The Seafood celebrates 40 years


Congratulations to The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow for notching up 40 years. And many thanks to Rick and Jill Stein – and to Jill’s sister Roni, who has looked after the wine since 1988 – for including me as one of their ’Food Heroes’ in the book to mark the anniversary. The Food Heroes (admittedly, wine is stretching the category of ’food’) were each asked if they could share any tips and favourite dishes. Here are mine.

Hero’s Tip

We’ve been going to the Seafood for donkey’s years, long before Rick first selected our wine in 2001. In all that time, Roni, Jill’s sister, has looked after our wine choices and she’s never let us down, ably supported by Jason over the last decade. So my advice is to trust the advice of a good sommelier, or whoever has had a hand in the wine selection. ‘Do you look after the wine list?’ is a polite way of asking for the right person.

DSC_0294Every Spring, we taste our wines with Roni, Jason, Rick and the wine team, so several of the guys are involved. It should be like that at any top restaurant.

And don’t be embarrassed by how little you know. A sommelier or wine waiter would much rather advise a novice than an old wine bore like me. Anyway, those of us involved in wine understand that the more we learn, the more we realise how little we know.

Finally, drink white wines young (95% of the time) and rosés even younger. Freshness is key.

Favourite dish at The Seafood Restaurant

The joy of wine is its diversity and it’s good advice to step out of your comfort zone. One should try that too with the food at The Seafood, as my wife Angela often does, but I’m always drawn to the Warm Shellfish starter and the Roast Turbot with Hollandaise. Those two classics have been on the menu since the days when a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was listed as a bit of a novelty.

If you’re feeling greedy, have a lobster course in the middle. The Lobster Thermidor is such a treat.

I prefer this entry though, from Brian Bate, Fisherman:

Hero’s Tip

Look at the eyes of the fish, and make sure they’re nice and clear.

Favourite dish at The Seafood Restaurant

I’ve never eaten in the restaurant but Rick introduced me to sea bass. As a young man I’d cooked it but it wasn’t very nice. Then Rick cooked sea bass for me one night and I’ve enjoyed it ever since.

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