The Larder is characterised by its emphasis on British-bought produce, from goat’s cheese purchased in Cropwell Bishop to bitter brewed in Nottingham. It may not stand with Nottingham’s fine dining restaurants like Hart’s or Restaurant Sat Bains but it certainly provides something that, every once in a while, the meagre student budget can stretch to. It may not be a birthday party destination and almost certainly doesn’t cater for every wallet, but its terrific set menus cost about the same as going to McDonald’s twice in one day, something I can shamefully say I’ve been guilty of.
I did notice that the ‘buy British’ policy made the menu rather selective and narrow but the dishes offered all looked delectable. I ordered the soup of the day which was a wonderful creamed broccoli with the just the right amount of Stilton to add that stronger flavour. My Porterhouse steak was succulent, tender and cooked to nigh on perfection. The wine menu offered a fantastically diverse range of Northern and Southern Hemisphere wines which are decently priced and thankfully rarely screw capped.
Service is rapid and rather charming and the restaurant setting is wonderful, with a more informal feel to it than several of Nottingham’s other leading restaurants. The location is rather questionable, as you can pay the bill and end up walking straight into Boom Room, but as the restaurant shuts quite early on week days this isn’t too much of a problem. I would recommend The Larder to anyone as it is a wonderfully rounded, fairly affordable dining experience. For more information and a peek at the menu be sure to check out the website: www.thelarderongoosegate.co.uk.
By Niall Michael Emmet Farmer