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Pea Porridge in Bury St. Edmunds, England, earns its coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand award

By WILLIAM HOWARD | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 29, 2016

Hidden in a quiet residential area of Bury St. Edmunds, Pea Porridge is one of only 143 restaurants in England to be granted the world’s oldest restaurant guide’s accolade for establishments offering good food at reasonable prices.

Pea Porridge has retained its coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand award since opening in October 2009. “Bibs” are awarded for simple yet skillful cooking in two price categories — less than 28 pounds ($35) or less than 40 pounds ($50).

The only other restaurant in Suffolk county that holds the Michelin Bib Gourmand award is the Lighthouse at Aldeburgh.

Pea Porridge’s cozy atmosphere made me feel as though I was eating a world-class meal at my parents’ cottage — if they were British.

The menu, featuring country-style cooking made with locally and organically grown produce, changes with each season. Pea Porridge boasts that its list of natural wines is the most comprehensive in East Anglia.

My wife and I started with a veal, pigeon, pistachio and foie gras terrine, chutney, pickles and toast appetizer. I really had no clue what we were ordering, but it sounded fancy and ended up being very delicate and full of flavor.

For dinner I had a 28-day aged 8-ounce Aberdeen Angus steak with shallot confit and fat chips, while my wife ordered hake fillet on risotto with brown shrimps and samphire.

It was a small portion, but one of the best steaks I’ve ever enjoyed. Next time I’ll order two.

(If you’re wondering what fat chips are, just think fancy steak fries.)

For dessert, we shared a treacle tart with clotted cream. The sweet and sour sticky tart harmonized perfectly with the clotted cream.

I don’t consider myself a connoisseur of fine food and drink, but Pea Porridge’s unpretentious atmosphere and solicitous staff allowed me to avoid any embarrassment. The restaurant offers a chance to eat an unforgettable and affordable meal in a welcoming environment.

howard.william@stripes.com

 

PEA PORRIDGE

Address: 28-29 Cannon Street, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 1JR, England. The restaurant is about a five-minute walk from the Abbey Gardens and can be reached from RAF Mildenhall in about 30 minutes via the A14.

Hours: Lunch is 12-13:45 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays and dinner is 6:30-9 p.m. Tuesdays to Thursdays. On Fridays and Saturdays dinner is served 6:30-9:30 p.m. Dinner reservations are recommended.

Menu: Seasonal country cooking with a Mediterranean bias; many dishes are cooked in a wood-fired oven.

Prices: Lunch starters are 6.95 pounds ($8.60); main dishes are 12.95 pounds.

Dinner starters are 7.50-9.75 pounds and main courses are 12.95- pounds. Wine by the glass costs 5.10-7.45 pounds, carafes are 13.50-22.25 pounds, and bottles are 17.95-80 pounds.

Dress: Casual during lunch; business casual or cocktail attire during dinner.

Information: Phone: (+44) (0) 1284 700200; website: www.peaporridge.co.uk

A hake fillet on risotto with ''gremolata,'' brown shrimps and samphire is one of the entrees served at the Pea Porridge restaurant in Bury St. Edmunds, England. Main dinner cost 12.95-21.95 pounds ($15.98-27.08).
WILLIAM HOWARD/STARS AND STRIPES

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