Grille – Restaurant and Bar, White Hart Hotel, Lincoln
Sarah Eddy visited The White Hart in Lincoln’s Cathedral Quarter to dine in the Grille Restaurant and Bar.
There was certainly a ‘wow’ factor when we entered the Grille from its entrance on Bailgate. The interior styling has created a sophisticated, dining club feel to the restaurant with feature mirrors and a chic yet contemporary palette of navy, mustard, grey and taupe.
We were amongst the first of that evening’s diners to arrive but it did mean we were seated at a window table with a prime view; we would be glancing out occasionally but my friend and I were ready for a good catch-up.
Josh, the restaurant supervisor was our server and helped with our choice of a bottle of wine. There is a well-constructed wine menu, with a broad range of reds, whites, rosés, dessert wines and ports as well as Champagnes and sparkling wines to suit all budgets and occasions. Josh was very proficient at recommending wines for each of our courses which I found very interesting, although I could not indulge myself.
We were dining from the à la carte menu and began with Redhill Farm pork terrine served with soused vegetables for me and mackerel pâté served with rye crisp, radish and apple textures for my friend.
Head chef, Myles Mumby, is county born and has produced not only an elegant range of dishes but also given comprehensive information on local sourcing from Select Lincolnshire members and dietary preferences. Other starter options included orange cured smoked duck served with five-spice, noodle salad and nasturtium leaf or roasted baby aubergine salad. We both thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful presentation of our dishes as well as their perfect flavours. I particularly loved the pickled vegetables, which perfectly complemented the delicious richness of the pork terrine.
Josh had noticed that we were talking nineteen to the dozen and was very considerate about asking when we were ready for our next course. We had relaxed into a thoroughly pleasurable evening while the main course was freshly prepared. I chose corn-fed chicken breast served with wild mushroom tortellini, mushroom fondant, charred corn on the cob, smoked potato and sweetcorn chowder while my companion opted for rolled loin of rabbit served with Serrano ham, confit leg, apricot and rosemary stuffing, peas and asparagus with a mustard scented jus. The asparagus was not seasonal but both our dishes had a comforting, autumnal feel. Again, they were a feast for the eyes even before we tucked in. My knife glided through the soft yet moist chicken with its accompanying chowder sauce. My friend thoroughly enjoyed her game and said it was amongst the tenderest rabbit she had eaten. Other main course dishes include pan-fried cod supreme served with salsa verde, white bean stew and confit tomato or braised beef cheek with cauliflower cheese croquette, tender stem broccoli and fondant potato.
We definitely felt this was already an occasion we would both remember for a long time, not only for the wonderful food but also the friendly and convivial atmosphere and service. Other diners around us included hotel guests as well as others from the local vicinity.
Our portions had certainly been generous but we were taking the evening at a leisurely pace and made our choices from the dessert menu. I chose hot chocolate fondant served with salted dulce de leche and banana ice cream while my friend ordered vanilla parfait with apple, blackberries, apple gel, crumble and Calvados granita. Perfect finishes to our meal. Highlights of this course were definitely the perfectly cooked fondant and the granita. We did not have coffee but my fellow diner concluded the evening with one of the signature cocktails from the bar.
The Grille had delivered on all counts for us: a repeat of our uphill rendezvous cannot come too soon.