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Lunch Review: The Bluecoat in Hertford

PUBLISHED: 12:15 20 September 2011 | UPDATED: 20:01 20 February 2013

Lunch Review: The Bluecoat in Hertford

Lunch Review: The Bluecoat in Hertford

Food and drink editor Richard Cawthorne gets comfortable in Hertford


About the restaurant


The Bluecoat is housed in an historic Grade II listed building at the eastern end of Fore Street, slightly apart from the bustle of the town and calling itself one of Hertfords finest bar and dining experiences.



Atmosphere and decor


The website boasts of our luxurious restaurant area and first impressions bear this out. Some people might find the surroundings a bit formal for lunch but it is obvious great care is being taken with the product. Everything is spotless, with sparkling table settings and bright modern prints on the walls.



Service


A quiet lunch period leaves manager Jonathan Levene with plenty of time to chat and we are immediately put at ease. The main players proprietor Tony Briggs, Mr Levene and head chef Scott Sandle are introduced on the menu cover, giving the whole operation a friendly flavour without sacrificing efficiency.



The menu


The Bluecoats food offer is refined regularly but we have a serviceable lunch and lite bite menu from which to choose. Its limited but adequate and enough to whet our appetites for a return visit for the more lavish offerings featured on the dinner line-up, including a chefs gourmet menu at 46.50 per person without wine or 66.50 with.



To start


This being a working day, we elect to keep things simple. A mixed salad (3.50) surprises with its freshness (and size) and little touches like green beans and beets, while a poached and smoked salmon pate (4.95) comes with horseradish cream cheese and oatcakes and is crammed with flavour.



Main courses


Balancing the salad, a mixed seafood tagliatelle (9.50) is laced with seafood stock, sweet peas and herb oil and proves a creamy and luxurious choice. As with the salad, it is a hefty helping. My companion likes the breaded mackerel fishcakes (7.95) with confit lemon, (small) mixed salad and homemade tartar salsa, an expert combination of savoury and tangy.



Desserts


Intriguing choices include classic vanilla crme brulee with shortbread biscuit and mixed berry compote (4.95), strawberry and rhubarb trifle tart, with pistachio cream and strawberry sorbet (5.50) or dark chocolate tart with cocoa crumble, thyme-poached apricot and apricot ripple ice cream (5.50). Sadly were full but I wish we werent. Next time.



The experience


Classy is the word that springs to mind here. Care is needed to live up to expectations when you put a restaurant in an historic building and on this showing The Bluecoat pulls it all together well.



BOOK A TABLE


The Bluecoat


117 Fore Street


Hertford SG14 1AX


01992 581790


www.thebluecoat-hertford.co.uk



The cost of this lunch for two was 35.40 including two glasses of wine, plus service. House red and white wines are from 16.50 a bottle.



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