Bristol is well known for its widely acclaimed food scene but only one of the city’s restaurants has made it into the national Top 100.
In recent years, Bristol has had as many as four restaurants in the Top 100 at The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards, with Box-E, Bulrush, Wilsons and Root all making an appearance.
But at the awards ceremony in London last night, Bristol only managed one place in the prestigious Top 100.
Casamia in Redcliffe appeared in the list at number 28, with judges describing the family-owned restaurant as ‘one of the South West’s most distinctive and progressive establishments’.
Launched in 2007, the awards organised by Restaurant magazine celebrate the brilliance and vibrancy of the UK’s eating out scene, and reward the very best chefs, front of house staff and restaurants the country has to offer.
The list of the 100 best restaurants in the UK are voted for by chefs, restaurateurs and food writers. Casamia has been in the Top 100 for several years but this was its first appearance since the restaurant’s dramatic change of direction under new head chef Zak Hitchman.
Since lockdown, chef-patron Peter Sanchez-Iglesias stepped away from cooking at Casamia to oversee the business and launch offshoot restaurant Decimo in London.
As well as a completely different menu and service style, the number of covers has been reduced to allow for longer menus – sometimes with 25 courses. The tasting menu costs £180 per person.
Hitchman has described the new Casamia experience as ‘less of a restaurant, more of a weird gig with food’ and there is more of an emphasis on live fire cooking.
Casamia opened in its current location in the former General Hospital in 2016 and has retained its Michelin star since 2009.
The restaurant started life as a trattoria in Westbury-on-Trym with Peter Sanchez-Iglesias running the kitchen with his chef brother Jonray.
Tragically, Jonray died of skin cancer in 2015, aged 32, leaving Peter to run the business with his father Paco and mum Sue.
The family also run Paco Tapas and Pi Shop in buildings adjacent to the Casamia flagship.
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