What we say
We sympathise with restaurants that want to be more sustainable but are limited by tight financial margins. Nonetheless, the Artillery Tower does pretty well to find ways to square the circle. We are pleased to learn that ray has been taken off the menu - most ray species are on the Marine Conservation Society's list of fish to avoid because of concerns about their numbers - and some highly sustainable sources of seafood are used by the menu, such as the crabs from the Devon coast. The restaurant uses a range of locally caught fish, including line-caught Cornish mackerel. Farmed fish is rarely used but when it is the restaurant makes an effort to find sustainable supplies. Where we feel the restaurant could do better in terms of sustainability is in finding a certified source of tiger prawns. Prawn farming can be damaging to the environment, by destroying mangrove swamps, for example, and certification schemes are designed to avoid such problems. We would also like to see the restaurant provide more information on its menus about where its seafood comes from. Nevertheless, we are delighted to award the Artillery Tower a 1.5 blue fish rating.
What they say
The food you enjoy at the Artillery Tower focusses on fresh, local and seasonal ingredients from artisan suppliers. Good food needs great ingredients and we make every effort to source the best produce we can using our many years of experience. Our suppliers are mainly small local and regional producers.
About The Artillery Tower
The name and address is evocative, and the siting of the restaurant in a beautifully preserved 16th century tower dramatically different: stone walls, arches and Gothic windows frame the sea views and give the place a special atmosphere. There’s a touch of retro ‘fine dining’ about the menu but there’s nothing wrong with that, in our view, when the seasonal choice is simple, classic and well-executed, and the service is warm and personal.
The kitchen works hard and does not skimp on proper preparation: they also make their own bread, pasta, chocolates and fudge. Sample dishes include game terrine with pheasant, partridge, venison, chestnuts, and ciders sauce (£7.50), sea bass with mash and chives (£18), peppered haunch of venison with parsnips and pickled pineapple (£16.50), and cherry & almond tart with amaretto ice cream (£7).
The wine list makes a good, well-chosen read, grouped by style and featuring some unusual, artisan bottles. And there are chocolates with the coffee and tea. What joy.