Fantastic fine dining

Caviars of Bawtry for Guardian Gourmet (w111121-10)
Caviars of Bawtry for Guardian Gourmet (w111121-10)

I am often tempted by the array of eateries when I drive through Bawtry, but one of its real gems isn’t even visible from the main road.

Tucked down a side street is Caviars of Bawtry. And while the location may be slightly hidden, the imagination of the chef is evident from the interesting menu outside.

On a quiet Tuesday night we found we were the only people booked in. But despite it being just us, the restaurant was so cosy it didn’t matter.

We were taken to our table and given time to peruse the menus. It was quite difficult to come to a decision as everything sounded wonderful and well thought out.

After much deliberation I opted for the langoustine ravioli and crab tian for a starter (£8.95).

To follow that I couldn’t turn down the offer of two of my favourite things - seabass and lobster. Priced at £19.95 the dish sounded mouth watering - crisp sea bass fillet, with sauteed baby vegetables, new potatoes, tempura lobster, and chive beurre blanc.

My husband went for the confit lamb belly starter served with mint foam and micro salad priced at £6.95.

For main course he chose the oven baked cod fillet, served with braised fennel, lemon grass, cod cheek and fish crackling at £16.95.

Not sure what the portion sizes would be like and feeling quite hungry, we also went for a portion of chips at £2.95.

Once we had ordered we sat back and enjoyed our drinks - a glass of New Zealand sauvignon blanc and a pint of Moretti lager - while we waited for our food.

We were seated downstairs and as the kitchen is open to the room it wasn’t long before delicious smells started to waft our way.

When our starters arrived they were small but perfectly formed. Both dishes were beautifully presented like miniature works of art.

My ravioli was perfectly cooked and delicately flavoured. The crab tian was rich, creamy and delicious and it didn’t take me long to clean my plate.

The lamb belly starter was to die for. The lamb was rich and sticky and packed full of flavour. The mint foam packed a punch and was lovely and fresh to cut through the richness of the meat.

The starters were a tough act to follow, but the mains managed to be even better.

The two seabass fillets were perfectly cooked with crisp skin and melt in the mouth flesh. The sauteed vegetables and new potatoes were tender and tasty. The crowing glory of the lobster tempura was a decedent finishing touch.

I hadn’t noticed at the time as everything was so delicious, but the chive beurre blanc was absent from the dish. Maybe a good excuse to go back and try it again?

My husbands cod dish was again expertly cooked. The cod fillet was juicy and fish crackling a revelation. The chips were the best I have tasted.

After a breather and a glance at the dessert menu, we couldn’t resist given a couple of puds a try.

I was intrigued by the chocolate and praline pyramid with smoked vanilla ice cream and praline tuile, while my husband went for the cappuccino brulee with hazelnut and almond biscotti - both £6.25.

They were both amazing and the perfect way to round off one oft he best meals I have eaten in a long time.

The meal was made extra special by the fantastic hot and waiter. Attentive but not overbearing, he even had the time for a chat and was happy to offer advice.

Claire O’Neill