Thursday, 25 May 2017

New menu at Hotel Du Vin

Hotel Du Vin is based in the Colmore Business District, in an old eye hospital. It's a beautiful Victorian building and contains a spa, bar, pub and restaurant as well as event spaces and rooms. They have recently launched a new spring/summer menu, full of lamb and seafood and delicious vegetables. I went along to try it out with a bunch of fellow bloggers.

The evening started with a tasting of different sparkling wines from  around the world. As the manager pointed out, you can't be called Hotel du Vin and not have a great wine selection. We tried champagne, prosecco, French Cremant and English sparkling. I'm a big fan of English sparkling anyway but the bistro wanted to show us that champagne isn't the be all and end all. If you see Nytember on a menu for example, it is definitely worth picking that.

I was rather late due to traffic/work/not realising it started at 6, so I didn't try all the wines properly. I am glad to see that they have such a range though.

We headed through to the bistro where we were given an option of bread while we picked from the menu. The tomato and seeded breads were both very popular and went down a treat with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The menu was very difficult to choose from as everything sounded so lovely. I decided to go with a couple of favourites- king prawns in a chilli butter to start and then onto sea bass with a panzanella salad (£16.95).

As the starters were prepared, we were given a suggestion of white wine to try. I began with a lovely dry white wine, a mixture of pinot grigio and chardonnay.

Roasted Tiger Prawns (£7.95) arrived looking just how I hoped: shell and head still on, swimming in butter with plenty of chilli flakes. This is my number one favourite starter and I order it almost any time I see it. The prawns were perfectly cooked and there was plenty of chilli and pastis butter for me to dunk the meat into. I could have handled more chilli but I liked the interesting back note of aniseed from the pastis.

Scallops and smoked salmon starters also looked wonderful. Lovely to see so much seafood.

I've realised that I'm turning into my mother and cannot resist a well cooked piece of fish. What drew me to this wasn't the sea bass, but the panzanella salad accompanying it. Panzanella is another of my absolute favourite things: slighty stale bread, softened with onion, fresh tomatoes and plenty of oil. The tomatoes here were packed full of sunshine. The fish was well seasoned and well cooked and the whole thing was drizzled with a zingy nasturtium pesto. How lovely to see nasturtium on a menu: it's a peppery and summery delight.

We were also given a variety of sides to share. I loved the buttered baby carrots and lightly fried courgette. I got a huge hit of garlic from the sauteed spinach, but others didn't.

By this time, we'd switched to red wine and I had chosen a Pinot Noir from Hungary. I had no idea you could get Hungarian red wine and I'm glad I tried it. Red wine can be a little heavy and metallic for me but this was fruity, summery and light, a perfect match for my fish.

For pudding I'd initially chosen a white chocolate parfait but they were out, so I chose the greedy option of a Chocolate Bomb (can't find the price online, I'd guess around £6).

Excitingly, this was ice cream, caramel and chocolate encased in a chocolate shell, which melted when hot caramel sauce was poured over. This was quite a spectacle and seriously delicious. I don't often choose a sickly sweet chocolate dessert but I really enjoyed this. It was very sweet and sticky but I ate every mouthful. What a treat!

I was impressed by the quality of the produce, the cooking and the menu at Hotel du Vin. If you're looking for a cheaper option, I recommend the Fixed Price Menu which is two course for £17.95 or £20.95 for three. There's some delicious sounding options on there: I very nearly ordered octopus to start.

Thanks for having me Hotel du Vin, I'm looking forward to heading back.

Hotel Du Vin

Photos by Helen

Food and drink were complimentary for review purposes. 

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