Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Milestone, Sheffield

A couple of years ago we decided to celebrate my birthday with a week off work and a few meals out.  On my list of places to try were Moran's, Marco's and The Milestone.  I wasn't fixated on the letter 'M', it's just that these were (and to a certain extent still are) considered to be some of the best restaurants in Sheffield.

Out of the three, for me, The Milestone came out tops.  It was back when they had the two separate menus and we had eaten from the formal three course set menu.  I remember being impressed by the amuse bouche and pre-dessert dessert, something that just didn't happen in Sheffield back then.  As for the meal, I can't remember exactly what I'd had but I had been impressed. 

Since that trip, a lot has happened for The Milestone.  Of course, there was the whole Ramsay thing which really increased this place's profile.  And just over a year ago, they took over the Wig & Pen.  Having a base in town allowed them to do away with the two separate menus at The Milestone (something that Ramsay was keen to see happen).  Now The Milestone is gastro-pub and the Wig & Pen is more formal dining.

Living in town, the Wig & Pen has become my favourite of the two, but last Saturday we fancied a trip back to The Milestone.

We sat at one of the big solid tables and I noted that there weren't any of those poky little tables dotted around.  You know the ones, they're too small for one, never mind about two, but you know for certain that you're gonna get ushered to one as soon as you walk into a place as a couple.

Looking at the menu, I'll admit to being disappointed by its length.  Four starters and three mains is not a lot to choose from.  Having said that, the pricing pleased; two courses for £16, three for £18. 

Soup of the day was spiced cauliflower and on remembering Gav's recent success with cauliflower in soup form at the Devonshire Arms, I went for it.  Unfortunately this one didn't live up to the Dev Arms take on the soup, but it was still tasty and nicely spiced.  Bread on the side was excellent and it was a good start to my lunch.

I was, however, disappointed that I hadn’t spotted the sautéed wild mushrooms with whipped truffled goats cheese on the menu.  Thankfully Gav had, so I did get to try some.  I'm loving mushrooms at the moment (thanks to Autumn Harvest Mushrooms who have introduced me to new varieties) and there was a good selection on his plate.  The whipped goats cheese was a pure delight.  Although light in texture, there was no skimping on flavour and the truffle worked beautifully with the cheese.

For mains there was a choice of beef, coley and a veggie dish.  Now, I don't want to shock you or cause concern, but I turned down the beef and went veggie. 

Yep, your 'vegetarians can't be foodies' carnivorous food blogger went veggie.  It was a bean casserole too; proper veggie. 

And guess what?!  It was bloody lovely.  For a start, it looked stunning.  The casserole itself was off white in colour but with chunks of beetroot, a few baby leeks and carrots strewn across the plate along with some kind of green puree (not sure what it was, but it was lovely), it was a very colourful dish.  White beans were used and the casserole was soft and creamy with Jerusalem artichokes adding some crunch.  It was brilliant and not even Gav's rare and bloody flank of beef could pull me away from it; from a carnivore that is fair praise indeed!

Gav also enjoyed his main.  As I say, the beef was rare, mash was tasty and he enjoyed his first sprouts of the year.  We also had a side of leeks in thyme butter which were nice enough, but I think I was feeling a little veged out by this point.

We were both full after our two courses and although I quite fancied the carrot cake with coriander icing, I turned it down and we paid the bill.

£44.50 for lunch including two Christmas cocktails wasn't bad and although there had been a couple of glitches with the service (delay in the drinks order and an incorrect bill, which was quickly rectified I will add) we'd had a really pleasant time and service had been with a smile.

It’s good to remember how good somewhere is sometimes.

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