I don’t recall why we found ourselves at the Queen and Beaver Public House. I just remember looking through options and feeling for some odd reason like British food seemed like a good choice. Turns out it wasn’t our first try for this particular pub, as we’d ended up at their bar with a couple of friends late one night, but we ordered tea and chips then, which wasn’t exactly a good sampling of their fare. The second round with them left me wanting to spend more time in gastropubs from here on out.
We started with the Guinea Fowl and Wild Mushroom Pot Pie. We probably could have ended with a few more of these and gone home feeling like we’d been in heaven. The puff pastry crust was crisp and flaky but bearing that wonderful doughy, baked flavor, just as it should be. There were several large pieces of meat that were tender and flavorful, and the sauce was rich and delectable. My wife has a favorite chicken pot pie from a little spot in California that she pines for occasionally, but she said that this was a dark, rich version of it that she was exceedingly contented with. We both found it excellent.
Guinea Fowl and Wild Mushroom Pot Pie: 5.0/5
The entree was the Fried Red Snapper & Ratatouille. The snapper was cooked well, but the flavor and seasonings lacked much flair. On the other hand, the ratatouille was wonderful. I have never had ratatouille before, nor was I actually any more familiar with it beyond what I’d seen in the Pixar film, so I didn’t know what to expect at all. I cannot figure out what the chef did with the vegetables, but their flavors were heightened extravagantly in a sauce that held a sharp but not too powerful zest. The vegetables remained firm while still being cooked through, and the addition of the thin crisps (I believe they were crisps, though I can’t recall for certain) rounded out the texture very well. I strikes me as odd that the vegetables were better than the main in this dish, but it was certainly the case here, and I’m not complaining.
Fried Red Snapper & Ratatouille: 4.0/5
After this very satisfying meal, there was yet room for dessert from their selection of puddings and ice creams. The latter was much more appealing, especially given their selection of interesting flavors. We were most drawn to the Stilton-Wild Cherry, a selection we were far from regretting. The serving was proportioned for one, which was perhaps the only disappointing part since we were sharing. The ice cream was very creamy, and while I don’t normally like mine quite so, it went perfectly with the bits of Stilton cheese that were nestled throughout. The sharpness of the cheese balanced the richness of the ice cream, but then the addition of the cherry ripple added a sweetness that brought it all together. A wonderful finish!
Stilton-Wild Cherry Ice Cream: 4.5/5
British food is stereotypically hailed as some of the worst food in the world. If The Queen and Beaver has anything to say about it, that reputation needs to change. They’ve done some excellent things at a very reasonable cost. Swing by and grab some guinea fowl; you won’t regret it.