London Road, ROCKBEARE, Nr Exeter, EX5 2EE
This white-painted, roadside pub has been run for over two decades by rugby aficionado Paul Parnell. The empty plates and contented smiles of diners (and two AA Rosettes) testify to the Jack's well-deserved reputation for upmarket modern pub food, but Paul dislikes the term 'gastro-pub' as he doesn't want people, especially families, to think that it's purely a dining venue, and drive on by. What he offers is good West Country brews on tap and, in the restaurant, a simple philosophy of serving the best Devon produce in stylish surroundings. The smart interior with its low beamed rooms, soft brown leather chairs and a wood-burning stove creates a contemporary pub atmosphere. Local artisan producers underpin chef Matthew Mason's innovative menus with punchy flavours, be it the local shoots which supply the game, or the growers of salad leaves and seasonal vegetables who are just six miles away. Pressed to label the food style, Paul and Matthew would say modern British, exemplified by dishes like goats' cheese and chilli pineapple cannelloni; and peppered duck breast, Devon honey, five spice and pickled pears. The more traditional pub grub selection offers braised oxtail with celeriac and horseradish; and rump steak with chorizo butter, chunky chips and onion rings. The three course 'Totally Devon' menu is good value, but why not push the boat out and go for the six-course tasting menu? Look to the chalkboard for daily specials like roast pheasant, rösti, seasonal veg and bread sauce. Head pastry chef Harriet Pecover creates the tasty 'sweets and treats' like rose crème brûlee with raspberry sorbet. Dine alfresco in the spacious rear courtyard in summer; dogs are very welcome but only outside.
Tel: 01404 822240
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Otter Ale & Amber, Sharp's Doom Bar, Butcombe Bitter, O'Hanlon's Firefly & Yellow Hammer
11-3 5.30-11 (Sun 12-11)
25 Dec-5 Jan
Coach parties catered.