The Stable: Pizza night just went up a notch!

WITH 17 branches having popped up across the UK since 2009, The Stable has quickly become a firm favourite for laid-back dining using the finest local produce.

So as the pizza, pie and cider chain launched its new menu for spring and summer 2018, I went back to where it all started – the Bridport branch, based in a former stable at the back of The Bull Hotel.

Having launched in May, the new menu speaks to The Stable’s love of bringing people together and provides a greater selection of sharing dishes. The menu also champions their vegan-friendly dishes, healthy salads and carefully sourced award-winning charcuterie.

The Stable’s ever-popular £7 lunch menu features wraps, a selection of pizzas and fresh, tasty salads.

New dishes on the menu include The Pot of Gold, a dipping pot of West Country cider, melted cheese, rosemary and garlic, served with sliced sourdough to share; the Heart Skipped a Beet pizza with roasted beetroot, courgette, red onion and vegan cheese, finished with rocket and garlic and herb oil; and cider poached pear with almond and vanilla cake and crème fraiche to finish.

I opted for the smoked duck salad to start, with refreshing pops of blood orange, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts tossed with watercress, red cabbage and a black garlic, balsamic dressing – a perfect, light and healthy start before a more indulgent second course.

For my main I chose one of The Stable’s staple dishes – the Ali Baa Baa pizza with lamb kofta, feta, mozzarella, oregano and red onion finished with cucumber ribbons and honey and mint yoghurt – a thin and crispy base loaded with tasty toppings.

What’s great about The Stable is that each branch’s menu is individual, making the most of local produce. My friend chose the Chesil Chicken pizza for their main – free-range chicken, roasted red and yellow peppers, field mushrooms and oregano – while Bridport’s other locally-theme offerings include The Birdport Blaster – spicy pork marinated in Naga chilli harissa, field mushrooms, red onion and mozzarella with basil and fresh chilli.

We barely had room for pudding, but chose to share the indulgent chocolate brownie, drizzled with delicious slated caramel sauce and served with ice cream. All washed down with carefully-selected craft ciders and served by The Stable’s knowledgable and friendly staff.

The Stable was launched in Bridport in 2009 by Richard and Nikki Cooper – now owners of SWIM in Lyme Regis – who quit the music industry in London to buy The Bull Hotel, transforming its former stable into a chilled out, social setting to enjoy fine food and craft cider at reasonable prices.

Stable executive chef Patrick Campbell said: “Since we started in 2009 we’ve developed a reputation for our West Country-inspired menu using the best local produce to complement our vast range of ciders.

“With the new menu we wanted to capture our innovative fun spirit and the evolving tastes and dietary needs of our customers, while staying true to our authentic, rustic roots.

“We love the restaurants’ social energy, so we’ve echoed that in our new dishes for people to share at the table. All our sourdough pizza bases are still handmade from scratch, our tomato sauce still made fresh every day – these values are really important to us and will always stay with us.”

Having worked with Capreolus Fine Foods, based in Rampisham, Dorset, for years, featuring their charcuterie on the menus is something that Patrick and The Stable are very proud of.

Using only the best free-range meat, The Dorset Spread is a new Capreolus product that debuts on this new menu. A soft-set salami, it is spreadable and is served with sliced sourdough bread. Their Rampisham Tingler is a Dorset-inspired take on a traditional Calabrian salami from Italy. With a hint of chilli, it adds a touch of spice to the new Capreolus charcuterie and cheese sharing Board.

Every care has been taken to bring The Stable’s green policies into the menu too. Sourced fresh from Weymouth-based West Country Catch, the fish for the new Hook, Line and Sinker pizza is dependent on the seasonal availability of either cod, coley or pollock, meaning that it will change based on the sustainable supply.

With many coastal-based locations, this attention to detail is important to The Stable, which aims to promote a greener, more ethical future for food and the environment.

These locally sourced, artisan products perfectly complement the craft ciders on The Stable’s extensive drinks menu. Their Cider Tasting Experiences allow diners to sample food paired to a range of ciders, in an experience conducted by one of their in-house Cider Masters.

The restaurants have also revamped their popular Tuck in Tuesday offer, with selected pizzas, side salad and a drink costing just £10.

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