Ego at The Dorset Arms, Great Food in the Suburbs | food

West Bridgford on the outskirts of Nottingham has fast become a destination for food & drink & Ego was not going to miss out. After visiting the Ego Restaurant in Sheffield, I was really looking forward to trying out the latest location, as the varied menu and great atmosphere experienced on my first visit definitely made me an instant fan. Plus as a HUGE flavour fan, Ego's Mediterranean influence definitely appeals.

The new restaurant, is located just outside of the main West Bridgford area on it's own plot, perfectly connected to Nottingham City Centre but with lots of free parking for those coming from a little further afield. The site is also unique as previously a pub, the Ego takeover, although having completely revamped the building, keeps a little of it's past with it's name 'Ego at The Dorset Arms'. To find exactly where the restaurant is, look at the menu or for more information, check out the Ego West Bridgford page here.

So, how was my first experience?

On getting there my date for the night was running late & all of the team couldn't have been more friendly. Whenever they could they were coming over for a chat, to check how I was and of course keep the wine flowing as well as some obligatory olives to keep me going. It was a Friday night, so even for a new location the restaurant and bar areas were both quite busy as the evening went on, but even when my friend arrived, they did not rush us. The menu is really quite extensive which can sometimes be a little overwhelming, but once we had got it down to a few choices, the waiter was really happy to give recommendations and help out. This was a common theme throughout the visit.

For starter I went for Grilled Goat's Cheese & my friend chose the Chorizo Frito al Vino. I will say, I think she won this round as the Chorizo, was really rich and tasty, but mine was still pretty good. On to mains, this was a tough one, because out of the whole delicious menu, we wanted the same thing, the Lemon Chicken Milanese. It's one of my favourite ever dishes and I haven't seen it on many menus in England so that was a huge bonus. However, in the interest of not being boring, I took this as my opportunity to sample one of the day's specials and went for the steak. I would say we probably were equal on this round as both were so, so good. The Milanese definitely packed in more flavour because of it's nature, but the steak was perfectly cooked (I like mine rare) and the mushrooms & onion accompaniments lightly complimented it well.

We weren't going to, but we had to finish off with desserts after being reassured they were too good to miss. For the final course I went for the Eton Mess & my friend chose the Salted Caramel & Milk Chocolate Tart. My Eton Mess was HUGE, I love the was it came in a cocktail like glass, taking a traditional dessert and making it a little bit different. There was 100% more than enough for two to share and it was really good, with plenty of cream. The Chocolate Tart could be shared, but I'd say savour all of it to yourself because each bite it a treat!

Before the night was over, we had the chance to chat to one of the guys that works in the bar and develops cocktails with his team. They have a great system when each week, they have a special developed by one team member, so over time they all have the opportunity to add their own flavour & even once they disappear as the weekly special, they can be requested if it's your favourite & the team member will remember how to make it. This week's was 'Mum's the Word' for Mother's Day and we were tasked with picking out the elements, we failed but it tasted incredible, so ask for that when you visit.

Have you been to an Ego Restaurant before? What is your favourite kind of food?

Love,

Mel

xx

 

 

Celebrating St Patrick's Day with Rev De Cuba | food

Although St Patrick's Day is all about Guinness & Ireland, I'm more of a cocktails and 'Island' kind of girl, so this 17th March, myself & Becca of RebeccaJayne headed to RevDeCuba in Nottingham for some great Cuban food & delicious cocktails.

If you're looking for 'instagrammable' then before we even get to the food or cocktails, this is your spot. No matter when I have visited RevDeCuba, day or night it has a great vibe that makes you just want to sit back, relax & enjoy yourself. I definitely already have my favourites from RevDeCuba, but was excited to try out some new additions to their recently released 'Cantina' menu.

You can't go to RevDeCuba without sampling the cocktails, so while we browsed the menu, we picked out our favourites & of course added more than necessary amounts of snaps of them to out Instagram stories.

We decided, 'go hard or go home' so started with the three tapas option, choosing the Nachos del Sol, Pork Belly Skewers and the Honey & Lime Chicken Skewers. Let's be real, you can't go wrong with Nachos, but these were delicious, served with your favourite toppings & a little RevDeCuba kick, the Honey & Lime Chicken was my favourite, perfectly crisp yet juicy packed with great flavour & although Pork Belly isn't my thing, Bex loved them.

Next up, we went for two main dishes, I picked my all time favourite meal, a Chimichanga while Bex when with the Shredded Pork Burrito Bowl. Fair warning, go hungry to this place! They are not shy about portion size and even less shy about amazing flavour which will make you want to keep going back for more. The lime & soy rice served with my Chimi was also a secret weapon, now all other rice will feel inferior. They were also great about modifying dishes for allergies or likes/dislikes. Just incase we hadn't indulged enough, we also opted for the Halloumi Fries to share, best decision ever.

We couldn't completely say no to dessert, so for one course we decided to be sensible & share the coconut ice cream, my all time favourite ice cream flavour! You can also cheat the 'no dessert' system too with a hot drink, as each is served with a little piece of the RevDeCuba brownie. About 4 hours later (we took our time they didn't) we were fat & happy. The perfect way to spend a Friday!

If you love good drinks, great food & a lovely atmosphere, don't be put off that this is a chain, check it out!

What is your favourite type of food? Have you been to RevDeCuba before?

Love,

Mel

xx

An English Pastime, The Queen's Head, Belton | food

A classic part of British culture, especially in the winter is heading out (or staying in) for a deliciously warming 'Sunday Roast'. I remember Katy Perry once saying she loved England all the more for having dedicated foods for dedicated days and I have to say, it is a pretty great tradition. So this Sunday when I was invited to enjoy just that at The Queen's Head in Belton, I wasn't going to miss the chance.

The Queen's Head, offer much of the traditional features you would look for in a cosy, country pub. A quaint village setting, perfect for an after dinner walk, a cute terraced area for the warmer months & a fireplace with comfortable sofas for the colder months. The restaurant side of the pub, is decorated in a modern, warm style with chunky oak furniture and leather chairs with candles setting the tone of each table.

As we went on a Sunday, we chose from the Sunday Lunch menu which offers a fair choice of starters, mains & desserts, especially as this can sometimes be more restricted. I went for the Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Cheese Toastie to start & a traditional Roast Beef Dinner. The soup was delicious & the cream definitely took away any bitterness from the cauliflower perfectly. The cheese toastie, as an alternative to the usual rustic bread was a nice touch & would make this perfectly filling as a main to be honest, definitely not a healthy option, but we all love cheese!  The roast was served with a fluffy yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and a selection of seasonal root vegetables. We weren't asked how we would like our meat cooked, which I know is different place to place, but this is something I definitely appreciate. The yorkshire pudding & vegetables, were cooked really well and tasted great. The meat was tender, but made to taste a little 'gamey' with the gravy and the potatoes were also a little overdone for my style, but definitely still enjoyable as a standard roast.

Service was really quick and they staff were more than willing to help you with anything you asked for, however I will say you can tell this is maybe a new part of the pub as the focus was still definitely in the bar area, in between serving.

Overall I would say the experience was 3/5, but if you're in the area & looking for a roast, give it a go yourself!

What is your favourite Sunday food?

Love,

Mel

xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STACK at The Mirage, Steak & Cocktails | food

First of all, lets acknowledge a picture says a thousand words & for some reason, the one time in my life I've done it, I visited this amazing spot sans my camera, I'm going to put that one down to post Coachella exhaustion, but for that reason, the one iPhone photo I go will have to do, plus you'll just have to take my word for it! 

Sometimes all you need is a great steak. Especially after a 4 day festival & a 5 hour drive across the country & this is what bought us to STACK. On arrival at The Mirage, following above said drive, we wanted to use our last bit of energy to fully embrace Vegas & the great thing about this town, is you feel like you can do that all from the comfort of your own hotel. I called down to the concierge, as with lots of great new restaurants on offer, I wanted a second opinion on where was best to go. They were amazingly helpful, made us a reservation & within an hour we were seated.

STACK, describes itself as an 'American contemporary dining in a sleek hardwood setting which is what sets STACK apart from the rest'. Honestly I think this sells it pretty short *pun intended. It is a large, luxury, contemporary restaurant, with a jazz wine bar atmosphere, tucked away in the corner of the buzzing casino of The Mirage. It offer large social dining in the form of booths, or intimate romantic options over softly lift tables. The waiters are knowledgable, willing to help & like most great American restaurants, happy to provide thing to your speck.

The food. We all when for the 14oz Brooklyn Filet & shared some signature sides of, whipped potatoes, grilled asparagus & garlic tender stem broccoli. It, was, delicious! I know that's not the most hopeful, but that needs to be a clear message from the off. I have my steak rare, & this was the perfect combination of soft, juicy & flavourful on the inside while perfectly charred on the outside adding some bite. The potatoes were smooth without losing structure, the broccoli which, probably was covered in enough garlic oil to negate their 'healthy' status was the most mouthwatering I've ever eaten & the asparagus was equally good.

You do pair a fair ticket price for the pleasure of this experience, but it is honestly rare I walk away from a meal these days feeling like it was a real treat & the food was memorable. STACK did offer this. Embarrassed to admit we didn't take this beautiful steak down with a full bodied red, we actually sampled some of the cocktails, but when in Rome right? We chose the 'Berrylicious' & 'Liquid Passion' options, but to be honest these, while great were probably less of STACK's strong point that the food.

The reason I question whether this is the best steak on the strip, is because I have in no way been able to sample enough to make that call, but I do struggle to think you would get better. I know The Mirage offers another steak house, with a higher plate price, which makes me think, while this is in no way a cheaper option, it probably is great value, so if you're looking for the quality, but for around $100 per head, not over STACK is your go to.

Where is the best steak restaurant you have ever been to?

Love,

Mel

xx

The Venice Whaler, Venice Beach | food

Following a cycle or walk along the ocean front walk or even a day lazing on the beach in Venice, especially in the gorgeous California sunshine, you're going to be looking for a place to refuel. Right on the edge of Venice Beach, technically on the Marina Del Rey side of Washington Boulevard is The Venice Whaler, a low key, but buzzing sun trap, perfect to refresh after exploring, or even cool off after a day in the sun.

We found The Venice Whaler on a day out cycling from Santa Monica, as it appeared like a mirage in the blazing sun. I has seen it on previous trips around Venice & it always had people flowing out on the street it was so busy & on a street full of great bars & restaurants this is a pretty great sign. Although it was mid week, we visited on 4/20 practically a national holiday in this part of the world, so it was still pretty packed with people eating & drinking on all floors.

We managed to bag a prime spot on the balcony upstairs* the spot I would definitely recommend for day time/causal visits or Cali newbies for that view & were greeted by friendly servers straight away despite the craziness of having two floors & a balcony buzzing full of people on a scorching day. We just got some drinks to admire the views & cool off for a while, but couldn't resist the lure of the crispy sweet potato fries for long & had to order a few portions, with a gallon of ranch obviously* just bought on a HUGE craving right there.

Although on this say we only sample the sweet potato fries, we has plenty of opportunity to eye up everyone else food. The menu offers anything from salads & sandwiches to fresh seafood & all of it smelt & looked amazing. I also think you can tell a lot about a place by the sweet potato fries & let me tell you they were huge portions & the perfect combination of crispy & fluffy.

Thank you for looking after us & being the perfect spot for our day in Venice, Venice Whaler & I'm excited to come back & sample some proper treats from the menu soon!

What would be your ideal beachfront spot?

Love,

Mel

xx