You get the feeling that this pub can't quite figure out what it wants to be, but despite the rather average curb appeal, it was a pleasant surprise stepping inside to discover a huge room filled with candlelit tables, twinkly lights and atmospheric canopes draped gracefully from the ceilings.
The Gate offers a great deal on cocktails buy one get one free all night and although the service isn't the quickest (you'd worry how they'd ever make the cocktails if the pub was any busier) you definitely get service with a smile.
It was just worryingly empty for a Thursday night.
I had pretty high hopes for here as it's been on my hit-list for ages. Anyways, I was surprised at the high pricing for what seems like fairly simple food. I had a craving for Mexican but unfortunately the dish I ordered tasted fine - but confusingly Indian. Now, I love Indian food, but I eat a lot of it and I cook it pretty well, so it was just frustrating to have that experience when I really wanted Mexican. I might go back again but only if there was a special offer on. Sorry folks x
Sitting down in this pub and deciding whether or not to order a pint or, dare I spend? A burger, a worker came over and kindly made the decision easy for me.. I had my notepad out while I examined the menu and for some reason he thought it necessary to snatch the wine and spirits menu from my table, knocking my menu loose in my hand and not saying anything about it! Interesting type of service in my opinion. So I decided to soak up the ambience and take some notes instead.
It is a very spacious pub, very wide with large mirrors on the wall opposite the bar, making the place seem bigger then it actually is. It's also a cool way to check people out without them realising your doing it! The snatcher (for the sake of discussion and distinguishing that waiter from others, we will call him thus) didn't realise how I chased him with my eyes around the room, and I felt instantly empowered. Awesome. An extensive menu and for competitive prices, so I would of been tempted at least to indulge. However, the snatcher will never, ever know of the business he managed to lose...
Free WiFi. Is that too much to ask? Of course not. We all know it's relatively cheap and incredibly easy to provide. So why is it still so flippin' hard to find in this town? Anyway, The Gate on St John St seems to get it. I'm sitting here writing up my review of this wifi hotspot right now.
The Gate, a Smith & Jones pub, is a clean, large, bland place. The same adjectives could be used to describe the lunch I just had. Still, it's a comfortable and practical setting for, say, a working lunch or a few moments with a pint or cuppa. Service is spot on too.
I've been by, but never in, this pub at night. It gets packed with what seems to mostly be City workers. It's probably not much different than any other drinking establishment round these parts. But, I can only vouch for it during the mid afternoon during which time it's a reliable venue to grab some adequate food and drink and go online for free.
I ate lunch here during the first few weeks of operation so I'm sure they are still working out the kinks.
I liked the decor and the wait staff was pleasant enough. The items on the menu seemed to do a good job of presenting vegetarian fare that is also tasty and hearty based on the description. I really appreciated that they had a two course fixed price menu. However, I found the menu really strange. Both of the mains on the menu were quite hardy - pasta with goat cheese and cheese quesidilla. Given that, I would have expected at least one fairly light starter. The options were a bean soup (hardy) or a warm potate salad (also hardy). They had a nice light rocket salad on the menu but that wasn't an option nor was any other nice light salad. I went ahead and paid extra to skip the starter so that I could get the rocket salad. I liked it fairly well but did think that it had a bit too much dressing and that the dressing was a little sweet. For our mains, boht my dining partner and I ordered the pasta available on the fixed price menu. The description sounded terrific - pene past with goat cheese, red pepper, and rocket. I think it was a good idea but was poorly executed. There was way way too much parmesean cheese on the dish and a little too much goat cheese. Although maybe the amount of goat cheese would have been okay if there hadn't been any parmesean at all. I left the restaurant feeling nauseated and still do feel that way an hour later. There was also a small hair in my dining partner's pasta.
I would love to see this place thrive and hope that they will continue to improve their menu and their execution.
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