What: A new open fire restaurant located in the heart of Brighton’s The Lanes. Embers champions a primitive cooking process, with all of the dishes prepared over local kiln-dried ash and birch wood on a medieval fire cage in the centre of the restaurant.
Who: Brighton-based chefs Dave Marrow and Isaac Bartlett-Copeland, who first met fifteen years ago as mentor and mentee in Bartlett-Copeland’s first kitchen role at The Grand Hotel in Brighton. In the years since then, both have built reputable careers in the seaside city. Marrow’s CV includes stints at both The Dining Room at Deans Place Hotel, and The Middle House Mayfield Hotel, but his most distinguished appointment has been as head chef at Terre à Terre. Bartlett-Copeland is best known for his eponymous North Laine restaurant Isaac At, which he launched in 2015 at the age of just 21. Despite being long-time friends, Embers is the pair’s first joint venture.
The food: Marrow leads the kitchen here, serving a stripped back selection of sharing plates. Making extensive use of locally grown ingredients, the regularly changing menu is almost evenly split between meat and fish-focused dishes and vegetable options, with diners able to choose between small plates (priced primarily between the £5 and £15 mark) and larger ‘centrepiece’ dishes (£30 – £40 each). The launch menu includes glazed lamb ribs with candied ginger, kimchi and furikake; smokey chicken leg with n’duja aioli and honey butter; shiitake and cashew larb with bitter herbs and charred hispi cabbage; sticky aubergine with red pepper ketchup, caponata and tahini; and dry-aged pork tomahawk with burnt leek and pickled mustard seed. Desserts are also prepared over the fire and include spit roasted pineapple with molasses and buttermilk pannacotta (£8).
The drink: Cocktails are a focus at Embers, with an extensive drinks menu featuring a range of classic cocktails alongside a list of signature serves that showcase the restaurant’s fiery character. They include the Smoking Sazerac, which flavours of cognac, whiskey and bitters, served with a bubble of smoke aromas; and the Flaming Zombie, a concoction of rum, orange juice, pineapple juice and Velvet Falernum, served at the table with a flaming sugar cube.
The vibe: The 42-cover restaurant has been collaboratively designed by Bartlett-Copeland, his wife Hannah, Marrow, and local carpenter Paul Bethell to create a ‘warm yet pared-back space’ with the blazing fire cage at the centre. In keeping with the restaurant’s simple aesthetic, large discs of burnt wood adorn the walls in place of artwork. A further eight covers can be found outside at the entrance to the restaurant and covered by an awning for those looking for an al fresco dining option. Additionally, in June Embers will open a back room comprising 18 covers.
And another thing: In keeping with the restaurant’s rustic aesthetic, all food at Embers is served on sliced slabs of grey rock in lieu of traditional plates.
42 Meeting House Ln, Brighton, BN1 1HB
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