Award-winning restaurant the Tap and Kitchen in Oundle launched what it hopes will become a monthly themed Thursday Feast nights last week.
And the waterside restaurant and bar, last year’s Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards Restaurant of the Year, got off to a great start as dozens of diners - me included - got to sample a stunning “beef feast”.
The menu was created around an eight year old Beef Shorthorn cow, born into a local organic herd and who had munched lush Wigsthorpe grass for each of the last five summers.
The beef was hung for around five weeks, where it was allowed to develop a full, rich flavour.
The restaurant prides itself on unpretentious, honest dishes and this was exemplified in the starter on the night - beef mince on dripping toast. The mince had been slow cooked in a rich sauce, and had kept all the mouth-watering flavour, served on a crunchy Hambleton sourdough toast. Simple but delicious.
Next up, the salt beef sliders were a treat, with every bite offering up different taste sensations.
The slightly toasted Hambleton brioch came first, before the tastebuds were tickled by the home made pickles, the dill mustard and finally the salted silverside. Another winner.
The highlight of the night came in the form of five cuts of steak , all served medium rare - a rich pink but not bloody.
The fat and the marbling from the sirloin and the ribeye made them easily identifiable and I did like the popseye - a new one on me and not dissimilar to the rump and topside for that matter. A great way to enjoy steak, by the way.
Hasselback potatoes were a brilliant accompaniment in their own right, but with the flavour of chorizo oozing between the slices and topped with crème fraiche they were just incredible.
Side dishes came in the form of a leafy salad, spinach and wild mushrooms , which I did like, and parsnip gratin, which I never came across before, but just loved.
A rich dark chocolate delice, with salted caramel and a sweet damson coulis plus spotted dick and thick vanilla custard brought the occasion to a close, with quite a few heading home with “doggy bags” although I manfully cleared every plate.
Next up is a “Thanksgiving Feast” on November 24, celebrating the US tradition with Roast Norfolk Bronze Turkey at the heart of the menu.
For moredetails, go to www.tapandkitchen.com.