The best in fine dining and a warm welcome at Hart’s, Nottingham
Hart’s Restaurant has been well established as the premier fine dining experience in Nottingham for many years. Just the mention of Hart’s evokes reactions among locals like ‘ooh my favourite’, ‘the best restaurant around’ or ‘what’s the special occasion?’ I have to say, for me it is the go to place for a real treat so when my colleague Sarah and I we were invited over to sample the latest lunch menu we were both more than happy to oblige.
Hart’s Restaurant is located next door to the luxury boutique Hart’s Hotel, on a quiet street close to Nottingham Castle and just oozes sophistication from the minute you arrive.
Once inside we were greeted with such a warm welcome, and the smell of freshly baked bread.
The small display of handmade breads and rolls in reception were of course from Hambleton Bakery, part of the Hart’s family. Our welcome host provided us with a brief history of the bakery (which was recently listed in the Daily Telegraph’s 20 best bakeries in Britain) and details of the breads available to purchase – what a lovely touch!
The recently refurbished restaurant is beautiful inside and there was a nice mix of casual diners and business luncheons. For me there was the perfect blend of formal dining within a relaxed atmosphere.
Lunch menu – where to start?
It was suggested we choose from the a la carte menu although there was a set menu available, as well as snacks, homemade pasta, salads and sandwiches. The staff were all so attentive and able to explain in detail the menu options and dishes available.
We were offered a choice of breads from the Hambleton range to start us off. I have to say, we needed it since between us we were so indecisive over what to choose from the menu. We were spoilt for choice and every single dish sounded equally as tempting.
Eventually for starters I opted for the recommended Wye Valley asparagus with hollandaise sauce and Vera Oxby poached egg, and it did not disappoint. The egg was cooked to perfection and the asparagus the best I’ve ever tasted. I do declare having a touch of food envy when Sarah’s dish arrived. Her choice was the soft shell crab in tempura, pickled carrot, peanuts and chilli salad which she thankfully let me sample. The crab tasted delicious and the tempura so delicate.
For our mains, our eyes were instantly drawn to the fish, so then it was a toss-up between the roast fillet of cod or wild sea bass. My mouth was watering at the prospect of the sea bass so Sarah opted for the cod. The freshness, flavour and texture of the fillets were just scrumptious and each dish came with perfectly cooked Jersey royal potatoes, the tastiest tender stem broccoli and a side of saffron hollandaise.
Was there really any room for dessert?
Crispy pigs ear & our desserts
Probably not, but we weren’t going down without a fight so decided to indulge. We couldn’t help but notice the Hart’s ice cream of the day was offered with a ‘crispy pig’s ear’ – surely not? Being as I was once served a sorbet with bacon we did ask the question, much to our embarrassment. Whilst we both opted for alternative dishes, Sarah the Caramelised banana, peanut butter ice cream and sesame seed tuille and me the Chocolat fondant with pistachio ice cream, the waiter gave us reassurance by serving us a crispy pig’s ear to sample on the side. Needless to say there was nothing porky about this deliciously sweet ear shaped biscuit that I can best describe as brandy snap.
It’s fair to say Hart’s had us both in food heaven!
Hambleton Bakery homemade bread
In a nutshell
Hart’s is a simply stunning restaurant serving the most beautifully presented and best tasting dishes around. I’d strongly recommend a stay at Hart’s Hotel for a real treat and not forgetting a sneaky purchase of Hambleton Bakery homemade bread – for the next day of course!
Hart’s is open daily from 10:30am (a la carte & set menu from 12pm) and afternoon tea is served between 2-4pm. A variety of events also take place throughout the year in the restaurant and hotel. Visit www.hartsnottingham.co.uk