How was everyone's Valentine's weekend? Hope you all got suitably loved up.
Neil & I spent an evening being wined and dined at the beautiful Dirty Blonde on East Street in Brighton; my first time visiting the place since it's Lola Lo days, and oh my God has the venue done a complete 360.
What was once a sticky student filled club, now sits a vintage inspired, classy restaurant and bar area providing the ideal local space for an ultimate night with friends and loved ones. Brighton has long needed a space like this to come along. I once struggled to think of venues for birthdays, hen parties, special celebrations that were a cut above the rest but now I'll struggle no longer.
As we sat for dinner here, we decided to make 'date nights' a monthly thing, the second Friday of the month, so we have an excuse to try more restaurants in Brighton and Hove. It's something we rarely do since buying the flat. I'll be sharing each date night on here (hopefully it'll give YOU ideas of where to go) so consider this the first in the series. What a magnificent start to the series...
Valentine's nails by She Nail, new salon in Brighton
Let's talk about the food.
I kid you not, after the first bite of our first course I declared it: "This is the best food I've ever eaten in Brighton" and I repetitively said that well into the morning.
We shared a portion of Dirty Blonde's classic slider burgers to start, so tender, drizzled in their home made burger sauce that I demand to know the recipe for. It made me regret not ordering one of their classic burgers for mains, but I figured I'd be all burger-ed out. So opted for the Dirty hot dog instead.
The best part of mains for me was the crisp, deep fried jalapeños that lined the hot dog bun. They packed a punch and gave the hot dog such a brilliant taste.
Neil opted for the 10oz 21 day dry aged steak. We shared bites of both our meals, like the love sick puppies we must have looked like, and definitely gave the meat 10/10 for juiciness. You know when the flavours on your plate are so empowering that it dulls down the taste of your rioja? It doesn't happen often, but at Dirty Blonde's it happened.
Other 'wow' moments were simple things like the tap water we ordered. It had hints of refreshing cucumber in it and was just the right temp. I loved the choice of chips too - sweet potato fries, normal fries or beef dipped fries (which disappointingly weren't available that night. I guess they tasted so good people ate the restaurant out of house and home!)
My one quibble was that the chips were ever-so-slightly over salted, but that didn't matter as much having fine wine to swig away the thirst.
Onto the venue itself.
As touched upon before, this place never had the wow factor it does now. The management really have spared no expenses renovating the restaurant. As you enter the 'Pawn Shop' sign on the door throws you back to prohibition years. You're ushered in the door and led towards the back of the bar where the hustle and bustle's happening and wine's a-flowing.
Decked out with chandeliers, eccentric art, and vintage chairs and mirrors, the place feels special. I regretted not going all out with my outfit choice - as some had - with 1920's feathers and flapper dresses. Again, this is the perfect place to celebrate. A trip to the ladies found me lost in a champagne bar, long story. But I was a happy lady.
Another 10/10 from me for the care and attention from all the staff and manager. We had such a brilliant waiter, dressed very dapper who recommended some ace courses and shared our love for bacon jam (possibly the best thing that came from the whole evening, me discovering bacon jam) <3 On my way out, after being mesmerised by all of the vintage jewels and pearls inside glass tables, we were seen off by the manager who was the friendliest chap. I love warm welcomes.
If you're a Brighton local, or you're visiting us soon, I urge you to get Dirty Blonde on your list of places to head. Even if it's for a cocktail (or three).