Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Old House, Sheffield

Over the past year or so, The Old House has become a real favourite of mine. Firstly, the bar is handily located  on Devonshire Street and close to my flat. But I also like the interesting cocktail list and the fact that there's always a good selection of local ales on the bar. More importantly, I've had a run of good meals here. And all this makes The Old House a good option for drinks or dinner - it's now included on my 'to do' list on most of my nights out.

Table service comes as standard here, but traditionalists can bypass this and head to the bar for a nosey at the beers. There's also plenty of standing space and a couple of sofas, as well as ample dining tables, so you can just nip in for a quick pint whilst propping up the bar.

With seasonal menus, the food changes regularly enough to hold my interest, but each menu will hang around long enough for me to try some of the most appealing dishes. Having said that, I do regret not getting round to trying the Barnsley Chop, the Confit Duck Salad and the Beetroot & Puy Lentil Bourguignon from the last menu, especially as the dishes I have tried over the past couple of months have been so good...

The starter of Katy’s White Lavender Ewe’s Milk Cheese, Sorrel, Grapes, Toasted Almonds & Honey Dressing (£4.95) was one of the most beautiful starters I have had in a pub and I loved the delicate lavender flavour with the honey. I also managed to try the Harrisa Marinated Lamb's Kidneys (£4.25) which were delicious and I really like how The Old House try to include a little offal in the menu. Generally found in the starter section, it allows people to have a go at offal without committing more than a fiver.

Of the mains, my favourite must have been Pan Roasted Pork Loin, Cauliflower & Vanilla Purée, Pig’s Cheek Bon Bons, Pickled Girolles & Crushed Garden Peas (£11.50). Not only was this a very appealing dish visually, it was well executed and I don't think it would look out of place in some of my favourite restaurants. And I think this is good going for pub grub, especially at £11.50 a pop. Grilled Plaice Fillet With Samphire, Squid Ink Rice & a Tomato & Red Pepper Salsa (£9.25) was another enjoyable dish.

Pie lovers will be pleased to know that The Old House has daily specials (expect around 4/5 varieties of pie each day - £7.95) and that they are on offer on a Friday (£5 for pie and peas). Most important of all is the fact that these pies are 'proper' pies. With sides, lids and bottoms these will please the most discerning of pie connoisseur.

Personally I'm looking forward to trying out the new menu and mains of Braised Lamb Heart Bourguignon with Roasted Butternut Squash and Lemon Scented Broccoli (£8.95), Globe Artichoke Tart Topped with a Light Cheese Sauce and served with Mustard Greens (£7.95) and Confit Belly Pork with Mustard Mash, Braised Fennel, Crackling, Pickled Walnut and Cider Gravy (£9.95) particularly appeal. Once again there's a few interesting starters too and herring, crab and pig's cheek have immediately caught my eye...

I think we're quite lucky to have places like The Old House in Sheffield. The food is good, but also affordable; it's great that pub grub is no longer limited to gammon and chips. And, as well as The Old House, I really do recommend that you try The Wick at Both Ends and The Rutland Arms as they are also punching above their weight in my opinion.

Thanks to head chef Darren Roberts for supplying the pictures - it's always too dark for pictures when I visit.

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