We have visited the downstairs bar ‘Blacksmiths Lounge’ many times for drinks (they have Estrella Inedit Damm which pretty much nowhere else in Derby has….) but had never eaten in the upstairs restaurant.
We decided to book a last minute table on Tuesday night and were pleasantly surprised to discover that Tuesday-Thursday, if you are a party of 6 or less and are seated by 8pm, you can have 2 courses from their main menu for £16 or 3 courses for £19!
We arrived early and took up a seat in the bar area with the customary bottle of Inedit:
When our reservation time arrived, one of the girls from the bar carried our drinks upstairs where we were greeted and shown to our table. The restaurant was surprisingly full for a Tuesday night which made for a nice atmosphere.
Wine ordered, we set off perusing the menu whilst nibbling on some crusty bread with lemon & thyme butter
Quite often when somewhere offers a set price meal you have limited choices, so it was nice to see that you can choose anything from their main menu (although a couple of things did have an added supplement)
For starters, we both decided on the corned beef hash – braised brisket & jersey royal hash, poached egg, horseradish mayo & smokey baked beans. The dish was lovely and smokey as described in the menu, with the horseradish mayo giving a nice kick. Tender beef and crispy potatoes were served with a perfectly cooked peppery poached egg. We did both however feel that the dish could handle a little more salt, which our waiter was happy to provide us with.
For my main I opted for the corn fed chicken served with pea custard, asparagus, fondant potato, a chicken lollipop & chicken wing jus. Golden crispy skin topped a beautifully moist French trimmed chicken breast, the pea custard had a nice amount of sweetness and the jus was nice and rich. The chicken lollipop was a nice addition.
The husband went for the roast Derbyshire lamb rump with sweetbreads, confit rosemary potatoes, celeriac puree, gooseberry gel, buttered beans & spinach, and was pleased with his choice. His only comment being that the potatoes could have had a little more colour and as with the starters, we both agreed that our mains benefitted from just a touch more salt added at the table.
Obviously we must have been in a savoury mood and both went for the cheeseboard, with a glass of port (it would be rude not to!) Oakcakes, celery and onion chutney accompanied a nice selection of cheeses – just the right amount to finish off our meal.
The service we received all evening was fantastic. The staff were friendly and welcoming, and the courses were well spaced out meaning that you never felt rushed.
One thing we agreed that we would like to see would be a dessert wine on the wine list, but that is just a minor observation!
We will definitely be returning, and will certainly recommend others to do the same. The set menu is fantastic value for money, but we would be happy to pay the weekend prices for the same dishes.