I recently visited a Michelin star restaurant in Mayfair for a vegetarian tasting menu and my experience of a taster menu with wine pairings was far more enjoyable…
The Wine Room in Nottingham’s brand new seven course taster menu, which comes with options wine pairings was super impressive and I’ll tell you why. As a vegetarian we sadly often get pushed to the bottom of the priority list when it comes to variety and options on menus. In the last thirty plus years of being a veggie, I have been lumbered with stuffed peppers, stuffed mushrooms and, yep you guessed it stuffed peppers, or if chefs really decide to push the boat out then perhaps a risotto or pasta dish of some kind- basically carb overload! These days chefs are becoming much more savvy with their vegetarian dishes, realising the importance of healthy, lighter options and as such are spending more time being creative with their dishes.
The chef at the Wine Room Nottingham clearly has an eye for details and cares that us veggies get our monies worth just like our meat-eating friends and this is why I was so very impressed with the tasting menu here. Each and every dish was a feast for the eyes (and we eat with our eyes after all), fresh, locally produced ingredients and a pleasure to eat.
Tyler our waiter also enhanced our experience by being so very lovely – taking the time to explain each dish and each pairing as well as have little chats in-between- his passion for food and wine clearly showed.
Upon arrival we were greeted with a Mojito Fizz (Mojito topped with Champagne)- a great start! Warm Focaccia bread and oils then arrived to warm us up, followed by our first course Leek and Potato Volute with a cauliflower espuma, sourdough crouton and chives – Paired with Seaward Chenin Blanc. This was an extremely tasty soup dish appropriately served in a wine glass with one of my favourite white wines to accompany.
Next course Fresh Herb Pasta Tortellini filled with carrot and fennel served with sauteed baby gem lettuce and a carrot butter sauce – Paired with Coastal Chablis. A favourite of all of the courses, this large tortellini played centre stage on the plate and was filled with a whole manor of flavours, paired perfectly with the Chablis.
Next up was the prettiest of the courses, Heritage Tomato with a basil mayonnaise, crème fraiche, sourdough croutons and spring herbs with a split tomato and basil sauce – Paired with Mirabeau Azure. The flavours in this dish were enough to make all senses stand on end, fresh, exciting and left me wanting more (so I finished my dining partners too).
Course four was the equivalent of the main course – Wild Mushroom Vol-au-Vent with potato gratin, confit onion and a sherry sauce – Paired with Angelo Veglio Barolo a slightly heavier dish served with a light red and again flavoursome and delicious.
I am not a drinker of red wine usually but actually enjoyed this one surprisingly for me.
The palette cleanser came next in the form of Gin Sorbet, Elderflower Foam and Lemon served with shortbread- Paired with – This one is a surprise!
Extremely tangy with the addition of sweetness from the shortbread to balance and the surprise drink was a cocktail made by the general manager containing mango, lemon and gin in a two-tone effect- very easy on the eye.
We were then spoilt with two dessert courses starting with White Chocolate and Strawberry Parfait with a strawberry and basil sauce – Paired with Maury Grenat – strangely I don’t have too much of a sweet tooth, so whilst I appreciated this dish for what it was, I let my dining partner finish it and went on to the grand finale – Poached Rhubarb with a rhubarb meringue, caramel and vanilla custard
Paired with Eclat Semillon – a dish much more to my taste given the tartness of the poached rhubarb, balanced out with the sweetness of the caramel and custard, this dish was a delight, its just a shame my waste band had expanded to the point where I had to admit defeat and so my dining partner gladly obliged of the remnants- though nothing went to waste this with menu whatsoever. The courses were not too large making it manageable from start to finish for those who appreciate food in all its forms.
The tasting menu at The Wine Room City is well thought out and impressively creative, in- particular for vegetarians. Each pairing matched perfectly and I enjoyed every single one and so overall a fantastic experience of delicious, attractive food in a pleasant environment.
I wouldn’t hesitate to return and recommend for foodies or special occasions.
The Sleepy Vegetarian