PUBLISHED: 15:03 24 June 2013 | UPDATED: 15:08 24 June 2013
The term mezze is ultimately derived from the Persian word mazzeh, which means to taste, just a small dish not meant to fill you up, but a pleasant introduction to the cuisine.
This, in my opinion is where this group of Somerset mezze restaurants has the answer – introducing diners to new taste experiences in bite-sized dishes.
Mezze Restaurants, which opened its first restaurant, Mezze at the Royal George in Thornbury in 2008, has grown at a phenomenal rate and will shortly have a chain of five restaurants under its belt.
The restaurant I visited was The Warwick Arms in Clutton, which has had a £400,000 makeover and opened to the public in the spring.
It has undergone an extensive refurbishment and outside a new Mediterranean garden with Marshfields ice-cream parlour and heated al fresco dining for up to 100 people has been created.
On our visit we had the mezze mixed starters, which consisted of so many different gems on the plate it was hard to know where to begin.
Favourites were the chicken souvlaki and lamb kofta - cooked to perfection and the extremely tasty and flavoursome ispanak – baby spinach with a creamy smoked garlic yoghurt – just divine.
For the main course my partner and I had the mezze mixed grill – this is unlike any other mixed grill I had tasted before.
A plate of perfectly cooked meats including minute steak, lamb kofta, chicken souvlaki (any excuse for some more), lounza and tiger prawns.
This was a refreshing take on a traditional English dish for me, all washed down with a nice, crisp glass of Pinot Grigio.
For desert I had the ginger Baklava with Turkish Delight ice-cream – it truly was a delight if you have a very sweet tooth.
My partner had the Mezze Mess and certainly didn’t waste any time polishing it off - so I’m guessing that was good as well!
I noticed while dining what great little seating areas there were in the restaurant.
When we walked through the restaurant earlier in the evening there were families tucked into their private corners, then later into the evening these private corners made for good areas for couples to dine in peace.
The décor is fantastic in the Clutton restaurant and they have done a good job on the rooms too.
They are modern, with the added extra in the Glastonbury Suite of a fabulous jacuzzi (could have done with some bubble bath to pop in it though).
Having been to the Ship and Castle restaurant in Congresbury and The Anchor Inn, Ham Green, they all have a familiar stamp on them so you know when you have walked into a Mezze Restaurant.
This restaurant, which is situated en route to Bath, seems to capture a lot of commuter trade, particularly as it opens at 7am for breakfast, but also seems to bode well with couples and families too.
I’m sure the friendly, attentive staff bring repeat trade as well.
Like the others run by this company, this restaurant offers good food in a good location and has a multitude of bite-sized treats waiting for diners. n