As the weather turns colder and days become shorter I was in need of some good old-fashioned comfort food over this last weekend.
Having spotted The Moorings in Newark a few weeks ago I decided to book a table for Sunday lunchtime to give it the proper Food Monster once over.
The restaurant and bar are situated in a historic coaching inn overlooking the River Trent.
The owners have done a good job of retaining the building's charm while integrating some nice modern fixtures and fittings.
Plush seating, bright décor and chandeliers give the impression you are somewhere a little bit more special than a usual pub.
The dining area allowed for roughly six tables of diners, cosy, but not sitting on top of one another.
Contact details and location map for The Moorings in Castlegate, Newark...
We were seated and handed the menu, which was a nice combination of usual Sunday lunch fare plus extra options such as salads, ciabattas, fish of the day and burgers.
My dining partner immediately opted for the pork terrine to start. This course arrived on a slate slab delicately arranged with soft boiled quails' eggs and tomato chutney.
The terrine was incredibly tasty, comprising pork, chorizo and black pudding. With just the right amount of seasoning this was certainly the pick of the starters.
I went for the toasted mushrooms cooked in white wine, garlic and cream.
Creamy and smooth, this dish was a delight with a plentiful amount of mushrooms poured over a ciabatta slice. I thought it was delicious, although others may find the sauce just that little bit too rich. Slightly less sauce or more ciabatta to soak it up would be a good modification.
I couldn't really detect the parmesan finish, but as the other flavours were so prominent this was not really missed.
As it was a grey day we decided to splash out on a nice bottle of Cotes du Rhone as an accompaniment to the meal.
Its rich, velvety notes sat alongside the meat courses perfectly.
Having seen fellow diners tuck into towering plates of Yorkshire pudding-topped meat and vegetables, we both couldn't resist the roast dinner.
So one lamb and one beef ordered, we sat back to enjoy the river views. On a warmer day there is plenty of outside seating but the ominous looking clouds had ensured everyone remained indoors on this occasion.
A short time later we were brought our mains. Both the lamb and the beef were succulent cuts, accompanied by homemade, fluffy Yorkshire puddings and crispy coated roast potatoes.
Add in the stuffing balls, caramelised roasted carrots and parsnips, cabbage and thick, meaty gravy and this was a near perfect Sunday lunch.
The only tiny gripe was that the cabbage had been cooked for that little bit too long, losing its crunchy texture.
However, this was only a small component and I would readily head back to The Moorings in order to sample this menu again.
The ciabatta roast meat sandwiches with roast potatoes and large bowls of salad ordered by other diners had also caught my eye.
Despite being extremely full I simply had to order a dessert. And so a key lime pie was brought to the table. Another well presented dish, the pie was extremely creamy and the chocolate chunk scoop of ice cream complemented it well.
It was a pleasant way to round off an enjoyable meal.
The Moorings has a number of offers including Friday night steak night and Wednesday curry night.
THE FOOD: Pork Terrine £6.95; Toasted mushrooms £4.50; Roast lamb £8.95; Roast beef £8.95; Bottle of Cotes du Rhone £17.95; Key lime pie £4.95
FINAL VERDICT: Cosy atmosphere with lovely views. An excellent standard of food, well presented with plenty of delicious, homemade options.
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