Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Work's Christmas "Do" at Alea, Nottingham

Last Wednesday was my work Christmas party. We had a good night but I think with it being a Weds everyone was very conscious that there was another 2 days of work to go.

We went to alea last year and unfortunately they didn't manage to live up to the standards they'd set themselves. It was still decent mass catering food, though, and a reasonable party.

The main problem was that it took 2.25 hours to serve a pre-ordered 3 course meal, as we did not start til 8pm this meant we were not on the dance floor until 10.15. The DJ insisted on playing chill out and reggae tracks for half an hour leaving only a teeny smidge of time to have a cheesy xmas boogie before getting ourselves home by midnight (for fear of becoming pumpkins!).

Next year I vote for Thursday party - then you only have to struggle through Friday!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Top 3 French Restaurants - Bistro Pierre Christmas Early Bird

It's getting to that difficult time of year for the regular diner....Christmas party season. It goes from being quite easy to get a table in pretty much every restaurant (except, perhaps, those with excellent voucher deals) to being a right pain. Armed with this knowledge I booked another of the French 'Top 3' for this week's dinner selection.

Bistro Pierre. Always popular, and generally quite busy. Even booking ahead I had to go for an earlier than usual slot. When we arrived there was even a sign on the door saying they were booked up until 8.45.

We had the Christmas Early Bird set menu. The table was set out nicely, with Christmas serviettes and golden crackers! 

The 2 course menu can either be starter and main or main and pud. We had a mix of both. My friend had a salmon starter and steak and I had a salmon main and a chocolate brownie pud.

The salmon starter on a blini was very substantial, and the blini one of the largest we've ever seen. Steak was as expected, and accompanied by many chips! My salmon main was a decent sized piece of salmon accompanied by potato gratin, broccoli and red cabbage. The serving size was substantial and I didn't manage to eat all my veg. There's my 5 a day down the drain!

My chocolate brownie pudding was suitably rich and squidgy, but any potential for being overly sticky was tempered by the accompanying caramel ice cream.

Service was efficient and friendly, it didn't feel rushed even though they were clearly very full.

It was also obviously Christmas in the Slug & Lettuce at the the Cornerhouse, although the parties there were actually wearing their paper cracker hats - which I only managed for 5 minutes in Bistro Pierre (it's all a bit too classy for a silly paper hat :-)).

PS just in case you were wondering, the cracker joke was rubbish, but my prize was a rather lovely spinning top!

Next week....the work's Christmas do. I'm in the mood for dancin'

The rating:
Busy, sparkly, friendly and tasty! Great for any time of the year but particularly attractive with the Christmas decorations. Book in though, to avoid disappointment. Recommended for cosy dinners for two as well as small-medium groups, definitely chic.

The summary:

Food: modern French.
Price: Set dinner for 2 courses £14.
Atmosphere: Great for Christmas, sparkly lights, cosy atmosphere and friendly staff.


Bistro Pierre
13-17 Milton Street
Nottingham NG1 3EN

Telephone: 0115 941 2850


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Any requests???

I have now had the blog for a little while, but you're obviously all shy! 
No-one has commented on any of the posts so far and I just wondered if any of you had any requests? 
Do you want to see more pictures?
Are there any restaurant styles you'd like to see visited?
Have you got a favourite Nottingham restaurant that I can experience?

Hope to hear from you soon!

A touch of the Orient in Tollerton

Eschewing the usual suspects for a Saturday evening out we (that's the other half, his mate and me) decided to go to Charde Oriental in Tollerton.

The usual Tollerton trip out is to Miah's (curry based loveliness) at Tollerton airport. As variety is the spice of life we thought we'd try Charde. It's on the main A606 Melton Road so I'd driven past it many times, just never visited.

We hadn't booked and were kept waiting a fair while in the bar before being shown to a table (the restaurant wasn't full, but it looked like they were concentrating diners into one section - so this may have been the cause of the delay). The restaurant is quite large so couples may be seated in a separate area of the place - our group area was bustly and quite full.

There was no choice in the menu as the Christmas all you can eat buffet menu was being served. This consisted of mixed starters (ribs, prawn toast, prawn crackers, spring rolls, satay chicken sticks and crispy seaweed). All were delicious!

After the starters we were served the crispy duck course. We had to sit and wait quite some time for the duck to arrive so it gave us time to look round at the scenery. The restaurant is decorated nicely and the tables are positioned to give a cosy, homely feel. It doesn't have the modern, crisp, polished look that you get at Miah's (my only local comparator). The wait for the duck at least meant that we had time to digest the starter selection!

The crispy duck was, as expected, good. There were plenty of pancakes to use for the duck - I hate it when you run out!

Mains came after the duck and we'd ordered the recommended number from the menu (I think 3 or 4 dishes). Disappointingly several of the dishes looked as though they had the same sauce, even thought they tasted slightly different. The lemon chicken was nice, but a bit plain. All mains were supported by rice.

There were puddings on offer as part of the deal but we were by this time absolutely stuffed full! We therefore did not have pudding, however (and this was a nice touch) plates of palate cleansing and refreshing melon were brought to us.

The rating:
All in all a convivial evening with lots of food, I could have quite easily just had the starters and duck! Service was not fast, but the gaps gave digestion time. Overall I'd give this a mid rating, good for groups if you're in no rush.

The summary:
Food: Masses of food, choose your main courses carefully to get a sufficient variety.
Price: Set dinner for 4 courses, £17. Including drinks & tip £25 a head.
Atmosphere: Groups and parties make for a lively atmosphere, not so good for cosy couples.

Address:     97 Melton Road, Tollerton, Nottingham, NG12 4EN
Telephone: (0115) 9372097