86 High Street, Rochester, ME1 1JY
This enchanting restaurant is ideally positioned a short walk from the distinctive bridge across the River Medway, on Rochester's Victorian high street. Its elegantly decorated, romantic interior provides the perfect setting for an intimate meal with a loved one, a lunchtime catch-up with a friend over coffee, or a memorable evening with friends and family - they also cater beautifully for functions, from wedding receptions to small birthday parties. A selection of menus present mouth-watering modern European dishes, created by head chef and owner Vincent Gulez-Bustos. If you're visiting for lunch, you'll find a wide range of starters, main courses, jacket potatoes, salad and sandwiches. Start with vegetable tempura with lemon and chilli chutney or prawn cocktail with avocado, and follow with a chicken, bacon and tomato salad bowl, or a hearty homemade steak, lamb and ale pie served with mixed vegetables or chunky chips. If you fancy something lighter, choose a bowl of salad or a sandwich served with crisps - fillings include cheese and pickle, or chicken, bacon and mayonnaise. There is also a range of drinks and desserts available - so a midday gossip over roast plums in port with Devonshire clotted cream, accompanied by a glass of top-quality wine, is not out of the question. In the evening, the à la carte menu provides a wealth of the finest produce in a range of tempting dishes. Begin your evening with delights such as vegetable spring rolls with fresh mozzarella; fresh water crayfish and salmon ravioli with king prawns and white roux sauce; or grilled Rochester asparagus with poached free-range egg in fresh herbed Béchamel. The main courses make up a dreamy list of fish, meat and vegetarian options. If the proximity of the water has got seafood on your mind, try lobster thermidor served with buttered king prawns, crayfish, scallops, cockles and mussels, or braised whole sea bass with mushrooms and fresh spinach. Vegetarians can indulge in fresh triangle egg pasta filled with porcini mushrooms and white truffle, or ratatouille packed with Mediterranean vegetables and served with ciabatta bread. Meatier choices include pan-fried lamb's liver, 10oz fillet steak and supreme of chicken Marengo, sautéed in butter and stewed in tomato, peppers and mushrooms, served with fragrant rice timbale. Everything at the Atrium Restaurant is freshly cooked in-house, so quality is always assured. A special set lunch menu, available Monday to Saturday, offers fantastic value at £10.95 for two courses and £13.50 for three, and on Sundays, roasts are served with all the trimmings. The wine list is extensive and provides something for every taste and occasion - from a glass of quality sweet white dessert wine to accompany cheese and biscuits, to a bottle of the finest Veuve Clicquot Champagne. As you pass the Atrium Restaurant, the warm glow from its quaint front window is hard to resist. The sight of happy diners the other side of the glass - enjoying delicious cuisine in the cosy atmosphere - will be enough to settle any sceptic's mind on where to eat in this historical city.