Bistro Dory, Pittenweem
Updated: Jan 3, 2022
What better way to blow away the 2021 COVID cobwebs than with a slap-up lunch in the East Neuk of Fife.
Even if we were allowed, Mr. Bite and my clubbing days are over. Early to bed and early to rise and instead we are driving to the fishing village of Pittenweem for a rock 'n' roll lunch on New Year’s Day.
A blustery walk around the creel-littered harbour sees us chatting to a lone fisherwoman, watching the sea swell and ducking some rogue sea sprays. A pleasant way to pass the time before sitting down at the seafood restaurant Bistro Dory which despite its prime location on the seafront has a relaxed local feel.
It’s a holiday and therefore no excuse is needed to order Margaritas. They are served with large crystals of seasalt around the rims from the East Neuk Salt Company along the road at St Monan’s. First sips reveal a healthy measure of triple sec which makes the cocktail round and smooth. This sweet and salty siren disguises a potency though which knocks me for six. Thank goodness for my starter of salt ‘n’ pepper squid. Delicate tender rings of calamari on a plate decorated with abstract flicks of sweet balsamic and lots of leaves including my favourite, crunchy bitter radicchio. Candied Pecans, Blue Cheese, Pear Chutney and charred Chicory and Parsnips lands with Liz whilst the men have Shellfish Bisques. The bistro has a kitchen garden and dishes follow the rhythm of the seasons in Fife and Angus.
Our food is presented with artistry on blue pottery dishes which reflects that the bistro is also a gallery; ceramics, Lino-cuts, glass, jewelry and paintings from local artists are displayed. The Pittenweem Arts Festival happens in August throughout the town with some people opening up their homes in order to exhibit.
Halibut is served with plump orange Shetland mussels and a creamy sauce. This time Liz has slices of juicy, lean Goose, Mr. B has Haddock with a light batter and giant cuboid chips and Dave has Fishcakes. We pretty much share desserts of Pedro Ximenes swollen fruit on Chocolate Torte with Chantilly cream and a Cheese Board with 22-month Comte and Prima Donna Parmigiano amongst others. Membrillo is vibrant, fresh, homemade.
Along the front, stores include Nicholson’s, an old-fashioned ice cream and sweet shop. In the village there are gift shops, a witches’ tour and St Fillan’s cave. The shop Seaweed ‘n’ Stuff combines seaweeds, buckthorn and samphire with fruit and veg to make chutneys and pickles. A daily fish market and a ‘mermorial’ to those who have lost their lives at sea mark Pittenweem as an active fishing village and along the road the ‘menopausal mermaids’ swim in a tidal pool.
Because it is New Year’s Day, I have to press my nose against windows but I shall return to further savour this piscine slice of Fife and when I do Bistro Dory will definitely be revisited.
Bistro Dory - 15 East Shore, Pittenweem, Fife KY10 2NH. (0)1333 311222 email@example.com