Ardor Restaurant: Mediterranean Flavours in St Ives

Renowned chef Dorian Janmaat will open his first solo venture, Ardor, in the heart of St Ives.

Drawing inspiration from the vibrant food cultures of the Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranean coast, Ardor aims to bring a taste of these regions to Cornwall.

Located on the bustling Fore Street, this casual dining restaurant reflects Dorian’s deep affection for both the Mediterranean and Cornwall, where he spent much of his youth.

The Culinary Journey of Dorian Janmaat

Dorian Janmaat is no stranger to the culinary world. With a stellar career that includes being the award-winning Executive Head Chef of The Idle Rocks Hotel and nine years (five of those as Head Chef) at the prestigious Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, he has honed a style marked by flavoursome simplicity and a commitment to seasonality.

His new venture, Ardor, encapsulates this ethos, celebrating local and Andalusian produce through Spanish-influenced small plates and the freshest Cornish seafood.

Ardor Restaurant: Mediterranean Flavours in St Ives

Ardor’s menu is a tribute to the Mediterranean way of life, characterised by its warmth and passion. The restaurant offers a casual dining experience that reflects the essence of long, leisurely meals enjoyed by the Mediterranean coast.

The menu is a mix of nostalgic and contemporary dishes, crafted to showcase the best of Cornish and Andalusian ingredients.

A Menu of Mediterranean Delights

Ardor’s menu is designed for sharing, inspired by tapas and mezze concepts. Guests can enjoy a variety of small plates, each bursting with authentic flavours. Dishes like fritto misto with Calabrian chilli aioli and burnt lemon highlight the finest Cornish seafood, while the rotisserie chicken adds a touch of culinary theatre.

The Josper Grill is a standout feature at Ardor, offering dishes such as monkfish tail with nduja and samphire sauce, and Chistorra sausage with lentil and pimentón stew. These dishes exemplify the restaurant’s commitment to simple yet sophisticated cooking, using high-quality ingredients cooked over charcoal.

The menu also includes Spanish classics like croquetas of the day, gambas al ajillo, and moules provençal. Daily specials and a fresh fish counter featuring the daily catch from Matthew Stevens Fish, a family-run institution in St Ives since 1948, ensure there’s always something new to try.

An Extensive Wine List and Signature Cocktails

Ardor offers an extensive wine list and crafted signature cocktails, including the Sangria Del Mar and the Ardor Old Fashioned. These drinks are the perfect accompaniment to the menu, whether for lunch, dinner, or afternoon pintxos.

Ardor Restaurant: Mediterranean Flavours in St Ives

Dorian’s passion for Mediterranean cooking is rooted in his childhood spent in Spain. He recalls, “It has been a lifelong dream of mine to open a restaurant, and I can’t wait to throw open Ardor’s doors and welcome visitors, locals, friends and family in the best way we know how – with beautiful food and wine.”

His philosophy centres on using the best produce, cooked with care and simplicity, to create delicious and memorable meals.

The Restaurant’s Layout

Located on Fore Street, Ardor features an upstairs and lower restaurant, a bar area, and a chef’s counter. With seating for up to 60 guests, the restaurant offers a mix of counter seating and individual tables. The upstairs area includes larger tables and cosy ‘twos’ in the window, while the chef’s counter provides an uninterrupted view of the kitchen.

The bar area at Ardor is perfect for those who enjoy Mediterranean-inspired cocktails. It’s an ideal spot for a pre-dinner drink or a relaxed evening with friends, offering a range of carefully crafted cocktails that complement the menu perfectly.

The lower restaurant area offers views directly into the kitchen, making it an ideal setting for couples and groups alike. The intimate yet lively atmosphere is perfect for enjoying Ardor’s menu of small plates and expertly cooked dishes.

Design Inspired by Mediterranean Warmth

Curated by Dorian himself, Ardor’s design reflects the core principles of Mediterranean cooking: openness, warmth, and conviviality. The use of hand-painted Moroccan zellige tiles, tan and copper tones, and earthy colours create a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere.

Ardor Restaurant: Mediterranean Flavours in St Ives

Ardor’s decor features prints from artist Emily Daborn and a standout piece from Dorian’s childhood friend and renowned London artist Joe Walker. These artistic touches add a unique and personal element to the restaurant’s design.

Ardor has collaborated with local suppliers and craftsmen to bring the restaurant to life. Chairs sourced from London-based Cult and Glencoe Quartz tables from Cornish supplier Varcurn marble are just a few examples of the quality craftsmanship involved.

Commitment to Local and Sustainable Practices

Wherever possible, Ardor has worked with local suppliers and craftsmen, from building and decorating to sourcing table decorations and plants from St Ives florists. This commitment to local and sustainable practices is a key aspect of the restaurant’s ethos.

Ardor is more than just a restaurant; it’s a place to experience the Mediterranean way of life. With its warm and welcoming atmosphere, expertly crafted menu, and commitment to quality, Ardor is set to become a beloved dining destination in St Ives.

Conclusion

Dorian Janmaat’s Ardor is poised to make a significant impact on the dining scene in St Ives. By blending the vibrant flavours and relaxed dining style of the Mediterranean with the best of Cornish produce, Ardor offers a unique and memorable dining experience.

As Dorian himself says, “Ardor’s aim is to offer delicious plates using the best produce, selected for its quality and flavour, enhanced by cooking with care and simplicity.” This new venture is sure to delight both locals and visitors alike.

Images: Meor Design

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