Pilot, Poultry and Prosecco – Chicken/Pizza – Nottingham
Concept restaurants have been on trend for a couple of years with the likes of Burger and Lobster & Bubbledogs in the London market. I can’t recollect anything similar in the Nottingham restaurant scene so Pilot, Poultry and Prosecco already has a degree of intrigue. It does have a name with an annoyance to rival that of 4,550 from Delhi though! Situated in a prime Hockley location a furniture shop was converted into the restaurant space. The open layout is spartan with the odd artwork breaking the white walls. As the restaurant got busier the atmosphere was good, a decent soundtrack and the open kitchen adding some character.
The prosecco was definitely pleasant, the Frizzenti Vino Frizzante light and drinkable and with it currently at 2-4-1 who’s complaining? The only starters are sharing platters, ‘vegetable’ or ‘meat’ anti-pasti style boards, which we skipped on this occasion. The restaurant should really add a 4th P, ‘Pizza’ as the menu consists half a dozen pizzas, a handful of different flavoured chickens and a number of sides. My poultry of choice was a Chinese-inspired; soy, garlic, ginger, sesame and mirin number. The first bite showed much promise with the glaze being well balanced with the Asian influences. However it is with the method of preparation that the issues start. The chicken is cooked on the rotisserie, with this method that glaze really doesn’t permeate much of the bird. The skin and outer reaches carry it well but for the most part I was left with a well, though not perfectly, cooked chicken and a largely muted flavour. Some diners around me seemed to have more sauce of glaze on the plate by way of a sauce so maybe I was unlucky. A friend experienced the same with his ‘Hot Bird’ one of the specials which promised to be super spicy. Again there was some heat on the fringes but it didn’t quite live up to the expectations.
Pizza had some attractive and different options, all scored in a pizza oven visible from the dining room. My friend chose a Nicoise with an impressive number of gooey quails eggs paring well with the fishy, salty hit of anchovies. The base was a little on the thick side but I’m sure that will improve. The hits of the evening were probably a couple of the side dishes. Cooing noises were made to my left over a summertime salad containing strawberry, halloumi, mint and pea. I enjoyed a cauliflower cheese which was successful in letting the florets retain their bite with plenty of cheesy sauce. Crispy spice potatoes were the only slight disappointment, the aforementioned spice being subtle at best. Prices were fair throughout with ½ chicken at £8, pizza’s at £11/12 and sides £4/5.
Desserts were rather more interesting and ambitious than I may have expected. A special of honey cake with fig was prettily presented, moist with ripe figs and some fresh herbs to add a different element. My favourite was a peanut butter ice-cream sandwich, less refined but delicious. A third dessert of an apple doughnut was a little over-fried and whilst a fruit parfait was well executed they weren’t really in harmony.
Overall I enjoyed the evening and the experience, I’ll probably return for pizza and prosecco but the poultry isn’t quite up there yet. It is different though and that is something to celebrate in amongst the crowded restaurant scene.
Food: 6.5/10 (with Poultry in its title the chicken was a letdown)
Restaurant website: Currently under construction