Hand and Heart – Pub (Sunday Roast) – Nottingham
The Hand and Heart certainly has some history, you enter through a Victorian facade to a pub set among Nottingham’s sandstone caves. It’s has a small restaurant area and I was lucky with an early walk in at 1200 to get a table. The cave backdrop provides a real atmosphere and intimacy with the low ceilings and lighting. The Sunday lunch options were a little different to a lot of the competition as they didn’t offer a 2 or 3 course set menu. No starters were apparent, which was a little surprising, although the main course choice was strong with; pork, beef, lamb and chicken roasts. There were also a couple of appealing options for vegetarians which was good to see.
My choice of beef arrived with a resplendent Yorkshire and a pleasingly rare strip of meat dominating the plate. Sadly the quality didn’t quite measure up to expectations. The beef, whilst well cooked, wasn’t especially tender or flavoursome. The vegetables required a little more seasoning and were cooked on the bullet side of firm. I’m usually a fan of al dente veg but it pushed even my limits. Gravy was a solid effort and plenty more arrived when requested.
From the dessert menu I chose a maple and pecan tart, the outer crust was of an inedible thickness but it was otherwise good if a little small for a portion costing £5.50. I felt the price was a little high throughout, a recent visit to the Ned Ludd was let down by service but you got 2 courses for £12.95. Here the equivalent 2 courses were £18.50 which when you put it on par with Hart’s 3 courses for £23.00 shows the value just isn’t there.
The Hand and Heart’s unique character though means that it remained an enjoyable experience despite some disappointment. Halfway through eating a chap rocked up to play some tunes on the piano near the entrance, something you won’t get anywhere else. A nice place for another pint and to while away a Sunday afternoon but not the best Sunday lunch in town.
Restaurant website: http://www.thehandandheart.co.uk/