Delifonseca Dockside is to reopen its doors on Thursday evenings for the first time since before the pandemic.
After previously having to close the Brunswick Way restaurant on Thursdays due to a shortage of skilled chefs, the team is taking ‘a leap of faith’ and launching a new set menu that will be available from 6pm each week.
Guests will be able to enjoy dishes such as Glazed Pork Belly with Braised Cheek, Compressed Potato, Torched Leek, Apple & Pork Sauce and Poached Octopus, Squid Ink Gnocchi with Roasted Red Pepper Bisque, Lemon & Rapeseed Emulsion and Chicory in the award-winning space, which was transformed as part of a six-figure sum expansion back in 2019.
The project drew to a halt during the pandemic, and it remained closed to the public for 12 months due to government restrictions.
Proprietor Candice Fonseca is now calling on regulars and non-regulars alike to support the food hub, which has been a firm fixture on the city’s food and drink map for the past 13 years.
She said: “It’s been a big decision to reopen on Thursday nights and one that we haven’t taken lightly.
As everyone knows, the hospitality industry has been hit hard over the last few years and we’ve been asked by a lot of customers if we could reopen, so here we are.
“We’ve been itching to do it for some time now and the primary reason we invested in the expansion was to provide a ‘destination dining space’ that was as lovely as our food. Instead of the previous small dining area attached to the food hall, we’ve got a beautiful spacious restaurant with a lovely bar area perfect for evening dining and special occasions.
“We’re an unusual restaurant with breakfast, lunch and dinner service much like a classic European brasserie. Customers are often creatures of habit, so they use us for Sunday lunch or a business breakfast and pigeonhole us for that meal time, but the place is just gorgeous in the evening.”
Architect Richard Eastwood worked alongside the team at Delifonseca to make sure the restaurant could naturally flow from day service to evening service. They created a flexible lighting system and added dark aubergine panelling to give a more intimate and relaxed feeling as it shifts to evening.
They also introduced booths and versatile seating arrangements meaning there was plenty of space for adaptable gatherings, meetings, get-togethers and celebrations.
“The hope is that our new weekly set menu will be able to change and adapt as the weeks go on”, Candice added. “We want to continue offer the best seasonable produce and classic Delifonseca dishes that everyone knows and loves and to celebrate the Thursday opening.”
Since re-opening after the pandemic, Delifonseca has kept its restaurant closed on Mondays with the exceptions of Bank Holidays. Serving breakfast & lunch on Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Candice added: “There are three bank holiday Mondays in May, so we’ll be open for those and fingers crossed we’re hoping to keep Mondays open going forward. It’s chef dependent, but our head chef Samantha and her sous Peter Fletcher have been slowly building a great team so it’s not far off. Due to the timing of all of the extensive works on the venue, we still don’t feel like the restaurant has had its moment and we really want to share it with as many people as we possibly can.
“There’s definitely an air of optimism with all of this and we hope that we can raise a Thursday toast with everyone as we take another step forward to the future of the restaurant.”
Delifonseca’s ethos surrounds creating and enjoying food and supporting farmers and producers who are equally passionate and particular. As well as the restaurant, it plays home to a licensed food hall, complete with an in-house butcher Edge & Son as well as a rapidly expanding outside catering arm.
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