When invited to dine at Harts and sample the new menu, you say yes! Harts is one of Nottinghamshire’s finest and most popular independent restaurants, with a reputation for great food and great service and that is just what we received… The exterior of the restaurants I always think has a London feel about it and inside a very contemporary and simple interior, with block primary colours on the walls and seating with abstract art covering the walls. All the seats in the restaurant have been recovered, there is new wallpaper and the bar area has been expanded with the addition of new soft comfortable seating. The foyer has a new carpet – which used to be tiled and a fabulous chandelier and fresh modern wallpaper has also been added. We were seated in the corner, on soft comfortable seating, where we had a view of the entire restaurant and were welcomed politely by our waiter and offered the wine list. We opted to share a bottle of 2014 Domaine Montrose la Balade , Rosé at £27.50, which had a lovely citrus and spice aroma. Browsing the new menu of head chef Dan Burridge, it was simplistic with some excellent options, though being a vegetarian I had slightly less options, but was told that the kitchen can offer me more if I so wish, which was good to know. I decided to try the Harts Seasonal Salad to start with; fresh and colourful with such variety, making every mouthful a delight – fennel, cabbage, beetroot, yellow carrot, sundried tomatoes, quail eggs and a beautiful triple mayo dressing. My dining partner opted for the Baked Black Figs, Palma Ham and Colwick Cheese, which came with fresh rocket. With this being the first time he had tried figs, feedback was that it was the perfect combination with the mild taste of the Colwick cheese and just light enough not to fill you too much before the main arrived- plus a great touch to use locally made cheeses. For our main dishes we opted for the Devon Beef Steak, Parmentier Potatoes, wild mushrooms and Peppercorn sauce and the vegetarian option of Courgettes and Peppers fried in Tempura served on grilled Halloumi with spiced lentils. Well this has to have been one of the most delicious vegetarian dishes I have ever eaten, with such strong flavours in the tempura, the saltiness of the halloumi cheese, which by the way is one of my favourites and the incredible flavours of the spiced lentils- a brilliant combination, a delight to look at on the plate and most certainly satisfying as I struggled to finish it all. The steak was cooked to succulent perfection, with a very generous amount of finally diced mushrooms and crispy bacon, accompanied by the homemade peppercorn sauce and potatoes, made with the taste of subtle fresh herbs- a real must in my opinion when dining out, as dried herbs are so much more noticeable. Dessert were a mix with some really unusual options on the menu, such as the homemade mint ice cream which was more like a refreshing sorbet, which arrived with a ‘pigs ear’ (a crispy biscuit thank goodness)! A new one for me was the Passion Fruit Soufflé with a Yogurt Sorbet, which had a very Summery strong flavour in the passion fruit, extremely light- just how a soufflé just be. Our waiter was very lovely, welcoming and attentive, which made our experience all the more positive when dining at Harts and the bread basket offering a selection of freshly baked breads from Hambleton are a real nice touch and so we would most certainly return for dinner at Harts again in the near future with friends and family. I also would have no hesitation awarding a rating of 5 star’s should one or two more vegetarian options be added onto the menu.
Harts offer RSViP members 15% discount on bar food on production of the RSViP card.
Fiona Duncan, RSViP