This week’s venue- the excellent Tatums Bistro in Stamford - is something of a hidden gem; and therein lies the problem.
It is tucked away in a beautiful little courtyard on Ironmonger Street and despite an A-board and a sign over the alleyway, blink and you’ll miss it.... and you will also miss out.
Chef Gareth Thorpe opened the bistro in March, breathing new life into the former 18th century barn which has been home to a number of restaurant businesses.
The main ground floor restaurant area - a kind of garden room - opens out onto an enclosed and under cover outdoor dining space which is just made for this time of year.
I’d been meaning to try it since day one but it was only a social media comment that reminded me it was there. And later that day, so was I.
I received a warm welcome from the friendly staff and took a table with a view of the courtyard and lots of light.
The lunchtime set menu sounded good and was reasonably priced at £15 for two courses and £18 for three.
I fancied something light to start with and ordered the roasted beetroots, soft boiled egg, horseradish crème fraiche and watercress starter.
The beets were a real treat and the non-pickled one had a real smoky flavour. The crème fraiche had a kick and the egg was.... soft and boiled!
My head could have been turned by the crispy pork belly (with satay sauce, chilled noodle salad and chive fried egg) but the braised blade of beef was right up my street - a great meaty flavour and the decent sized slice just fell to pieces under inspection from my knife and fork. Delightful.
The garlic and rosemary roast potatoes were golden and crisp, with a soft centre, as they ought to be, and the greens were just right. For me, the caramelised onion puree could have been a little sweeter.
Lunchtime or not, I couldn’t resist dessert and made a great choice with the individually baked sticky toffee pudding, both stodgy and sticky, and the salted butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream perfect accompaniments.
Hidden or not, Tatums is a place that is certainly worth tracking down.
Brad Barnes has lunch at Tatums Bistro, Ironmonger Street, Stamford tel 01780 755105 www.tatumsbistro.co.uk