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Restaurant review: Harry's Restaurant, Exeter

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Casual kicks come by the bucketload at Harry’s, with bacon waffle brunches and bellini-spiked lunches rolling into date-night dinners ending with two spoons, says Kathryn Lewis

Finding an independently-run restaurant in Exeter can be tougher than the steak served at the crowd of chains which congregate at the city centre. And while indie ventures across the city often thrive … and then fail due to skyrocketing rates and fierce competition, the family team behind Harry’s have satisfied lasagne lustings and chocolate fudge brownie blow-outs at Longbrook Street since 1993.

VISIT for grown-up comfort food. Because sometimes (read: most of the time) the thought of a gloriously oozy baked camembert, perfectly rosy sirloin steak and knockout bottle of red is a lot more appealing than the fuss of foams, purees and gels.

Don’t be mistaken, it’s not all stacked burgers, barbecued ribs and the kind of hands-on dishes likely to spark a nationwide run on napkins. The ‘mains’ chapter of the lengthy menu stumps up refined and pleasingly local options such as Devon crab linguine with lime, ginger and a subtle chilli hum, and Pipers Farm chicken with parmesan and garlic mayo.

DON’T VISIT if you’re chiselling summer abs. Desserts such as the irresistibly gooey Skillet Pan Cookie are hard to take a pass on, while Harry’s Heart Attack (a mass of marshmallows, chocolate brownies, chocolate ice cream, whipped cream and hot choc sauce to share) has garnered a reputation all of its own.

WE LIKED the 19th century building’s huge glass frontage which, on a hazy summer’s evening, allows sunshine and fresh air to spill in. Harry’s may not offer alfresco seating but this is the next best thing.

INSIDER’S TIP go hard or go home with The Bourbon: a boozy mash-up of Maker’s Mark whisky, cocoainfused milk and hot chocolate sauce.

What we ate (dinner)

Starter Beef carpaccio, rocket, parmesan, dressing

Main Devon crab linguine, chilli, lime, ginger, cherry tomatoes, white wine

Pud Rhubarb frangipane, ginger ice cream

3 courses from £21

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