Is it odd to want to visit a new city just on the strength of a restaurant you’ve heard good things about? I didn’t think so, so after reading a couple of reviews of Flour and Ash, a stylish, modern pizzeria in Bristol, by two of my favourite food critics, Jay Rayner and Marina O’Loughlin, I steered us here for an Easter weekend getaway.

Jay had raved mainly about the sourdough bases, but also about one of the pizzas in particular (which come in at between £12 and £15), which is topped with an ox cheek and red wine ragu. After obsessing over the menu online (which does occasionally change; I was a bit disappointed when we went that the braised venison shoulder with Grana Padano, rocket and horseradish wasn’t making an appearance), I booked for Easter Friday and found myself looking forward to it more and more.

At 8pm, we got out of our cab onto Whiteladies Road, and walked into the smallish premises. The kitchen is right at the back, with an unmissable, and massive, wood fired oven; under the bar counter are stacks of logs. The décor is minimal and chic; wooden floors and tables, wide pendant lights, menu items on chalkboards on the walls.

Service was overwhelmingly friendly and unpretentious; and we started with some local brews. I went for cider, as we were near enough to Somerset, while  D went for a nearby pale ale. Jay had tried the wild tiger prawns to start with, so we ordered those, which are grilled, and come slathered in an insanely good lemony, buttery, garlicky sauce. We ordered two more lots of the home made sourdough bread to mop it up and I still could have had more. We also tried some juicy meatballs, which came on a base of flavoursome chickpea puree, and were nice and rich.

Then, the main event. In the absence of the venison pizza, I opted for the ox cheek ragu. This is served on a white base, ie without tomato sauce, which is usually something I’d try to avoid. However, after some quizzing of our waitress, it seemed that it would basically be topped with some quite liquid and intense ragu; not sloppy, but moist enough to counteract the base. Oh my God, it was stunning; the sourdough base chewy and charred, robust enough to withstand the sauce, which was intensely flavoured and felt like it had been simmered for hours (which it probably had). It was insanely moreish, and I felt an actual pang after I had finished it.

D also pronounced it amazing, but he did enjoy his own pizza, with Speck, artichokes, oregano and a free range egg in the middle (though this was cooked a little firmer than he would have liked). We both agreed it was exceptional pizza; not too filling, but not as insubstantial as a Neapolitan pizza can sometimes be.

Desserts are scoops of ice cream or sorbet, with flavours changing occasionally too. I’d read about the peanut butter flavour, but they’d run out so I went without. Probably just as well. If you’re ever in Bristol, you HAVE to come here.

Food: 9/10

Value for money: 8/10

Atmosphere: 8/10