We've visited the Tolcarne many times over the years , and were pleasantly surprised to hear that it was turning into a restaurant / gastro pub. Having read some of the reviews here, we were unsure what might be our experience, but a Saturday night meal with family was duly booked ( and booking was necessary - many people dropped in looking for a table but were turned away)
First impressions - the interior remains the same layout, although refreshed , with the ubiquitous mismatched chairs and tables and tasteful decor. The large table in the bay window is always superb for a group of 6+, so book early and request it. Note to the owners. The table for 4 next to the bay table is a tad too small for the 4 chairs, and the table next to it has some seriously low chairs compared to the height of the table itself, one of the downfalls of the mismatched trend, but it didn't impact the night greatly.
Glad to see they still stock local beers for a cheeky starter. The menu is on the board, as its all fresh each day ( and was wiped clean at the end of the night).
Very fish dominated, but just as it should be when you are 2 minutes from Newlyn Harbour and we were not disappointed. Perfectly cooked and seasoned scallops, super fresh mackerel fillets for starters, John Dory and cod mains were superb, and the desserts were supreme. We are not light eaters, but we had to share puddings between 2, and the panna cotta was sublime as well as generously portioned. Great wine list, including Cornish, and the serving staff were perfectly attentive. I feel sorry for the people who had a bad experience, as we have nothing but praise. Even more so when we discovered that the head chef wasn't working and these were his assistants. As my title says, this is exactly the kind of restaurant that has been missing in Penzance area for many years and they do wonderful service to super fresh and local produce. If you are worried about the prices, make some economies elsewhere and book a table here, you won't regret it
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