Restaurant Review: The Seahorse in Dartmouth – Devon’s best eatery for seafood?
Sitting on the waterfront of Dartmouth, understated among a row of houses shop fronts and eateries is The Seahorse restaurant.
As I wander past the closed ‘The Angel,’ formerly the Michelin starred restaurant, Carved Angel owned by John Burton-Race and leader of the many delightful eateries in the seaside Devonshire town, I feel sadness that this once great restaurant now sits empty. Walk a few doors down, however, and Dartmouth has a new kingpin.
Owned by friends, Mitch Tonks and Mat Prowse, The Seahorse is popular among locals and visitors to the area and has a strong Italian and Mediterranean influence reminiscent of upmarket fish eateries in warm holiday destinations.
I dined there one summery Tuesday evening with my partner and there wasn’t an empty seat in sight. The atmosphere was fresh and relaxed and there was a buzz of chatter from fellow diners and staff. You can see straight into the kitchen and watch the chefs hard and happy at work and enjoying a good working atmosphere.
While mulling through the dinner choices we sipped on a glass of delicious Prosecco (Prosecco Rustico – Nino Franco) and nibbled on an antipasti of roasted red peppers and focaccia.
Our first course arrived and we happily tucked into our joint choice of scallops, which had been roasted in the shell with white port and garlic and sprinkled with breadcrumbs. The presentation was very pleasing to the eye and three small scallops were just the right amount for a starter. Garlic was the overwhelming flavour but luckily we both love the taste and we thoroughly enjoyed the first course.
I perused the selection of wine choices for the day (there is also a larger list of over 180 bins) and decided on a glass of Tonnix – Quinta de la Rosa, 2011 and admired the bottles of wine gracing every shelf around the room. The walls are adorned with signed copies of old menus and dark wood, mustard accents and cream stylish décor and low lighting creates and comfortable and intimate setting.
My main course arrived – I had been recommended the Sea Bass by the waitress and a fellow diner so I was quite looking forward to sampling it. the fish had been roasted over the charcoal fire and was served with braised courgettes and lemon. The Sea Bass was delicate yet meaty and was accompanied perfectly by the sharp and citrusy courgette salad. My dining partner opted for the Dover Sole, which had been grilled over the fire with rosemary and olive oil. He was pleased and informed me that it was crispy on top and had a very delicate flavour but had a good taste to it and the flesh fell off the bone with ease. He also enjoyed his side of tomato salad with shallots and oregano and we both enjoyed a side of seasonal vegetables, which consisted of samphire, cabbage, broad beans and courgette, which elevated the fish dishes.
We sat back and relaxed after our mains and joined in the conversational atmosphere of the room, listening to the sounds of jazz in the background while casting our eyes over the dessert menu. Among the options of watermelon granita, zambione with walnuts and fruitilli, cannoli with ricotta, lemon and hazelnuts, I decided on the chocolate pudding with vanilla ice cream and the other half went for the cheese selection.
The warm, smooth and velvety rich chocolate fondant was light and fluffy and like a welcome hug and the ice cream was rich and creamy. The three cheese selection came with a pear mostarda and crostini but was a little on the small side for £12.50, however, a top quality cappuccino, I’m told, made up for it.
In an nutshell
The prices are not cheap for the area but neither is the food, setting or service. You are welcomed with ease and looked after well. The locally sourced food is delicious and provided by an award winning and thriving team, and you enjoy all of this in a stylish, comfortable and relaxing environment on Dartmouth’s seafront. It’s a delight.
Address: 5 S Embankment, Dartmouth, Devon, TQ6 9BH