St Albans Restaurants
44 restaurants in St Albans
Restaurants in St Albans:
Nomansland Common, Wheathampstead, nr St Albans, AL4 8EL [Map]
The village common at Nomansland goes back over a hundred years and is notorious for sports such as cock fighting, cricket and horseracing. Awash with legends of the masked highwaywoman who haunted this location and dubbed the 'wicked lady', her real identity as Lady Ferrers of Markvate, became known only after her death. Today, the Ferrers Lane area and the surrounding commons are home to an attractive pub, named after her, offering tasty food and drinks complemented by warm hospitality. The real log fires, the comfortable furniture and the spacious dining area buzz with activity as diners enjoy carefully prepared dishes made from the freshest ingredients available locally.
Contemporary pubs such as these usually share a number of characteristics. An important feature is space, preferably a restaurant where you are comfortable, not over-awed, and not sharing elbow space with the next table, however sociable they may be. Good, too, to have a garden, optional al fresco eating out space, and by no means least a roomy and well stocked bar where you can actually get served without undue delay. After all, drinking should be taken seriously.
If a pub offers all of these, and is in a good location, there is little reason in today's economic climate why it should not flourish. But of course there are other factors, not least of which is the food and drink. The term 'gastropub' covers a multitude of blessings, and it is possible to see influences of brasserie, bistro, restaurant and even café at work within the great gastro umbrella. So expect to find no one single cuisine, but a blend designed to provide something for everybody, no matter what their treat may be.
To set the right note of fashionable sociability there are sharing plates, antipasti of Italian meats, dolcelatte, marinated vegetables and warm stone-baked flatbreads, or Mediterranean mezze of hummus, roasted vegetables, fregola, tzatziki, feta, spinach and ricotta pâté with flatbreads. Amongst the appetisers look for freshly made soup; lamb koftas with mint yoghurt, kohlrabi, cumin and carrot salad, or gambas with rocket, garlic aioli and rustic bread. Look, too, for scallops in the specials section.
The salads offer chargrilled chicken, courgette, fennel, apple, asparagus, hazelnut and balsamic dressing, and for the seafood fiends some prawn and avocado, pecans, mango, bacon with orange and pomegranate vinaigrette never fail to please. These days no self-respecting gastropub can afford to be without its pizza range; expect to find a classic margherita of pomodoro, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and basil, the rustica with roasted Mediterranean vegetables, goats' cheese and cherry tomatoes, or the piccante with pepperoni, chorizo, tomato and jalapeños.
Pastas include linguini with tiger prawns, crab, chorizo, chilli, tomato and white wine; strozzapreti of tomato, goats' cheese, spinach, pine nuts and raisins, or tagliatelle with slow cooked Bolognaise and parmesan. For the big event there is always roast rump of lamb with sauce soubise, asparagus, pancetta, button onions and baby potatoes. The battered haddock with frites, tartare sauce and minted mushy peas is popular, a sign of the times and improving taste in eating, as is the blackened cod fillet with egg noodles, pak choi, mango and chilli salsa. For hearty eaters there are there are rib eye and fillet steaks or spit chicken with lemon, garlic, thyme and frites.
A wide range of supporting dishes includes carrot, cumin, orange and chilli salad, and cabbage, leeks and peas. For desserts choose between Eton mess or apple, blackcurrant crumble and vanilla custard. A worthy selection of cheeses in guaranteed to set the buffs alight.
Wicked Lady stocks a wide range of beers, both well loved draught ales and continental lagers bottled from further afield which includes Cabernet Shiraz Merlot from South Africa. The wine list covers plenty of territory from traditional clarets to Pinot Grigio, and champagne by the glass or bottle is always available. Service is cheerful, brisk and totally in keeping with the friendly nature of a good English gastropub.
More information, including full menus, is available on their Website. Please note that the E-Mail Contact is for enquiries only, not for bookings.
English, Gastropub, Modern British
Waxhouse Gate, Off High Street, St Albans, AL3 4EW [Map]
Lussmanns, with its modern style of English and European food, and its sibling in Hertford, are restaurants with a difference, in that they really do try to reflect the seasons, as well as source local ingredients. There is a kind of transparency of intent about Andrei Lussmann and Tim Hope, whose enterprise creates confidence and trust, feelings which are clearly shared by their customers and staff.
The fish is taken from sustainable stocks using environmentally friendly methods; meat is supplied by Donald Russell, probably the most famous quality butcher in Scotland and who really know how to source and hang the finest beef, and they use only English free range and farm assured chickens.
The St Albans Lussmanns shares proximity with the Roman Abbey and Cathedral in Waxhouse Gate. Spread over three floors, the restaurant's unusual glass roof enhances the natural lighting. A gallery up on the third floor ensures that private parties have all the seclusion they require.
The main menu is available generally during opening hours and could include Hertfordshire free-range chicken liver and Armagnac parfait; Moray Firth smoked mackerel and cornichon pâté, and the Lussmanns for two people with free range salami, roasted peppers, buffalo mozzarella, artichoke, Romana free-range salami, roasted tomatoes, olives and tzatziki.
However, it should not leave the hearty diner incapacitated and unready to consider the relative merits of a plate of line caught pollock, a house fishcake, or free range chicken schnitzel with chilli linguine or mash or dressed rocket and Parmesan salad. A house cheese burger is served with Dorset cheddar, frites and coleslaw.
Desserts maintain the pace of excellence with a sticky toffee pudding alongside English artisan ice creams and sorbets.
Corney and Barrow, always a good name to have around, take a hand in the wine list which is modest in number but punchy in selection and comfortably priced. There are organic fruit juices and long drinks such as elderflower bubbly and Luscombe mule, in addition to some quality British beer.
This is an admirable restaurant where quality and integrity are the virtues around which their success revolves. Learn more about them from their Website that mirrors their exuberance and pleasure in what they are doing. For 2012 it has gained the distinct achievement of being listed in the latest Good Food Guide for the third successive year.
Please note that they do not accept bookings by e-mail, so only use it for questions or enquiries.
English, European, Modern
11 High Street, Wheathampstead, nr St Albans, AL4 8BS [Map]
Miller and Carter Steakhouses showcase a passion for tender and flavoursome steaks as well as an eclectic selection of wines from around the world. Lovingly restored buildings, former coaching inns, historic barns, trendy shopping centres and boats play host to the steakhouses and the design concept follows a minimalist yet elegant route.
Steak features prominently on the Miller and Carter menu and a well-reared 28-day aged West Country beef is cooked to perfection. Choose from various cuts such as rib-eye, fillet, sirloin, rump, T-bone, Porterhouse or chateaubriand served with a choice of sauces like béarnaise, hickory maple barbecue, five mushroom chasseur and chimichurri among others.
There are plenty of chicken and fish dishes as well as burgers, freshly prepared salads, pasta and risotto. Miller and Carter's younger guests have a dedicated carte and there is a nibbles menu for light eaters too.
The Miller and Carter steak school is a great way to hone your grilling skills.
To gain further information, just visit their extremely comprehensive Website.
Bar, British, Steak
3 The Colonnde, Christopher's Place, St Albans, AL3 4DD [Map]
Prezzo has been delighting diners for over eight years, and this Italian restaurant chain has since been able to expand throughout large parts of England and Scotland with some 141 outlets.
Interestingly, the company seeks to restore either impressive buildings or ones of local interest. The conversion of the Newbury library and other listed buildings, such as those in Salisbury, Romsey and Mayfair, are all welcome examples of 'new use'. Their trendy and sophisticated décor usually consists of tiled or wooden floors with delicate lights and colourful paintings, along with wooden furniture and sparkling cutlery, creating a setting that is suitable for a relaxed lunch, a family meal or an evening out with friends.
The restaurants are of particular appeal to those who like genuine Italian cuisine, and they use only the best seasonal products, many of which are imported directly from Italy. The menu includes pizza, pasta, risotto, grilled meats, fresh salads and frequently changing specials.
The freshly baked breads, like the garlic bread with mozzarella cheese, are perfect for sharing and give you adequate breathing space to order starters to follow. Crab cakes served with garlic mayonnaise or grilled goat's cheese with plum tomatoes and caramelised onions on foccacia bread with a balsamic glaze set the tone for a hearty meal. Best fun is to order an antipasto platter to share made up from seven well loved Italian nibbles.
Find pastas such as the unusual penne con salmone, with oak-roasted salmon, broccoli and fresh chillies in a red pesto and cream sauce, or firm favourites like spaghetti with meatballs, spaghetti Bolognese, and fusilli al pesto, asparagus spears with field mushrooms and roasted peppers in a basil pesto sauce.
Amongst the special pastas, the pollo mariano, seasoned chicken, pepperoni sausage, roasted peppers and fusilli in tomato sauce, is interesting and different. Italian menus would be incomplete without risotto, like tiger prawns with petits pois in a creamy saffron sauce.
Classic pizzas embrace, among a wide selection, the popular napoletana, topped with yellowfin tuna, tomato, white anchovies, capers, red onion, mozzarella and marinated olives, and the much loved quattro stagioni - pepperoni sausage, prosciutto ham, artichoke, field mushrooms, capers, marinated olives, mozzarella and tomato.
Specials could include the pollo Siciliana, char-grilled chicken breast, prosciutto ham and plum tomato slices, baked with their blend of cheese, only one example from the many tempting offerings that come out from the Prezzo kitchens.
You can accompany the food with a variety of tipples, though for many, Italian food requires Italian wines to be enjoyed to the full, ranging from house wine through Morellino di Scansano and Prosecco to liqueurs and beer, and there is espresso or fresh ground coffee to wind up an enjoyable meal, in company with a glass of grappa or sambuca.
This is Italian food at its attractive best, convincing and bringing together the traditional with the modern twist or two against a background of excellent value.
Prezzo is a lively group and opportunities to improve and update are never left on the table for long. Keep up to date with a quick click on their Website .
29 Holywell Hill, St Albans, AL1 3LB [Map]
Café Rouge has over one hundred branches throughout Britain all offering a wide range of dishes drawn from the French cuisine. Slightly less than half their branches are in or close to London. Almost inevitably the décor and design of each restaurant differs from the others, but there is a general curtsy towards La France.
Many restaurants do an excellent breakfast, or shall we say petit dejeuner, at which such delights as scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on toasted brioche, croque Madame, croissants and pain au chocolat make welcome appearances, and to their credit the English traditional gets top billing.
An array of small dishes takes in pulled pork pâté with French bread, and spicy beef and lamb sausage with harissa mayonnaise. Salads and pasta feature largely, as do baguettes and croques. Quick dishes, ideal for lunch, include slices of saucisson and cured pork loin with French bread.
Moving on to more serious stuff we find steaks, an 8oz bavette and thin cut rib eye, with a choice of béarnaise or peppercorn sauce. No French menu would be complete without the poulet jaune grille, pan-roasted breast of corn-fed chicken served on a warm taboulé of bulgar wheat and a medley of roasted vegetables with minted crème fraîche, or a steak frites before moving on to the crème brûlée, or the tart tatin. Almost invariably the coffee tastes like coffee should, something that sadly can all too often still not be said of our English restaurants, who depend too much upon technology and too little on the acquisition of a certain flair for this important conclusion to a meal.
By now we all know that the French, despite their distinctive habits when it comes to matters of satisfying the inner man, maintain a miraculous longevity of life. This is generally attributed to a number of causes, of which a measured consumption of decent wine is foremost. Café Rouge, you may be pleased to hear, encourages this with a well-chosen selection of French wines. Their prix fixe lunch and meals for children, both at a very reasonable figure, also offer excellent value.
Their Website will keep you updated on menu changes, news and other competitions and offers from the Café Society.
19-23 Chequer Street, St Albans , AL1 3YJ [Map]
With quality food, friendly staff, quick service and excellent value for money, Nando's is a great place to eat. Don't expect identikit, pre-fab restaurant interiors which are usually a staple of the larger chains; each restaurant is tailored to its local surroundings and customers, offering up a unique restaurant experience to go with the equally unique taste of legendary, Portuguese, Peri-Peri chicken.
Your peri-peri chicken, when the chips are down so to speak, is a fresh A grade chicken that has never seen the inside of a freezer, but having made the supreme sacrifice is butterfly-cut, marinated for 24 hours in a secret brew called - you've guessed - peri-peri, and is then cooked to your choice over an open flame.
There are, of course, many variations on this broad theme, numerous plays on words such as Nando's experi-perience, peri-peri good reasons why you should eat at a Nando's' and all one hopes is that for their sake chicken never goes out of fashion. New Nando's are opening all the time, peri-peri quickly in fact, the spicy bastes become hotter and more daring, and the full platter offers a whole chicken, large chips or spicy rice and Nando's salad or coleslaw.
Since chickens are vegetarian it seems logical you can order veggie or bean burgers and patties, and still feel the heat from the peppers. All in all, Nando's is hotly recommended for those occasions when you have a large following of permanently hungry children, or adults even, to keep happy - the only thing taken really seriously is the quality of those peri-peri good chickens.
Nando's is a place for bright people who love to laugh and love to eat, and is guaranteed to spice up your taste buds. Their fun approach to life means that when you visit Nando's you can fully relax without the airs and graces associated with more starchy dining out.
For the location of your nearest Nando's restaurant and a host of details about menus, parties and drinks, a click on their Website will reveal a Pandora's box of information.
Kingsbury Watermill, St Michael's Street, St Albans, AL3 4SJ [Map]
It may be located within a 16th century water mill but Waffle House truly lives up to its name and does what it knows best, serving delectable Belgian waffles for over 25 years. An invigorating breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs; bacon, banana and tomato, or mixed berries and yogurt topped with crunchy muesli could help you jump start your day.
Pop in at lunchtime to try some of their savoury dishes such as chilli con carne served with tortillas and sour cream, and ratatouille. The speciality is, as the name suggests, waffles, and here they come in various versions - wholemeal, plain or spelt flour with several combinations, so there's something for everyone. Fresh banana, banoffee, pecan nut and butterscotch sauce or the spiced fruit waffle, all arrive in their golden glory, crisp hot from the oven.
After you've brushed the crumbs off you could visit the museum on the upper floor or the Roman Museum nearby.
7 Christopher Place, St Albans, AL3 5DQ [Map]
Carluccio's was started by Antonio and Priscilla Carluccio as a small café and shop stocking Italian food and ingredients in 1991, and grew into a restaurant serving authentic cuisine at sensible prices in 1999. Antonio is an expert on food and has been a wine merchant, restaurant manager and owner, cookery expert on television and author of twelve cookery books. It is therefore not surprising, that today Carluccio's has over fourty-nine outlets across the UK.
Antonio believes Italian cookery involves minimum fuss and maximum flavour. This is exactly what his restaurants try to do by using fresh produce, and working largely with families who make things the traditional way - with care. Their passion also translates into special events like hands-on cookery classes and recipe sharing, Antonio and his team regularly organise for interested guests. They also offer takeaways and a catering service.
The breakfast menu offers croissants and breads served with butter and preserves or honey and free range eggs, either scrambled or fried and served with pancetta or ciabatta. They also have long cured Parma ham and healthier options like muesli and fruits. These are best had with coffee, tea or freshly squeezed juice. Carluccio's offers an impressive list of white, red, rosé and sparkling wines which complement your meal.
The restaurants offer a range of soup and salads which give your meal a nutritious start before moving on to the mains. If you like pasta, enjoy the small filled parcels served in a ham and cream sauce, or sample the Neapolitana spaghetti with whole fresh clams, garlic, herbs and chilli. The branzino con salsa e patate, fillet of pan fried sea bass served with tomato salsa and sautéed potatoes and Somerset rib-eye steak with rosemary potatoes, called bistecca di bue con patate, are good options too. If you are looking for something lighter, you could opt for the numerous sides called contorni and panini.
In the Tuscany region of Italy, meals end simply with almond biscuits dipped in a sweet local wine, Vin Santo and eaten. You can enjoy that experience at Carluccio's, or settle for a more conventional dolci of tiramisu, warm chocolate and kahlua pudding, your choice of Italian cheeses or gelatos in different flavours.
Thistle Hotel St Albans, Watford Road, St Albans, AL2 3DS [Map]
This fine dining restaurant with AA rosette and RAC merit awards, presents itself with attentive service of both fine foods and excellent wines. With all food being prepared fresh to order, our restaurant has a reputation in the area for quality and prestige. Booking is recommended.
More restaurants in St Albans:
Featured Group Restaurant
Prezzo has been delighting diners for over eight years, and this Italian restaurant chain has since been able to expand throughout large parts of England and Scotland with some 141 outlets.
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By Mick Walker 23 May 2013
Had a really enjoyable meal at lunchtime today 23/5/13. Service was very good,and staff very friendly and helpful. Food ...
By w butcher 22 May 2013
we ate here on 22/05/2013 and cannot fault it. The steak was cooked perfectly and the green saled was delicious. The service ...
Father's Day: Any Pizza and Peroni for £10 (Not valid to anyone under the age of 18 years. Valid on eat in only)
Come and join us for Afternoon Tea this Bank Holiday weekend at £10 per person
Spring Set Menu - 2 courses for £15 per person and 3 courses for £18 per person
Zodiac Restaurant Promotion - 3 course dinner for £49 per person and enjoy a complimentary bottle of wine.
The village common at Nomansland goes back over a hundred years and is notorious for sports such as cock fighting, cricket and horseracing. Awash with legends of the masked highwaywoman who haunted ...
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