Having wanted to visit 59 New Street since it opened, I finally found an excuse to go last weekend: Mother’s Day! I took my Mum on Friday and it more than surpassed our expectations. Everything was better than I thought it would be; in fact I’d go so far as to say 59 New Street is exactly what Chelmsford has been missing.
Let’s start with the menu: short, to the point, perfection. We got a delicious bottle of viognier for £24, and the service was impeccable to say the least. Nothing was too much trouble. When Mum mentioned her nut allergy, the chef served her ham hock terrine with homemade toasted brioche instead of the nut crostinis it was meant to come with. Some places would just serve it without anything, so that was a really nice touch.
Anyway, on to the food itself… Each course was simplicity personified. Not too many ingredients on the plate, but each one cooked and seasoned perfectly, as well as being beautifully presented. Fine dining in the best possible way! So to start I had the squid salad (see above), served with rocket and a yummy dressing; Mum had the terrine with fresh piccalilli and the aforementioned brioche! Both were excellent and the viognier we’d chosen perfectly complemented both dishes.
On to the main event: there was no way we couldn’t have the steak (see top picture). We weren’t disappointed; it was sublime! Perfectly pink, juicy and caramelised on the outside. All the sides were perfect too: large flat mushroom, with garlic, salty chips, grilled tomatoes and peppercorn sauce. Yum.
Because I’m greedy, I found room for dessert. I ordered the citrus mess (see above), which was a lovely palate cleanser to finish the meal on, made up of a creamy mousse, lemon-infused meringues, scorched lime and a tuille biscuit. Mum, on the other hand is not so greedy, instead of a traditional dessert she opted for a ‘dessert martini’, namely the vanilla espresso option (see below). I don’t like coffee too much and even I thought it was divine. Next time, I am 100% trying the chocolate and raspberry one. What’s not to love?
I couldn’t finish without mentioning how good the refurbishment is. For somewhere that used to be dark, dingy and have Barbie-themed ladies’ toilets (not that they didn’t have a special place in my heart), the transformation is remarkable. It feels light and bright and the plethora of signed photographs on the wall is impressive to say the least! If you’re looking for somewhere new to go, then make sure you check it out. It’s by far one of the best dining experiences I’ve had outside of London.
Food – 9/10 – I think it would have been a 10 if I’d opted for the pork belly starter.
Drinks – 10/10 – I’d like to go back and sample some cocktails, the selection of spirits behind the bar was impressive!
Service – 10/10 – can’t fault it.
Value – 9/10 – All in all it was £120 for the bill, plus we gave our waitress (who was so lovely!) a £20 cash tip; for a treat not bad at all.
Atmosphere – 9/10 – really buzzy, but not too loud i.e. we could still have a conversation!
Overall – 9.5/10