Being a foodie is sometimes a bad thing, when you are torn between which restaurant to choose from for date night.
After trawling the internet for a list of THE places to go, I land on the website of No. 4 Wood St. It’s in Mansfield and ran by Chef Patron David Robbins who took over the old malting building in August 2012.
The building itself has two floors. A Laurent Perrier Champagne Room on the ground floor which allows 12 seated guests in a private dining area and the main dining room which seats 44 on the first floor accompanied with a lounge bar area serving a wide variety of tipples.
After looking through the mouthwatering gallery I booked us in. 7:30pm on Saturday 29th August, table for 2 for the 5 course tasting menu with prosecco (of course!).
It seemed like a lifetime away since I booked it, however last night it had finally arrived.
The restaurant was a 40 minute drive away which only heightened my excitement. Upon arrival, my first impressions were good. It’s not pretentious in the slightest and the large white door invites you inside. Laden with expensive champagne and spirit bottles, the decor really sets the scene and makes you feel like your in for a treat. The stairs hold perfectly placed Art Deco pictures which lead you up to a beautiful large wooden bar in which the theme remains. Bottles everywhere of the finest vodka, brandy, cognac… You name it. Welcomed with a smile and a comfy seat whilst our table is set, to the right of me a stunning stained glass window, to the left an open doorway teasing me with the noise of cutlery clattering across the plates and the sounds of admiration from the guests. We were handed our menu along with our drinks we ordered, I can highly recommend the Pomegranate & Elderflower Refresher, very crisp and flavoursome. After reading what was awaiting us over the next couple of hours I felt very intrigued. The menu was informative yet vague which only sparked my interest more and I couldn’t wait any longer to get started.
- Tomato Textures
- Gin Cures Mackerel
- Lamb Rump, Fondant Potato, Green Beans
- Apricot & Pistachio
- Coffee or Tea with Petit Fours
We were shown to our table which was wooden, large and very beautiful, laid out with 3 sets of cutlery and a slate with 4 miniature bread rolls and butter sitting upon it. The atmosphere felt very intimate and almost romantic without it feeling awkward under the dimmed lights and candles surrounded by the other guests. After creating an appetite and a yearning for the first course once we’d eaten the bread rolls, we were served with our ‘starter’.
1. Tomato Textures A stunning plate including fresh and roast tomato, a relish and tomato sorbet. Now, for saying my partner doesn’t like tomatoes, his plate was empty in minutes. Every mouthful was different and the sorbet, even though tomato flavoured, is probably the best I’d ever had. It was so smooth and the taste was just right.
Talk turned to tomatoes until our second course was delivered.
2. Gin Cured Mackerel A well presented dish holding a beautiful piece of mackerel with shimmering scales, salted cucumber and a lemon crisp. I must admit, I was a little uneasy about this course at first as I’m not really a fish fan but I got stuck in and was blown away. My expectation superseded by the flavours combined creating a cocktail of sweet, sour and salty all at once. The fish wasn’t overpowering either which allows you to taste each of the individual aspects in all it’s glory. As for the gin, I’m not sure where that went, my presumption is that it helped to mask the strong smell you usually recieve with mackerel.
Not too long afterwards we were presented with the third and most eagerly anticipated course.
3. Lamb Rump, Fondant Potato, Green Beans
Can we just take a moment to enjoy the sheer beauty of this plate. Three slithers of perfectly pink lamb rump on a bed of buttered green beans and two extremely inviting fondant potatoes with an artichoke foam. I was delighted I’d gotten foam on at least one of the courses so I was beaming as soon as I’d clocked it coming across from the pass. Fondant potatoes are incredible but only if they are cooked right, thankfully they were. The lamb, succulent and melted in the mouth. The green beans slightly al dente, just the way I like them. The foam, although not much of it certainly packed a punch and the flavour complemented the dish very well considering I find artichoke quite a bland vegetable usually.
Feeling somewhat satisfied and a little bit fuller we were served with the dessert course.
Another beautifully presented dish home to a pistachio cake, apricot sorbet and brandy soaked cherries. Apricot is a fruit I’d never normally go for so this was a pleasant surprise. There was a similarity within his dish to that of the tomato textures which numerous versions of apricot both hot and cold. The crisp of the crumble added a further texture and went hand in hand with the smooth sorbet. This chef knows how to make a good sorbet I’m telling you! The pistachio cake was light and had a good crunch to the outside. It provided a sweetness to the bitter cherries which worked really well after I’d eaten one on its own.
Turns out I quite like apricots now.
On to the fifth and final course of the evening.
We were given a choice of several different teas and coffees, I chose Continental described as ‘dark and rich with a hazelnut and chocolate flavour‘ and Mr C opted for Colombian as recommended by the waitress described as having ‘hazelnut undertones‘. Once they were served, the scent of the coffee filled the air and I couldn’t get enough. Accompanied with Coconut Coated White Chocolate Truffles and Dark Chocolate Cognac Flavoured Truffles giving us an intense yet sweet chocolate fix, a perfect end to a wonderful evening.
Visiting the restaurant was well worth the journey and the price. They do offer a wine flight, however, it would be wasted as I’m not a wine person. If you want good food, a good atmosphere and a good time this is he place to go.
What are you waiting for? Get booking in. They have offers running throughout September, check out the website here – No. 4 Wood St.
Be sure to follow them on Twitter too for fantastic foodie pics and updates – @4woodst
* This meal was paid for by myself, there was no knowledge by No. 4 Wood St. that I would be reviewing the restaurant or the food. I recieved no additional benefits or compensation for this post. The views expressed are my own honest opinion.