Dinner at Dylan's, Anglesey
Ever been lucky enough to eat seafood in Northern France? Perhaps in a Parisien Bistro, sharing a seafood platter with friends? Have you ever wondered where all that seafood comes from? If you travel to the Menai Strait in Wales and choose to dine in a restaurant along the waterfront there, an equally enticing selection of seafood is likely to be presented to you in a variety of Welsh, British and French culinary fashions.
Dylan's is a modern, waterfront restaurant, clad in wood and glass with views that extend up and down the straits. The balcony is generous, tempting you to sit out with a glass in hand, enjoying boats pass as you bask in the mid-afternoon sun. At night, waterside lights line the neighbouring marina boundaries, reflecting back onto the dark water. Inside the interior is bright, open and modern with hints of seaside, Italian and American influences. We sat on the ground floor, the bar extending to the far side of the restaurant. Well-stocked with a selection of drinks and near-finished sweet, baked treats, it is evident that this place is popular throughout the day. The restaurant had a calm bustling feel to it, catering at that time of day to families and couples.
The service was attentive and I ordered a Gin and Tonic which arrived swiftly as I perused the extensive menu. I was forewarned that the desserts were “really good”, as were the mussels which were caught locally in the Menai Strait. Which brings us back to France. The majority of the mussels you will eat there, are from Wales, which inevitably made my decision much easier. Although Welsh variations were available, ‘Celtic Dragon Mussels’ with red pepper, chilli and tomato, or ‘Dyl’s Drunken Mussels’ which were steamed with local Welsh cider, bacon and leek; I decided to order the traditional Moules Marinière with a side of seasonal vegetables. (I am a sucker for greenery). There was a slight moment for concern as the waiter served my food and asked my friend if they had ordered anything for themselves. However, the dish was quickly sought out and thenceforth the service was impeccable and very friendly.
My mussels were some of the freshest I have ever had, with a well-balanced sauce of tart white wine counterbalanced with mellow cream. The sourdough bread that was served with it made the perfect accompaniment for mopping up the leftover sauce being rich and beautifully baked. The greens were a delicious buttery mix of leeks, green beans and asparagus; and my friend’s Grilled Sea Bass looked equally tempting as my own dishes.
At first uncertain if I would find the space for dessert, I resorted to seek out my second stomach (everyone has one) and made the spontaneous decision to order their Sticky Toffee Pudding, served with salted butterscotch and vanilla ice cream. My friend, being gluten-intolerant requested for the Tiramisu in her Trio of Desserts to be replaced which was otherwise made up of Bailey’s Pannacotta and ‘Messy Mon’ (Eton Mess). The desserts were simply but temptingly presented, the vanilla ice cream gently melting slowly into the pool of salted caramel of my Sticky Toffee Pudding. As Nigella Lawson would say, we ate our desserts ‘rambunctiously’, and although my friend was merely given a second Pannacotta to replace the Tiramisu, they did not seem upset at the prospect of having a double whammy of Bailey’s.
Lively, bright and purveyors of quality food, Dylan’s is an oasis away from the busy centre of Bangor. The menu is extensive, ranging from salads to pizzas and seafood, but each dish celebrates local and quality produce; served with love in a characterful setting making it the perfect place to visit with family and friends.
Photo courtesy of Seren, Bangor