By the time you read this article the World Cup will be over, which means we have another four years to wait and see if England will make it through to the final, so in the meantime I will find you lots of places to eat. This month I have stayed relatively close to home with a trip to The Barn at Moor Hall.
Long-term readers may remember that last year I wrote about Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms which was subsequently awarded a Michelin Star in October 2017, well The Barn is the sister restaurant just across the other side of the garden in what used to be – yes, you’ve guessed already – a barn. The building is split into two levels, downstairs is a development kitchen, a meat aging and curing room, a dairy, and micro-brewery that will supply beer to both restaurants. Upstairs is the main dining room with about 60 covers and at the far end is the open plan kitchen where you are able to see the Chefs preparing your meal.
The style of food in The Barn is more casual than in Moor Hall itself but is still absolutely delicious and of the same extremely high standard you would expect of a venue that is overseen by Mark Birchall. Think of three course a la carte, steak & chips, or Sunday Lunch for example rather than a nine-course tasting menu, and you have the added bonus of being able to dine outside on the terrace if this good weather continues.
I went for a late lunch and took Mrs Gastro Grazer with me so that we could try several different dishes off the menu. We started with a couple of the snacks, a brandade scotch egg & chive which had a beautifully crunchy exterior and a soft runny deep yellow yolk in the centre, and a black pudding fritter with a savora mustard dip that had the perfect level of spiciness to complement rich black pudding.
The weather on the day was glorious so two of the starters instantly jumped out as the ones to choose, I went for the Heirloom tomato salad with soft creamy burrata drizzled in a flavour packed clear tomato consommé which was summer in a bowl, Mrs GG opted for the Mackerel with cucumber and dill. The mackerel had been scorched on the outside to leave the skin light and crisp whilst the flesh beneath remained wonderfully moist, and the cucumber with dill emulsion was the perfect accompaniment.
This was followed by a rack of Herdwick lamb, gem lettuce, garden pea and mint which was again another superb dish with the sweetness of the pea and mint balancing with the beautiful melting fat of the tender pink lamb. My duck breast had been salt aged which massively increased the depth of flavour and was one of the tastiest duck breasts that I have had in many years, the flesh was so tender and just melted in the mouth.
Dessert was another easy choice as Mrs GG is a huge coffee fan, so she went for the Tiramisu parfait with mascarpone & dark chocolate, and I went for Tonka Bean panna cotta, with strawberries, basil and black pepper which is a delicious modern twist on that classic British dish of strawberries and cream.
The whole meal was excellent from start to finish and I can highly recommend that you visit, so make a reservation now by clicking on www.moorhall.com or by telephone on 01695 572511.
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