13 restaurants in Bicester
Restaurants in Bicester:
Chesterton, Bicester, OX26 1UE [Map]
A 16th century building is home to this dramatically fashioned dining room with its gallery and old beams. The versatility of the approach in the kitchen is demonstrated by a skilful starter of shredded salsa vegetable spring rolls, deep fried and reposing on shallot and pear marmalade and a little basil vinaigrette. Generally I prefer my steaks as unfussed as possible but if I was looking for a change I would be very tempted by the grilled sirloin steak on rosemary roast potatoes with a Stilton glaze and oyster mushroom sauce. The baked chevre goats cheesecake on poached balsamic plums and passion fruit syrup would ensure a happy end to the meal, particularly as helpings err on the generous.
Main Street, Hethe, Nr Bicester, OX27 8ES [Map]
British, English, Modern British
29 Market Square, Bicester, OX26 6AG [Map]
Pizza Express remains a hugely popular bedrock of casual eating. Its popularity is testimony to the fact that across the country, they have restaurants where you will always be guaranteed a good nosh, with children's tastes being well catered for.
Pizza Express has gone even more Roman, and following the success of that particular example of listening to their public have introduced Romana pizzas, including the scorching Etna and the hearty Siciliana.
These pizzas are now thinner, bigger and crispier, and if that sounds like a marketing line, it is. However, unlike many such lines, this one is true, and their quality is always consistent, though cleverly they have still managed to retain a homemade feel to their pizzas.
As an alternative to pizza, try their pollo pesto - cavatappi pasta with torn chicken breast, mushrooms, red onions and mozzarella in a creamy gruyere, parmesan and pesto sauce and finished with grana padano - or the niçoise salad with mixed leaves, yellowfin tuna, free range egg, green beans, potatoes and tomatoes with olives, anchovies, capers and house dressing.
Many of the big chains have come a long way, and Pizza Express is certainly amongst them. One of the first to be quoted on the Stock Exchange - in 1993 - Pizza Express is not a franchise operation and retains tight control through its own staff.
Their wine list - though short - contains some surprisingly good offerings, especially their intense Australian Chardonnay, and a big, full-bodied Merlot from Cusumano, Sicilia.
Pizza & Pasta
Northampton Road, nr Bicester, OX25 3QL [Map]
Dating from the 11th century the Manor remained in private ownership until 1917 when the then heir died in WW1. Bought by the Osborn family in 1983 it became a hotel of renown and remains so. The magnificent baronial hall houses the dining room where local produce features largely. To start perhaps the truffle infused tagliotine pasta with Jerusalem artichoke, hot smoked woodpigeon and a tomato jus. The poached fillet of gilt head bream with lemon scented risotto and saffron sauce would appeal to many and no matter what the appeal from the desserts area I could do nothing but wade in amongst some of the best cheeses I have ever seen displayed in an hotel. For them we are indebted to our old friends Paxton and Whitfield. The wine list just about supports the menu and there is a house selection from £15.95.
Chapel Street, Bicester, OX26 6BD [Map]
A quick glance at the menu reveals a kitchen that aims to bring a touch of innovation to English cooking, so you'll find ham hock and summer vegetable terrine and goats' cheese mousse. Likewise, fresh British produce is scattered amongst mains with rib eye steak and confit of Woods Farm pork belly. There's an in-house pastry chef, rare these days outside London, offering a wide selection of freshly baked cakes and tarts in the Tea Room.
Those indoctrinated into thinking the best way to kick-start your day is with a full English, will not be disappointed by the early service at Trinity.
Modern British, Tea
More restaurants in Bicester:
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