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Home, home on the Range

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: July 04, 2013

By Joshua Barrie

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TUCKED away in one of Mousehole's narrows lies the Cornish Range, a seafood restaurant set in an old pilchard processing factory.

Above all it offers seasonal produce with minimal food miles, big portions and friendly service.

Fish arrives daily from Newlyn, while the meat and vegetables are predominantly sourced from suppliers dotted across Penwith's many hills. Locality is in fashion at the moment but many restaurants still have a way to go, so it was nice to see.

My dining partner and I began with an aperitif as local as would be possible, in the form of Polgoon's ever delicious sparkling raspberry aval; delectably refreshing after a walk along the coast amid temperatures veering on Mediterranean.

It made easy drinking while we perused dinner options.

The menu was simple yet enticing, weighted as expected towards fish. However, so often do we hear about parties of four or five dragging along one sorry soul who just isn't into seafood, so, to start, we thought we would play that role.

That lonely fish-hater must be looked after, however much we struggle to understand them.

At the Cornish Range they are catered for. We chose a marvellously tender confit duck and potato cake, found on the specials board and an unassuming, inoffensive chicken salad.

Pleasing, but we were eager to tuck into something more accustomed to swimming.

We settled on the cod and salmon duo and the crab and lobster linguini, both of which arrived with bistro-style bowls of Cornish new potatoes and vegetables.

My linguini was huge and packed full of tender crab, lobster, accompanying samphire and freshness.

It was slightly under seasoned to my taste and the lobster was marginally over- cooked, but it was a good, summery dish nonetheless that would certainly satisfy anyone looking to explore the depths of west Cornwall's coastline.

Across the table the salmon had far more about it than the cod, notably disappointing in that it had probably come even further than my dining partner (Oxford) – but the contrast between flavours and substance was precise and thoughtful.

The service throughout was a delight. As we struggled between choosing fish's old friend the Muscadet and a local bottle we had tinged reservations over, the waitress kindly laid our doubts to rest; how happy we were that she did. Knightor's crisp, dry and again, Cornish offering matched both main courses remarkably well.

After such hefty portions neither of us could quite manage a dessert, so embarrassingly we opted to share a saffron-poached pear – usually sat next to what I would imagine to be a superb lemon pana cotta. We did get through the berries and sorbet however, which were both more summery than a Hawaiian shirt at a Miami cocktail bar. It was all wonderfully refreshing and nice to actually taste saffron for a change.

The Cornish Range is a great place to feed hungry beachgoers some of the best of Cornwall's seafood at reasonable prices.

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