Cornerstone: Top marks for restaurant in trendy Sheffield square with a buzz about the place

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Walking into a restaurant for the first time and straight away you’re looking for a sign - is it any good?

The Cornerstone in Dyson Place had four ice buckets on stands lined up by the bar, an extravagantly huge wire bowl of oranges and limes and a couple sharing a joyous hug.

As random impressions go this was a good start. Less whimsically, it also has a sage green, dark wood and exposed brick chic and on the Saturday lunchtime we went, was three-quarters full with families, groups of ladies and couples.

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With a large and similarly busy outdoor area, it seemed to be doing all right, despite a cost of living crisis.

“Ecclesall Road types,” my partner suggested. But Dyson Place is better - it's peaceful and fume and traffic free.

Clearly the developers took a big risk opening a courtyard off Sharrow Vale Road with no through traffic. But it arrived at the right moment - this independent shopping area is the best it’s been for years. The other cafes and restaurants in Dyson Place also appeared to be bustling and the whole place had a buzz.

But what of the food? My aubergine caponata was full of interest with grated peel, pine nuts, herbs, leaves and dried fruit on perfectly fried slices, on a bed of tahini. Not your everyday meal and all the better for it.

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The chorizo eggs on toast had “brilliant” poached eggs and was devoured.

The vegetarian breakfast was hearty and flavourful but apparently lacking in contrasting textures due to it being served on top of the sour dough toast which lost its crunch. The Cornerstone beans got a special mention though.

The pudding was pastries from, in my view, South Yorkshire’s top baker: 4 Eyes Patisserie.

Their almond croissant was already on my radar and delivered its lovely sweet, moist paste again. The pretzel brownie and lemon meringue cronut were also triumphs of the art.

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With coffees and soft drinks the bill came to £68.20 for three.

Cornerstone was well-staffed and we waited 18 minutes for our food which was just right.

Holed up in a busy restaurant on a wet Saturday, ordering good food amid modernity and comfort - this felt like the best way to pass the time. For the Cornerstone, the signs are good.