Cobblestones certainly has one of the best settings for a restaurant around here, nestling next to the canal in Sowerby Bridge.
If memory serves me right it was a warehouse for the canal boats when they were the motorways of their day back in the 1800s.
It was transformed into a restaurant some years ago and Cobblestones is its latest incarnation, promising on its website to ‘bring the city vibe to the canalside with our modern British menu.’
This includes nibbles – a range of pre-starters to set the tastebuds in motion.
There’s starters, boards and mains and you can do them in the traditional way of one after the other in strict regimental style, or you can mix and match and see it how it goes. A more hippie style, I guess. Well, both me and Ruth were born in the 60s so we went hippie.
We began with a nibble so to speak that was hummus and warm pitta bread (£3) although we could have had Cajun spiced peanuts and cashew nuts; marinated mixed olives; home baked breads, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. All were £3.
Starters are around £7 and include king prawns with garlic, chilli, coriander and warm bread; salt and pepper squid, aioli and a chilli dipping sauce; onion, potato and courgette pakoras with tomato, lime and yoghurt salad.
But before we’d have time to choose the waitress came with some news that erred on the negative.
Three dishes were off as they’d sold out including the lamb, duck and smoked mackerel offerings and there was only one fillet steak left.
She dropped the bombshell and left but as we carried on choosing she was back with a quick newsflash.
The last steak had gone. Gone? Gone where?
Curses. Actually, not curses as we’d already decided on a sharing platter called a Butchers Board (£14) that includes chipolatas, honey roast ham, lamb and feta koftas, rare roast beef, pork crackling, home baked breads, dips, pickles and salad.
They do fish and vegetarian boards too.
As we were in a sharing mood we thought we’d have a smoked mozzarella stuffed beef burger (£11) with chilli jam and aioli in a brioche bun served with coleslaw nestling on an upturned lettuce. Well, you need something green. It came with sweet potato fries that were thin, crispy and, like time itself, irresistible.
A nice touch was that they offered three sauces – tomato, mustard and mayonnaise which arrived quickly, as did a couple of glasses of iced water. The board had a barbecue sauce which had a kick to it.
The chipolatas were quality: they had that farm shop feel to them – along with the ham – but the koftas lacked spice and needed the mint sauce they were sat in and the beef was certainly rare but could have done with being sliced thinner and the fat running through it made chewing a challenge.
The pork crackling was just that: a cracker. You felt it reverberate inside your head as you bit into it with a sharp snap. Just how it should be: crispy exterior and the fat oozing flavour. There were two thick slices of bread but no butter. It needed it … or at least for it to be offered.
The burger was a big fella, a real whopper, and Ruth thought it was great although I ventured the opinion the meat was a little dry.
A shake of the head opposite suggested that my opinion was not entirely shared.
Other mains include posh sounding salads including Caesar, warm satay pork belly and smoked mackerel, along with rib eye steak, a selection of grilled fish and a rack of lamb.
With being next to the canal we pushed the boat out with a couple of desserts – bakewell tart, cherry sorbet and flaked almonds and a dark and white chocolate brownie, hazelnut brittle and a choice of ice-cream.
We selected lemon and ginger.
The bakewell was OK – nothing special – the sorbet didn’t resound to the flavour of cherries but was refreshing, yet the brownie oozed that chocolate indulgence. It took some shifting. The lemon gave the ice-cream an overpoweringly citric flavour.
Both could have done with some cream … unless that’s just one more of my many eccentricities.
I think I’ll start one of those online Government petitions demanding that a jug of cream is offered with all desserts at all restaurants.
The old wooden beams and exposed walls have kept the warehouse heritage very much alive and the city vibe seemed to come from the music that veered off into dance tracks.
Wonder if that makes you eat quicker?