Sunday, 12 February 2012

Saturday Night at the Deer Park - 8/10

On Saturday night we took a stroll to the Deer Park on Street Lane in Roundhay.  Perhaps strolling was a slightly daft idea (my mother and I attempting to get through Roundhay Park in the dark, in heels, on a virtual ice rink, was quite funny but I don't think she enjoyed it all that much!) but it made the cosy wood fires and animal hide all the more appreciated.

Joe and I have eaten at the Deer Park on a few occasions and generally have a good time.  It is effectively a restaurant with pub styling.  The food is traditional with a twist, the wines are reasonable and they do a good line in cocktails.  It's also somewhere that I have happily spent a few hours on a Sunday enjoying the papers and a glass of wine.

Having indulged rather a lot with Indian treats on Friday, none of us were looking for a full three course dinner so we made the most of the sharing plates on offer.  We had the antipasti, which comes with dolcelatte, cured meats, marinaded vegetables and flat breads, and rustic breads with olives, roasted garlic, olive oil and balsamic.  The big star of the antipasti was the creamy and sharp dolcelatte (a bit of a nose bleeder), while the breads with roasted garlic were fresh and tasty. As is always the case, I felt a little short changed by the oil and balsamic - they never give enough for the amount of bread!

Antipasti with cured meats, marinaded vegetables and flat breads
Rustic breads with olives, roasted garlic, oil and balsamic
The menu has quite a broad spectrum of main courses, including pizzas, salad, pastas, fish and grills, so we were able to try things from across the board.  Joe opted for the carne pizza, with luganega sausage, chorizo, pepperoni, roast chicken, and swapped the chilli for rocket (he was running a half marathon the next morning so wasn't eating anything too challenging!).  My mum opted for linguini with prawns, chorizo, crab and chilli while my dad went for the fish pie.  Everyone else having chosen the items that I really wanted from the menu, I went for a naughty burger with chorizo and gherkins.  While nice, I had massive food envy which is always disappointing!  My mum said that the linguini was really good, and came with very generous seafood portions and a nice warming chilli.  The pizza was also very good with a thin and crispy base and nice quality ingredients, while the fish pie was a winter warming winner.
Fish pie
Carne pizza
Linguini with prawns, crab, chilli, chorizo and tomatoes
Because my burger wasn't naughty enough, my dad and I also chose churros for dessert!  I still haven't had proper Spanish churros, but Joe is a bit of an aficionado and agreed with my judgment that they were a little undercooked and doughy.  They did come with an excellent chocolate sauce though. We also had coffees, and both the flat white and the espresso were fairly poor (badly made, weak coffee).  It was a shame as the meal started so well, and just fell short at the final hurdle.

I would definitely recommend dining at the Deer Park.  The atmosphere is great, which is reflected in just how busy it always is both in the bar and the restaurant.  The savouries are always great, but they do need to work a little on the afters.

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