Restaurants 11 to 20
20. Isaac At
2 Gloucester St BN1 4AF
Set up by talented young chef Isaac Bartlett Copeland in what was once a financial advisor’s office, Isaac At is only open Friday and Saturday nights and puts on a real show.
Chefs beaver away in the open kitchen and personally serve food to guests with explanations of where and how ingredients were grown. Beautifully presented plates on the weekly changing five-course tasting menu could include lemon-cured mackerel with smoked apple and pickled beetroot.
17. 24 St Georges
24-25 St Georges Road BN2 1ED
This Kemp Town restaurant flies the flag for fine dining with technically ambitious modern European dishes that showcase local and seasonal ingredients. Think beef shin ravioli followed by roasted monkfish and textures of carrots. The simple wooden dining rooms are often filled with regulars, which is testament to the consistency of the cooking.
16. Riddle & Finns
12b Meeting House Lane BN1 1HB
This tiled Champagne and oyster bar has been popping and shucking since 2006. The fruits de mer platters are a must, but don’t miss dishes such as Dover sole with wild mushrooms and truffle. There are plenty of bubbles on the wine list, but also a nice selection of red and whites from around the globe (including Sussex).
15. The Coal Shed
8 Boyces St BN1 1AN
The Coal Shed is best known for its 35-day, dry-aged steaks, cooked on the Josper grill, but like its sister restaurant the Salt Room also serves superb seafood dishes, from turbot to bouillabaisse. The thoughtful drinks list, including cutting edge cocktails and a decent whiskey line up, is an added bonus.
66 Preston St BN1 2HE
Up-and-coming chef Tom Griffiths runs the kitchen at the Royal Sovereign pub as a kind of permanent pop-up, serving a meaty menu that showcases plenty of technique. Sausages are made in house, there’s a whole lot of pickling and fermenting going on, and meat is barbecued on a kamodo Japanese grill. The 72-hour Dexter short rib, which is finished on the barbecue, is a triumph.
13. Bincho Yakitori
63 Preston Street BN1 2HE
Chef Dave Miney’s take on the back-street, late night ‘izakaya’ bars of Tokyo first launched in London (Oxo Tower and Soho), but is now winning new admirers on the South Coast.
Order the smoky skewers of chicken hearts and pork belly, plus the fried Korean chicken wings. Japanese beers and a concise sake list are further reasons to visit.
11. The Ginger Pig
3 Hove St, BN3 2TR
Part of chef Ben McKellar’s ‘ginger’ restaurant group, this stylish Hove gastropub wins hearts and stomachs with its chatty staff and excellent modern British menu. Dishes change with the season but think braised oxtail with lentil ragu or smoked haddock accompanied by a rich mussel and bacon chowder. Plenty of choice by the glass and carafe on the globe-trotting wine list.
15 Baker Street BN1 4JN
A warm and welcoming bistro run by husband-and-wife team Orson and Linda Whitfield, Semolina keeps a watchful eye on local and seasonal produce. Sussex Slipcote cheese is paired with pears and smoked almonds, while blood orange (only available for a few weeks a year) adds zest to red mullet, capers and olives. The three-course lunch with a glass of wine is a steal at £15.
Bartholomew Rd BN1 1JS
A pioneer of conveyor-belt dining, this long-standing Japanese restaurant occupies a stylish building in the Lanes designed to resemble a floating lantern. The lengthy menu takes in platters of sushi and sashimi, ramen and hot rice dishes such as chicken katsu curry. Don’t miss the grilled salmon with the house-made teriyaki.
19. Fatto a Mano
77 London Rd BN1 4JF
Soft and pillowy Neapolitan pizzas from the wood-fired oven are the main attraction at this hip Italian on London Road. Red and white pizzas, calzone and saltimboca are all present and correct on the small but beautifully formed menu, while the drinks list stretches from negronis to craft ale via a http://www.fattoamanopizza.com/