Chef and restaurateur David Hart is to open a new wine bar, shop and restaurant in Folkestone, Kent.
Hart, who previously helped to set up the well-regarded Frog And Scot in Deal and prior to that worked at chef-patron Stephen Harris's Michelin-starred Sportsman at Seasalter and at its former sister pub the Granville in Lower Hardres, will launch The Folkestone Wine Company in four to five weeks' time.
Set on Church Street in a former tea room close the coastal town's revitalised Creative Quarter, the restaurant will have 30-35 covers set across two rooms.
Serving simple, seasonal food, it will combine high quality British produce and cooking with French and Italian influences.
Typical dishes are likely to include: Whitstable native oysters; hams from the Basque country; fresh tagliatelle with rabbit, tarragon and wild mushroom; a braise of local Dexter beef; and British cheeses. Average spend per head is expected to start at around £14.
Most produce used at the restaurant will come from Kent, including beef from the nearby Sladden Farm, and cream from Ottinge Farm. Fresh fish will come straight from Folkestone harbour.
The wine list will be largely French and Italian, along with some Kentish wines and bottles from the New World. The majority of wines will be available to take home at a "generous discount".
Speaking to The Caterer about his decision to open in Folkestone, Hart said: "It seems relatively untapped at the moment, with a couple of exceptions like Mark Sargeant who seems to be doing well, and there's a lot of energy there too. To get into Whitstable or Canterbury or even somewhere like Deal, the rents are going up. Folkestone seems like a good value place to go and there's nowhere in east Kent that hasn't got a long list of fantastic producers nearby. The way I cook is dependent on great, seasonal produce from not too far away and so Folkestone seems like a good place for that."
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