Jay Rayner visits Thomas Carr Seafood & Grill

Jay Rayner visits Thomas Carr Seafood & Grill

Renowned restaurant critic Jay Rayner visited North Devon’s newest restaurant this month and his review was today published on the Guardian’s website, as well as in the Observer, whom he writes for.

Jay Rayner is well known for his role on television programmes such as Masterchef, where he judges and comments on the usually very nervous chef’s dishes as they reach the latter stages. He is well known for not holding back on his views and even recently took on the infamous Gordon Ramsay about his kitchen conduct.

Thomas Carr Seafood and Grill only opened its doors to the public in late February of this year following a successful crowdfunding campaign. A reputation has been growing locally since, and saw the restaurant very quietly rise to being the #1 restaurant in Ilfracombe on TripAdvisor, joining the sister Restaurant, Michelin starred Thomas Carr @ The Olive Room, in the top two spots. It actually sits in the top 5 restaurants out of over 3000 in all of Devon too, according to the popular review site.

Skate Wing – Charmain Lovett Photography

The review, published today, really talks up the food. In particular the seafood offerings, ‘’(The) Skate wing is dressed with brown butter, capers and crayfish, and is one of the best versions of this dish ever laid in front of me.’’ and he was very obviously impressed with the value the restaurant offers too saying, ‘’The value is undeniable. If I were nearby, I would choose to eat here again without hesitation. Take that as a recommendation.’’

‘’We were fairly shocked when he walked in, it was a complete surprise on a Wednesday lunchtime at the end of May.’’ Said Kevin Carr, Brother and business partner of Thomas’. It was then an anxious wait to see what his verdict was, we knew it was being published as a photographer was sent by the Guardian, but we had no idea about the sentiment’’

‘’It’s extremely humbling to even be on his radar, but reading his comments about the food has really blown us away’’ continued Kevin, ‘’And my favourite comment is about our ” a warm, beating heart”, we have a fab team across both restaurants who are so passionate and committed to our aims – we’re really glad he picked that up.’’

It wouldn’t be a Jay Rayner review without some ‘areas for improvement’ and the review starts with some pointers on the menu, furnishings and facilities – but they’re actually all areas the team are already working on. ‘’The review is a really fair one, he’s pointed out areas we’re working hard on already’’ said Kevin, ‘’We’re all but ready to launch the outside dining/drinking area complete with Pizza oven, our new menu(s) will go live to coincide with this and we are working with the landlords to improve other areas of the building to bring everything up to the high standards we’re reaching to with the food and drink And personally, I really like the yellow chairs!’’

Chocolate Brownie – Charmain Lovett Photography

Today’s coverage comes after the Michelin guide tweeted about the restaurants earlier this year, and with coverage also expected in more national press over the next few weeks, things are looking good for Ilfracombe. ‘’Our mission was never solely about the restaurants, it’s to generate the reputation the whole town deserves. Ilfracombe has a wonderful selection of eateries we’re proud to be to be a part of. Added to the arts, views and other places of interest, it’s about time that reputation was nationally recognised, not just regionally.’’

Thomas Carr Seafood & Grill has a dining room upstairs with capacity for 30 diners, downstairs has a trendy pub type feel, boasting a great selection of cocktails developed on site and then outside space, complete with pizza oven, that will be ready for dining before the end of June.



To book a table or enquire about an event, visit www.thomascarrdining.co.uk


To read the review in full click here


Images courtesy of Charmain Lovett Photography