Solihull town centre pub the Lazy Cow has been put out to pasture and the Beech House has sprung up in its place.
But expect more changes – the pub, now under the ownership of an emerging southern-based company, closes soon to undergo a massive refurbishment including a realignment of the bar and eating area and a new open-plan kitchen with a wood-fired pizza oven.
A visit during the interim period between takeover and the pending temporary closure for building work provided reasons for optimism.
Service was patchy, though very friendly, and sourdough bread was horribly stale.
But a the panko-coated calamari that I ate as a starter was beautifully cooked – the crust crisp, the squid tender. And a chipotle mayonnaise was nicely judged.
Better still was a chunk of pork T-bone that was a gorgeous thing – charred where it should have been charred, moist and succulent within.
Fries were perfectly adequate but roasted marzanino tomatoes were served on the vine – pretty but such a faff to deal with.
A skillet of smoked haddock with fresh gnocchi baked in a charred leek and onion cream sauce, grana padano and fresh herbs was substantial and comforting.
Expect, at the moment, to pay around £28 for two courses and a drink.
The Beech House
727 Warwick Road, Solihull, B91 3DA