As the build up to ARW2018 continues, we visited our third restaurant. Luck was on our side on this sunny Friday afternoon, as we made our way to Rye and Soda situated in the academy. The autumn sun was shining in the bright blue sky, which combined with Rye's outdoor seating, provided the perfect 'Al Fresco' start to the weekend!
We were met with a friendly smile from Vasileios, the Greek waiter/barman, who provided real Mediterranean hospitality, making sure we everything was on point for our visit.
Vasileios gave us both the ARW2018 menu and the new Autumn menus for a nosey as these have just been released and have some great Sunday roast and brunch options. The ARW Menu has options for Lunch for the full week, with the added bonus of Brunch options for the Saturday and Sunday. The Brunch menu includes some personal favourites like eggs benny, royal and florry! However feeling more lunchy than brunchy we ordered from the lunch menu.
I always try and order something different to G, just to try out the menu, but today we both had the same. The options were soup of the day which was lentil, butterbean and beetroot hummus with Arrran Oaties, or the smoked haddock rarebit. Neither of us could resist the sound of the rarebit, and boy did we make the right decision. Salty smoked fish, with a creamy cheesey sauce, with little pops of mustard seed atop a few slices of toasted bread. This will be replaced with sour dough during ARW. It was delightful, and the perfect start.
It has been interesting to see what each of the restaurants have come up with for their ARW menus, and what they have offered. For me Rye has went straight down the total comfort food route as the main course options are moules mariniere, pretzel bun, bacon cheeseburger with home made chips, and baked macaroni. This was my first real conundrum of the weekend! But in the sunshine I opted for the surf option. It is hard to separate G from a burger so she chose this. Again hitting all the notes that you would expect from two classics. The mussels were delicately cooked in a wine sauce topped with lots of fresh herbs and spring onion adding lovely contrast. These were served with a nice crunchy Sea salted bread on the side. The burger was also fantastic. The bacon doing the job bacon does on a burger, plenty of ooze from the cheese, and some nice lettuce and tomato adding a little relief. I thought the pretzel bun was a great touch and adding a little bit of individuality to the burger. But for G it was the chips. She was well and truly blown over by them, thick and crunchy on the outside with a nice fluffy centre. I was only allowed to taste a couple of these when typically I get full access to G's chips.
Rye has a great offering of Gins and craft beer, and I couldn't turn down the opportunity of not having an Axman rye IPA draft from the Drygate brewery as this is one of my favourites. the bitter notes of the beer working perfectly against the salt and cheese in the starter. What a great combination, especially with the al fresco seating going on and the glorious blue skies above.
All in all a great visit to Rye and a perfect start to our busy weekend. ARW starts on Monday 3rd Sept, and on top of the amazing menus on offer they also have bistro bingo. on your first visit to any of the participating venues grab a bingo card and if you eat in 5 of the restaurants during the week you have the chance to win an amazing chefs table experience. see the blog post for more details. For me I would definitely include Ryes lunch or brunch option as one of the 5!
Thank you to both Vasileios and new chef Armyn for looking after us. Armyn let us sample some home made cherry sorbet that he has been working on which was a nice refresher on the sunny Friday.