The Boot, Repton

I’m not sure about anyone else in the Derby area but we seem to be struggling of late to find new places to go for dinner – it was only whilst scrolling through the instagram of Head Chef Rob Taylor that I saw a picture that reminded me that we’d still not tried The Boot! It’s somewhere we’ve popped into a couple of times on the off chance of grabbing a table (much harder than it sounds – it’s always been that busy that we’d so far failed!)

Luckily on this occasion we’d booked a table well in advance!

Things got off to a good start when the menus came and I wanted everything! Narrowing it down was taking a while so it was a pleasant surprise when an amuse bouche of oxtail bonbons arrived whilst we made our choices. I suppose I hadn’t really given much thought to what the food would be like before we came and may have unfairly assumed that it would just be ‘nice pub food’ – I could immediately tell it was more than that…

A golden, crispy outer coating concealed deliciously soft, rich shredded oxtail and was quickly devoured in a couple of bites

The house made sourdough also disappeared before I could even take a photo – suffice to say it was a hit!

When my starter arrived I was immediately impressed with the delicate presentation. A moist ballotine of quail with crispy quail leg and pickled onions was placed in front of me – pretty on it’s own, but when I poured over the little pot of hot quail tea my plate came alive and all the flavours were enhanced

On the side was lightly toasted brioche topped with quail parfait and spelt granola – I love it when a dish comes with accessories! The parfait was wonderfully smooth rich, with a little sweetness from the brioche and added crunch from the granola

Onto mains and I was again wowed by the dish placed in front of me! The incredible longhorn fillet of beef from Tori & Ben’s was impeccably cooked and one of the best I’ve had, the quality of the meat obvious. Second only to the exceptional steak was the gorgeous subtly smoked mash – I could have eaten mounds of it! Slow roasted roscoff onion was topped with braised oxtail and a herb crumb and could have been a dish in its own right, whilst the black garlic puree added sweetness and the well balanced red wine sauce rounded off the plate

A surprise pre-dessert was another unexpected touch – light as air mousse topped with rhubarb granita

I ended with the chocolate souffle and ice cream which was just divine (and huge!) It was indulgent but not too heavy, and not overly sweet which was great after the first courses

I’m not sure what I was expecting from The Boot but it certainly wasn’t this! Relaxed fine dining is the term I’d use – gorgeous presentation and great flavours without a hint of stuffiness. Just looking back at the pictures whilst writing this is making me smile (and hungry!)

I can’t believe it’s taken us this long to visit but I cannot wait to return very soon and I’d urge you to do the same!

The Boot is also a micro brewery and has rooms, so if you’re from out of the area why not make a weekend of it!

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