I first came across this week’s venue about two years ago and was impressed with the way the clearly talented chef had put his own personal stamp on some simple traditional pub classics befitting of a village pub.
It is fair to say, if you follow social media, that chef Gino and the family team that run the very welcoming Red Lion in West Deeping just to the north of the city, have continued to woo diners and earn some rave reviews.
I have seen lots of comments on his famous Sunday roast dinners, so with a break in the summer weather decided to see what all the fuss was about.
The Sunday menu is unfussy. Three starters to choose from then mains of beef, pork or chicken (there is a fish of the day and vegetarian option plus specials board).
Not something I have too often, I opted for the succulent smoked bacon, herb and garlic roasted Lincolnshire pork loin with homemade apple sauce (£10) , and what a treat.
The meat was indeed soft and tender with that great meaty taste you get from loin. Throw into the equation the smokiness of the bacon and the mixture of flavours from the garlic and herbs stuffed under the fat and it was something special.
And the icing on the cake, a bit of crackling too.
The apple sauce with a hint of mint had home-made written all over it, the roast potatoes (we agreed) were the best we had had for a long while - with that great combination of a crispy coating and soft, not too dry and fluffy inside.
It came with an enjoyable side serving of vegetables too – creamed leaks, parsnip mash and minted broad beans and peas.
Last but not least a giant Yorkshire pudding - soft but not mushy in parts, crispy on the top. Delicious.
The tender slow roasted topside British beef (£10) on the plate opposite looked great too, and wasn’t smothered in gravy. A nice hot horseradish sauce - again homemade didn’t do it any harm whatsoever.
Even our two year old Jasmine got in on the act with the children’s portion £5.95 proving great value too. A nice roasted chicken breast that sliced easily, loads of vegetables and giant Yorkshire pudding - her personal favourite.
We did find room for desserts which lived up to the standard set by the main course and also made up for the inevitable difficulties in presenting a roast dinner.
No complaints at all with the baked vanilla cheese cake, with a tasty little blueberry compote, or the honeycomb parfait - and both nicely presented.
The service was as good and friendly as we enjoyed on a previous visit and the bill even with a glass of wine and pint of the selection of local real ales, didn’t break the bank.
And there was even the opportunity for a game of Jenga and a play on the Magna Doodle afterwards with the children.
Venue: The Red Lion, 48 King Street, West Deeping, PE6 9HP
Tel: 01778 347190 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brad’s Rating: 8