With Cotham Hill being one of the foodie draws of Bristol, anyone setting up shop there has their work cut of for them. Sitting in the shadow of Pasta Loco, Bellita, Munio, Yume Kitchen and Bravas you have got to be brave to stand out.
Convivio has opened up in the former Lounge spot and has kept the previous open plan vibe. The building is set on two levels, with seating on the ground level compromising of comfy chairs bathed in the light streaming through the huge front windows and the upper level providing bar seats and large tables for groups.
I was sent over by Socialight to try Convivio’s sharing boards with a friend. Convivio offer four types of sharing board along side a comprehensive menu, meat & cheese, veggie, cheese and at a £15.50 for the cheese increasing to a slightly eyewatering £19.50 for the meat & cheese combo.
We were presented with a mixture of all four boards, a generous platter of bread, cured meat, baked camembert, chicken liver pate, calamari, sweet potato fries, hummous, olives and red onion chutney. There was more than enough for two greedy piglets like us and we were ready to tuck in.
I wish I had asked someone at the time what was and wasn’t homemade because it wasn’t entirely clear, the bread was served warm (we asked for more too for continued cheese dunking), the chicken liver pate was sadly oxidised and therefore grey but tasted good and the cured meat (chorizo, prosciutto & salami) was delicious but there was no indication of where it was from. The fries were sadly a bit floppy as was the calamari but with a good squeeze of lemon it was excusable. We were relieved to see the gooey camabert didn’t have a single piece of Asda branding on it and it was melted to perfection, though it would have been nice to have had a bit more added to it such as fresh herbs or garlic, if only to reflect the price of the boards. It’s the little things that make the difference.
In all everything tasted good and we had no real complaints about the food but would have loved to have seen more information somewhere about anything made in house from scratch and where some of the produce has come from. For example the Cotham Arms shout from the roof tops about their cured meat supplier, Asado too like to wax lyrical about who they work with and why and for the price point Convivio have chosen for these boards I’d like to see a little justifcation. They also just lacked a bit of umph, as mentioned before the cheese was great but there was no flourish to make it brilliant, the bread came to us without butter the first time, the pate grey etc.
All of that said, the bar is a lovely place to catch up with friends and share a glass of wine and perhaps with a little more attention to detail it will be up there with the other stars of Cotham Hill.
If you want to find out more about Convivio, hit up the website