I couldn’t have picked a sunnier July day to have my first lunch at Harts with friend Charlotte Moore of Stadia Sport & Lifestyle and having heard such good reviews, I was very much looking forward to it.
Upon arrival we were greeted by a very polite gentleman who showed us to our seats and offered us the menu of the day, promptly taking our drinks orders. We opted for a bottle of water for the table and fresh orange and lemonade to cool us down.
Whilst browsing the menu, our waitress came to offer us a selection of Hambleton freshly baked bread, of which I am a fan of choosing the wholemeal option, secretly wanting two pieces!
The menu was diverse with a set menu option as an alternative and the starter was an easy decision with the Pea Soup served with mint oil and pea shoots. I then went with the Grilled halloumi, served with spiced lentils and tempura vegetables. Charlotte was a little more adventurous going with the Pan fried sea bream, tomato & basil couscous, rocket & balsamic.
Our order arrived in no time at all and we tucked into our pea soup, which I can categorically say was the best pea soup I have ever tasted! Being a vegetarian I have tried every type of vegetable concoction going and find it very difficult to source well seasoned, tasty soups, but this was extremely potent in taste, perfectly seasoned, with the addition of the mint oil and pea shoots that complimented it perfectly and the vivid greenness in colour left me in no doubt of what I was eating- delicious and what’s more we were treated to yet more home baked bread!
The main arrived after not too long at all and I stopped to admire the colourful display on my plate before tucking into the grilled halloumi cheese hidden underneath a tower of crispy battered tempura veg, surrounded by tasty spiced lentils, which gave it a Moroccan style kick.
Charlotte’s pan fried sea bream arrived with tomato & basil couscous and was cooked perfectly. The flavours of the dish worked really well together and was a generous sized portion.
After lunch we were offered more drinks and the dessert menu which was a difficult decision between the Baked Alaska and the Apricot Bakewell Tart- I decided on the Alaska -based on the fact that I had never tried it before and Charlotte chose the Raspberry & Chocolate Mousse, which arrived in a very clever rectangular block, housing raspberries within the mousse as well as on the plate, served with a raspberry sorbet. I was taken aback by the design and effort that went into the baked Alaska, which I know is a culinary skill on its own to bake ice-cream in the oven surrounded by all I can describe as a spiked hedgehog of meringue. My meringue hedgehog was then placed into the middle of a Prosecco moat finished with slices of fresh peach- unforgettable!
All in all I would say that my experience at Harts was one of the best restaurant experiences I have had in Nottingham, taking into consideration the excellent customer service, quality, tasty food and light, bright venue-they certainly have the full package and I will most definitely be visiting again soon.
Fiona Duncan, RSViP