Today’s post is the first in what will be a regular series talking about the best dish I’ve had in a restaurant in the past month. It was a concept suggested by Mr W (I believe in part for him to showcase an excellent photograph that he snapped when I’d forgotten to take a camera!) but I really liked the idea, because as well as regularly trying new restaurants, we like to regularly go back to our favourites. Obviously I don’t blog about them every time, but sometimes a particular dish is so outstanding that it warrants talking about. So, this new series not only features some of the best food I’ve tried, but also gives me a chance to pay tribute to some of the excellent meals I have at my favourite restaurants, which would otherwise go unblogged!
Worthy winner of the Dish of the Month award for October is A Taste of Local Beef for Two, which we had as our main course when we dined and stayed at the Hardwick a couple of weeks ago. You can read my original blog post from my first visit to the Hardwick here, and the full restaurant with rooms experience is going to be the subject of a future post too.
Our main course was a meat lover’s delight. It featured a small piece of the most melt in the mouth fillet steak I’ve ever tried, a dish of braised shin, rib burger on sourdough toast with creamed mushrooms and a stack of onion rings, oxtail suet pudding topped with basil pesto (which shouldn’t have worked with it but did), confit shallots and a small pan of beef stock with shallots for each diner. It came with a choice of potatoes, and we chose the fantastic triple cooked chips.
The fillet steak was easily the best part of the dish for me, but the rest of it was not too far behind. The burger was seasoned to perfection, the onion rings crisp and sweet, the shallots even sweeter, and the braised shin just fell apart as soon as you put a fork near it. The suet pudding could have been a little dry and stodgy, as it was so packed with oxtail that there wasn’t a lot of room for any gravy or sauce inside, but a drizzle of the rich, tasty beef stock soon sorted it out.
This dish cost £54, but we had it as part of a dinner, bed and breakfast deal. It is essentially a sharing platter for two people, but I’d say if you can find a beef-loving dining companion, it’s worth making a visit to the Hardwick just to try this amazing dish!