It takes a brave person to open a restaurant during a pandemic but for Sam Elliot,t who runs Pasture in Bristol, the buzz over the Cardiff venue has certainly balanced out the restrictions on table numbers and cancellations from diners outside the city centre.
A sister venue to the Bristol steak restaurant and bar, Pasture Cardiff is the second venture for the Pasture group and opens on Monday, October 5, to the public at its High Street Home.
Creating 42 new jobs and serving up eye-popping tomahawk steaks, Pasture will have 75 covers under the new coronavirus restrictions and its menu will stand alone from its Bristol big brother.
Owner Sam explained why he forged ahead with getting the place open in 2020.
“Not many people opening restaurants right now for sure,” he said. “We were meant to open in March. I actually found the site two years ago so it’s been two years in the making. And opening a restaurant generally is challenging.
“But, once I have a commitment to staff and Cardiff as a city, I’ve a lot of confidence in the product that I’ve got, the staff I’ve got, to deliver a great restaurant in this climate.”
With delicious menu choices like the signature tomahawk, which is served with a giant bone and per 100g, the porterhouse and 45-day dry aged beef burger and a lobster toast starter, Cardiff has its own identity as well as making sure there are favourites for Pasture loyalists.
“It’s certainly not a copy and paste of Bristol,” added Sam. “Pasture has definitely come across but we’re working with a different menu with different suppliers and [it will] have its own identity completely.
“We have a different bar menu, with only about 20% of cocktails and wine from Bristol. General manger Adam has a wealth of experience and I’ve given them a lot of autonomy to be creative. And then in the kitchen there’s about 10 different dishes – it’s not a relatively large menu – purely for Cardiff.
“We’ve got a beautiful lamb dish on there and then we’ve got lobster toast which is a play on prawn toast, scallops.”
Decor-wise Pasture’s classic look, with booths so stylish you’d swear they were swiped from a Scorsese film, happily sits in the exposed brick of their High Street location and there’s also the eye-opening ageing cabinet filled with mouth-watering cuts of meat.
General manager Adam Marsden added that the provenance of the restaurant’s produce is so important that much of it comes from Pasture’s own farm.
“We own a farm just outside Bristol and we bring everything from there – wild herbs, fruit, we have bees there from which we harvest the honey for our cocktails. We don’t waste any of our meat. Bones are put into stock, fillet tails are put into our burgers,” he said.
“The understanding and the respect of the product we have, we take everything to the maximum.”
So what was the attraction of Cardiff? Sam explained that he’s got family and friends in Wales and he felt there was a gap in the market.
“There’s some great restaurants in Cardiff but I’ve always felt it was behind other places,” he said. “Wales has some of the best, finest produce in the world so it felt natural to come here.
“I hope that Cardiff will continue to support as they have at the start. We’ve created 42 jobs in this challenging time.
“Hopefully they will enjoy their experience and tell their friends.”
Pasture opens on High Street, Cardiff from 12pm, Monday, October 5.