Head chef Alex Fretwell has been busy developing an impressive eight-course tasting menu for Darcy’s at Sheffield’s Best Western Plus Mosborough Hall Hotel that launched last month.
From start to finish, the tasting menu is an absolute delight, packed full of scrumptious and memorable dishes that use high-quality and locally-sourced ingredients, some of which have been picked fresh from the hotel’s grounds.
As he explained throughout the meal, Alex has drawn upon his experiences with food growing up, some of which reflect his Grandmother’s palette, to create traditional dishes with an innovative twist.
The eight-course tasting menu starts at £45 per person and includes an impressive combination of the chef’s selections designed to complement one another perfectly.
Within that menu, guests will enjoy Smoked Chicken Roulade, Caesar, Parmesan or Roast Red Pepper Toast, Goats Cheese Curd, Truffle, Yoghurt Sour Dough with Smoked Beef Butter or Yorkshire Blue Cheese Butter. A starter of Glazed Goats cheese, Pickled Beets, Shallot Puree, Crisps, followed by Mallard Duck, Dripping Potato, Carrot, Kale, Maple Jus or Textures of Wild mushroom Risotto, Parmesan, Truffle Oil. Diners move on to a pre dessert and dessert course, followed by a selection of local cheeses, then tea or coffee with macaroons to conclude. Wine pairing is available at a price of just £15 per person.
Darcy’s elegant dining room, with its tasteful table linens and prints of Sheffield stars dotted about the room, make it a very inviting place to dine.
When we arrived on a sunny Thursday evening, we are quickly shown to our table by a friendly waitress; ready to begin our tasting voyage.
The amuse bouche of Roast Red Pepper Toast, Goats Cheese Curd made for two mouthfuls of a taste explosion. The lactic tanginess of the Goats Cheese was perfectly paired with the smooth, flavoursome taste of the Red Pepper.
My dining companion, who opted for the meat version – Smoked Chicken Caesar Roulade, found it to be a rich, smoky and salty mouthful, comprising light-textured chicken -with lettuce shreds wrapped in prosciutto and topped with parmesan strands.
This served with an elderflower cocktail comprised of Mosborough gin and elderflower fresh from the house, which was refreshing and the perfect aperitif to begin the meal with.
The bread course was a robust and delicious yoghurt sourdough, lightly toasted. Mine came with a divine Yorkshire Blue Cheese Butter that packed a punch, but was also wonderfully light.
Meanwhile, my dining companion’s came with a salted butter-beef-and-Henderson's spread that he described as the fine dining chef's take on Bovril on toast! Delicious.
From there we were furnished with a starter of Glazed Goats cheese, Pickled Beets, Shallot Puree, Crisps. The Beets were pickled with fennel from the kitchen’s garden, and helped to elevate an already tasty dish.
My next course of Wild mushroom Risotto, with Parmesan and Truffle Oil featured a trio of mushrooms and I found it to be a symphony of flavours, paired perfectly with the selected wine of a Red Zinfandel.
My dining companion’s main was a Mallard Duck with Dripping Potato, Carrot, Kale and a Maple Jus and believed it perfectly showcased the chef’s culinary chops. He said the duck was perfectly cooked, tender with a huge depth of flavour topped with a strip of crisply-seared skin.
We were then treated to a mouth-wateringly tasty “pre-dessert” of Italian Meringue with a Lemon and Lime Tart and the slightest hint of raspberry, followed by a dessert of Natural Yoghurt Ice Cream with Homemade Popcorn and a Sticky Toffee Pudding with a Date Sponge.
Both sweet courses were delicious but the pre dessert was truly exceptional, and was one of the highlights of the meal for me.
Our dining experience concluded with a selection of delectable local cheeses, that were the perfect accompaniment to an enjoyable meal.
Overall, I was really impressed with Darcy’s Tasting Menu. Each course was a well-presented culinary treat that managed to balance good value, sizeable portions with the flare and finesse of fine dining.
The meal was complimentary, and costs £45 per person, or £60 with wine pairing.