection of vinyl records occupies one corner, and any music selections are down to the customers. Swing by for the monthly swap shop market, too, when stalls sprawl across the pavement outside the restaurant.

By: Betty James


Venue name: Bell's Diner & Bar Rooms
Address: 1-3 York Road

Opening hours: Mon 6-10pm; Tue-Sat 10am-10pm
Static map showing venue location