The Electric Bar and Restaurant at The DoubleTree by Hilton, Lincoln
Stepping into the glass lift in the main foyer of the DoubleTree by Hilton Lincoln and gliding upwards, all the while overlooking the Brayford Pool and the city beyond, any visitor would be impressed.
Chic, urban and minimal, the hotel’s Electric Bar and Restaurant has become a favourite with local lovers of cocktails, live music and fine cuisine since it opened nearly two years ago.
We visited on a Friday night and already the bar was busy with an early evening crowd enjoying drinks prepared by the hotel’s talented mixologists. We headed straight through to the restaurant, though, where already half the tables were occupied. Floor to ceiling windows along the wall of the restaurant offer a different view across the city to the cathedral, while the large window opposite the dining area gives an excellent view into the kitchens. I love to watch the activity in a busy kitchen. This transparency was equally reassuring and fascinating as dishes appeared on the pass and were quickly collected by the waiting staff.
The dining area’s décor is corporate to the rest of the hotel but there is an intimacy and great acoustics in the room. Very friendly and efficient waiting staff added to the warm welcome we were offered.
Once seated at our table we enjoyed a drink and looked through the dinner menu. For each course there was a choice of six dishes plus a local Lincolnshire beef menu with sauces and finally side dishes, for those with a larger appetite than ours. We were served a delicious amuse bouche of Cauliflower Velouté with a Lincolnshire Poacher melt.
I began with Confit Duck Salad served with roast Jerusalem artichoke, chargrilled red onion, olives and duck crackling. My company for the evening was Louise who opted for Asian Salmon Gravlax, with soy, lime, ginger, lemon grass, Asian salad and sweet chilli syrup. I thoroughly enjoyed my starter which was full of flavour and contrasting textures. Louise liked the combination of ingredients in her salad but had been expecting more delivery of Asian flavours. Other options available were a Bouillabaisse Fish Stew, Ham Hock terrine, Goat’s Cheese Mousse or Pan Fried Scallops.
For our main courses, Louise chose a Duo of Venison. Haunch and a confit shank croquette were served with sweet potato puree, braised red cabbage, chestnut mushroom and sloe gin jus. Delicious was the verdict passed on this dish. I equally enjoyed my Loin of Cod accompanied by chervil pomme puree, spring green vegetables, dried cherry tomatoes, caper butter and shallot rings. These were very well thought out dishes, beautifully cooked and presented.
Other dishes on the mains menu included Free Range Chicken Breast, Rack of Lamb, Fillet of Hake or a Butternut Squash Open Lasagne.
We both felt very nicely full at this stage but still had room to try a dessert each. I chose a Blood Orange Posset served with frozen orange chutney, meringue and sharp citrus foam while Louise chose a Deconstructed Lemon Meringue Cheesecake. My dessert certainly delivered the palate cleansing citrus kick that I was expecting with the softer, rich and creamy posset. The same was said of my companion’s dessert which was served with crunchy biscotti and tangy lemon cream. Other temptations on the dessert menu included Coconut Iced Parfait, a Vanilla and Sultana Brûlée, a selection of British cheeses or a Chocolate and Coffee Pavlova.
Our service had been attentive without being intrusive, or interrupting the long overdue catch-up which Louise and I had planned. Around us the atmosphere was equally upbeat with plenty of lively conversation.
We had dined from the À La Carte menu but there is an evening, set menu, which includes half a bottle of wine for £25 per person. This menu is available Monday to Thursday and at restricted times on Friday and Saturday so be sure to check when you book.
The Electric Bar and Restaurant is also open at lunchtimes offering Lunch for Less dishes at £8.95 for one course, £10.95 for two courses and £12.95 for three courses. Sunday lunch offers a mouthwatering selection of roast meats which can now be enjoyed not only between 12noon and 3pm but a fresh roast is served from 6pm if you prefer your Sunday lunch later in the day.
There are plenty of other ways to take in the view and ambiance. A Cocktail Masterclass perhaps, or Jazz Wednesdays?