06 Jun 2018
This year’s SquareMeal Top 100 Restaurants saw The Freemasons at Wiswell as one of only 12 restaurants to make the list, finishing in 58th place.
The Top 100 is put together following votes from SquareMeal’s annual survey, in which thousands of readers take part. The results are then moderated by SquareMeal’s editor and his team of national reviewers. This particular survey does not include any restaurants in London. Esteemed North West venues joining Steve were L’Enclume (2), Fraiche (13), Moor Hall (26), Where the Light Gets in (36), Lake Road Kitchen (37), Sticky Walnut (38), Forest Side (46), Adam Reid at The French (59), Rogan & Co (63), Northcote (78) and Burnt Truffle (90).
The highest-ranked restaurant in the Ribble Valley, SquareMeal was impressed by the quality and variety of The Freemasons dishes, offering something for everyone; “Local lad Steven Smith is on top form at the moment, delivering a succession of high-end crossover dishes such as a pork pie baked in brioche with roast langoustine and a sauce of char-grilled asparagus or roast rump and kofta of Herdwick lamb accompanied by BBQ baby gem, miso aubergine, mint and yoghurt. Elsewhere, those with plainer tastes get admirable satisfaction from plates of simply grilled fish and slabs of 60-day aged Hereford beef with duck-fat chips, while desserts hit the heights with show-stopping soufflés and luscious creations such as dark chocolate with pineapple poached in Pedro Ximénez caramel, rum, raisin and peach sorbet.”
The quality and creativity of The Freemasons menus has established the pub as one of the country’s top dining destinations, a status firmly backed up by a steady stream of accolades, including AA National Restaurant of the Year for England, inclusion in The Sunday Times Top 100 listing, a top five finish in this year’s Top 50 Gastropubs and a seven out of 10 in the Waitrose Good Food Guide.
Head Chef Steven Smith said; “The SquareMeal Top 100 is one we always look out for because it’s been voted for by the readers and it’s an honour to be seen by them as the top restaurant in the Ribble Valley, even moreso when you look at the other names included in the list across the country. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve our offering and the repeat visits we have from customers show us we’re getting it right. Lancashire has witnessed a burgeoning hospitality scene over the last few years and we’re delighted to be up there representing the region!”