Jay Rayner visits Preston and is blown away by duck gizzards and ’eminently finishable’ Basque cheesecake

The Observer food critic stopped off at two of Preston’s eateries on his latest visit

Any Preston native will tell you the city is not short of fantastic places to eat, and this is exactly what Jay Rayner found on a recent visit to Lancashire.

The Observer food critic stopped off at two of Preston’s eateries , Roasta Preston, on Plungington Road, and Bar Pinxtos, which can be found on Market Place. His reviews – published today (November 6) – shower both establishments with praise.

He described Roasta as an “elbows-on-the-table sort of place, where you could hunker down by yourself over a bowl of something steaming and delicious that makes the world better, and all at an extremely good price.”

READ MORE: We found the ‘cheapest chippy in Blackpool’ and it was an absolute bargain

Rayner gushed over the ‘magnificent’ pork belly as well as the ‘shimmering’ duck, which is offered on or off the bone. Praise was also reserved for the variety of dishes, and the number of ways they were cooked. A first course platter of duck wings, duck necks and duck gizzards was billed as ‘delightfully compulsive”.

Bar Pinxtos received a similar glowing review, describing his experience there as a “a very good end to a lovely day”. Here, the critic sampled a few plates of ‘very agreeable’ tapas as well as an ’eminently finishable’ Basque cheesecake.

Owner, Anthony Smith opened his authentic Spanish restaurant just over a year ago. The eatery is his first, despite having worked in the industry for 10 years. He says he was thrilled with the comments from Jay. – despite being nervous when he heard the professional diner had taken a seat.

He said: “He seems to have a really really good night and enjoys himself. I was really really pleased to see his comments.

“He came in about two weeks ago. I wasn’t there but my general manager called me saying ‘you’ll never guess who’s in’ and he says it’s Jay Raynor and thought he was having me on, but I checked my CCTV and there he was.

“I didn’t tell anyone he’d been in just in case he didn’t enjoy himself, but I’m really pleased with the comments he’s made.”

Anthony is keen to share his love of authentic Spanish cuisine with Preston, and running Bar Pinxtos is his passion. He says: “I’m not making profit and I’m not paying myself a wage so I’m certainly not doing this for the money. I’m doing it because this is what I love.”

You can read the full review here.

  • 11:31, 6 NOV 2022

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