The Boot, Repton


Yesterday, Rob took me out for a birthday dinner.

We’re regulars at The Boot, but we’ve only ever eaten there once – it was one of those times where you can’t be bothered to cook and just want some simple pub grub, so we chose a couple of burgers from their Classics menu. They were amazing, of course, but we’re here to talk about something a little more special.

With menu’s to suit everyone, we opted for dishes from the A La Carte; a bit more expensive than your Classics, but perfect for those special occasions.

The A La Carte menu would make rather good bed time reading; each dish you read off sounds almost poetic, and if budget (and tummy space) permitted, we could have had one of everything. Yep, it’s that good. We nibbled some herby, garlicky olives whilst we deliberated.

After a short while, we were both still undecided on our starters, so we decided to pick two and share. 
I started with the Tuna Carpaccio. 

Perfectly pink and juicy, on a bed of lime, blood orange and kimchi salad. 

It was one of those dishes that sounds interesting, and you don’t really know what to expect, but each mouthful surprises you with flavours you never thought could work together. But they so work together. The head chef here really knows their stuff!

After I’d eaten my half, I almost didn’t want to pass it over, but then again, Rob’s starter looked equally as mouth-watering:

The Beef Tartare.

Not something I’d ever usually order outside France or Belgium, as us Brits can never quite get the raw beef thing right, but we’re so glad we did. Mixed beautifully with Boot beer pickled onions and caramelised shallots - I could have eaten it a thousand times over.

Both starters were crafted to perfection. I don’t think I could choose one over the other, they were both eye-rollingly good, in different ways.

Next up was our main courses. 

Pretty pink roast Derbyshire lamb.

Arranged wonderfully on the plate with wild garlic, onion soubise, barbecued celeriac and goats’ cheese cream. 

Again, it was one of those dishes that makes you mumble “mmm’s” and “aah’s” and “you must try some of this!” The flavours just seemed to burst in your mouth!

Rob chose the pork collar:

With black pudding, salt-baked carrot and sauerkraut cabbage. Another wonderfully cooked dinner, however I do think he had slight food envy as he peered over at my lamb. 

Not wanting to stop, we finished off with a cheese board – you can order a cheese board for one, or a cheese board for two, but we decided that a cheese board for one would be plenty enough for the both of us. We just wanted a little taste, and again, it was perfect. 

The only thing that let this down was the chutney, but that’s not because it was bad, but rather I would have preferred something more spicy and tomato-based. I think a sun-blushed tomato or chilli chutney would have complimented the cheeses nicely.

Now, for me, I know I’m in a good restaurant when I want a third course (or a fourth, if you count the olives). I can’t stand to waste any food, so will try to eat every scrap that’s on my plate, however so many restaurants get it wrong when it comes to portion sizes, and I end up over-eating and feeling too full and almost in pain when I leave.

That’s probably a fault of my own for not knowing when to stop, or of my Grandma’s for teaching us not to waste food. But the portion sizes here were just right. We left feeling 100% content and not “too full”, which like I said, is a sign of a good restaurant to me. 

The service was wonderful; the staff always made sure you were looked after, without making you feel like you were being hurried along. And they smiled! They looked like they enjoyed their jobs, which can be a rarity nowadays…

This truly is one of the best, if not THE best dinner I’ve eaten out in a long, long time. We’ve eaten at their sister restaurant, The Dragon, which I reviewed a while back, but for special occasions, I’d go to The Boot. I’m annoyed that it took us so long to getting around to eating there, and I’m already planning my next visit as I simply MUST have their Lobster (served with triple cooked chips, béarnaise sauce, paprika spinach and lime mayo – I told you, it’s poetic, right!?). Their other venue, Harpur’s of Melbourne, is also on my must-visit list.

If you do one thing this weekend, go to The Boot. Even if not for dinner; they have a micro-brewery on site and Rob tells me their ales are rather tasty. The atmosphere is great too, so make sure you drop by for a drink!

*This review is not sponsored and was paid for by ourselves. Worth every single penny!

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