Lunch at Bread and Bitter
Castle Rock Brewery is a Nottinghamshire institution, famed for its award-winning beers and fantastic pubs. With 14 pubs across the county, and many more serving its locally made beers and ales, there are plenty of opportunities to sample their top tipples. We were recently invited to try some of the food at one of their pubs, the Bread and Bitter, where we were pleased to learn that this real ale pub is as much about the food as it is about the beer.
On a Friday in February we took a table in the conservatory area of the pub, a sun-trap on this cold but bright winters day. Dining with children was no problem, the pub is very family-friendly, and we were made to feel very welcome straight away.
The pub menu is a mix of classics such as burgers and fish and chips, an all-day breakfast menu featuring highlights such as ‘Boss Eggs’ – eggs scrambled with feta and truffles served with avocado and smoked salmon, and more exotic delights such as a mezze platter and Caribbean-style chicken. There was also an impressive selection of specials, including tagliatelle with king prawns and a mushroom risotto. They also offer an extensive gluten free menu and are happy to adapt meals to suit dietary requirements.
Erin – I decided to try the duck special – a crispy duck breast served medium with thyme roasted sweet potato, watercress and homemade blood orange jam. The duck was cooked to perfection, delicately pink inside and crispy on the outside, and perfectly complimented by the sweetness of the sweet potato and the tangy blood orange jam. As well as being delicious, it also happened to be gluten free, a bonus for people with dietary needs.
Anna – I ’d wrongly anticipated that I would be ordering a pub classic from the menu long before we’d even arrived for lunch, after all we were dining in a real ale pub, but upon seeing the menu and daily specials board I was amazed at the array of delicious possibilities. Of course, there were the staple classics that I expected, such as burgers and sausage and mash but what I hadn’t accounted for were the healthier options and in my case my ultimate choice of a fabulous Mediterranean mezze.
The mezze was part of the bar snacks and light bites menu (served daily between 12pm – 9pm) but when it arrived was anything but small. A full plate of grilled halloumi, hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic char-grilled aubergines and warm baked bread was presented along with the most divine homemade chili jam.
Yes, a lighter option but certainly not light on the portion size or quality of the food that was served. Top marks for the taste, which was out of this world, also for presentation. Sitting in the conservatory with the sunshine streaming in I guess I really could have been somewhere a little more exotic than Mapperley!
Head chef Adam has a real pride in the food being served – everything is made from scratch, including the chilli jam which is served with the mezze platter and the marinated feta which features in the Greek salad. The focus is on quality food done well, and each dish we sampled was absolutely delicious. We were blown away by the flavours and freshness, and have since then already returned to sample more of the menu highlights.
Food service times – Monday to Saturday 10am till 9pm and Sunday from 12pm till 7pm. Read more about Bread and Bitter.