Last rated: 26/11/2012
Both food and location tempt at the round-the-clock restaurant that has injected the resort with a much needed dash of contemporary sophistication. It’s an ambitious operation: to serve breakfast, lunch, early supper and dinner non-stop every day is a challenge for any kitchen, but Cove sets the bar high.
The long, white, pillared room features glass doors that open on to the terrace overlooking Marine Lake and Knightstone Island. The overall look is as bright and modern as the generous cooking that places a welcome emphasis on seasonal and regional produce, especially fresh seafood and fish. Daily specials (in Winter, for example) might include home-made fishcakes with wasabi mayonnaise (£4.25) or pan-seared venison with braised red cabbage, crispy haggis, chestnuts and jus (£18.95). Alternatively, start with grilled mackerel fillet with curried mussel broth and parsnip crisps, and follow with baked pollock with lentil and smoked bacon salsa and roasted red pepper sauce.
Vegetarians also have a good choice - perhaps mushroom and spinach tarte with blue cheese rarebit, poached duck egg and truffle oil (£10.95) or marinated goats cheese with watercress salad, beetroot and elderberry syrup (£4.95). The Cove’s excellent butcher (credited on the menu) ages the steaks for them, and also provides the basis for dishes such as seared pork fillet and slow braised shoulder (£15.95). Desserts keep up the seasonal theme: a winter menu included warm chocolate and sloe gin pudding with home-made damson ice cream (£4.95) and pannatone bread and butter pudding with creme anglaise.
With French toast, maple syrup and cinnamon sugar for breakfast, along with eggs Benedict, creamy porridge and excellent espresso, The Cove is as much an attraction in the town as the restored Grand Pier itself.