One of the best things about dining out at this time of year is that menus take on a new look to suit the season.
You will find lots of delicious, hearty slow cooked cuts of meat and fantastic local game dishes to delight the tastebuds.
So before the Christmas menu season kicks in, I caught up with chefs at a number of establishments I have visited and/or reviewed this year to get a flavour of what is being served up for their discerning diners.
Ben Poulton, head chef at the Six Bells at Witham-on-the-Hill, got the ball rolling.
“For me it would be braised shoulder of Lavinton lamb, confit garlic mash, seasonal vegetables and minted red wine sauce.
“It’s a favourite because I think people love comfort food at this time of year and a braised lamb shoulder with seasonal vegetables is both comforting and relevant to the winter season.”
Andrew Edwards-Smith, landlord at The Black Horse at Grimsthorpe, conjured up a wonderful fireside image as he suggested the pub’s 12 hour cooked feather blade of beef, button onions and mushrooms, served with mashed potato, pancetta and parsnip crisps.
“This is a signature dish to match what me, Jean, and chef Clive are all about,” he said. “It’s a good hearty meal in front of the log burner with a nice glass of Rioja.”
Andrew Corrick, chef patrton at the Cherry House, in Werrington looks for refined yet hearty dishes and richer flavours for his winter offerings.
“Hence why on the menu currently are cream of cauliflower soup served with cheesy sippets and a homemade game terrine served with a red onion and blueberry marmalade with toasted brioche.
“When it comes to main courses it is the likes of strips of British beef fillet served in a creamy whisky, horseradish and chive sauce and medallions of Grasmere Farm pork fillet, topped with an apricot and sage soufflé.
“And how about a dark chocolate and Amaretto mousse on a light chocolate sponge base drizzled with Amaretto liqueur and accompanied by a rich chocolate sauce and sticky toffee pudding with dates, served with a generous helping of hot butterscotch sauce for dessert?”
Will Frankgate, chef patron at The Blue Bell in Glinton said he was currently serving roast pigeon breast, beetroot, radicchio, rosti potato, hazelnuts and balsamic as a starter.
“It is fantastic produce and rich flavours – one of my favourites this time of year,” he said.
The team at the Red Lion in West Deeping put forward their Lincolnshire Farm sausages on mustard mash with gravy and sweet and sour peppers, describing it as the “perfect warming winter dish, especially with Gino’s twist of his own sweet and sour peppers to top it off. Pure comfort food.”
Dameon Clarke, chef patron at the newly reopened Wicked Witch at Ryhall’s suggestion was roast local pheasant, blackberries, chocolate gel, parsnip dauphinois and baby onions.
“I’ve put this on my winter menu because when you get a lovely pheasant, cooked perfectly, there is no better winter bird served with a sweet and savoury flavours.”