Pelican Club – Italian – Nottingham
It’s not a secret that I had a very disappointing visit to the Pelican Club previously. Ever since I have been implored to return by friends and readers of this blog who had much more positive experiences. The set up hasn’t changed over the time I’ve been away, bar and restaurant area clad in dark wood. Lighting is low and supported by candles, hence the (very) murky pictures that follow.
The menu is in a traditional format of Antipasto, Primi and Secondi. An antipasto of ox cheek and polenta appealed as something hearty on a cold Nottingham night. Before it arrived my beer was delivered complete with a watery glass, one lesson the restaurant hadn’t learnt. It was as comforting as you might expect, the slow cooked meat very tender. Polenta, often a lamented element on dishes, worked well here as a neutral element against the rich flavours of the ox cheek.
We chose to have the equivalent of a starter and main, forgoing the pasta dishes of the Primi course. For the main pork fillet appealed with a side of cabbage with chilli to try something a little different. I would struggle to fault the dish in any great way, the pork itself well cooked, the truffle sauce creamy and subtle. Crispy little potatoes and a field mushroom were rather unrefined additions, though pleasant enough. The cabbage equally was more simple than I expected, literally some buttered cabbage with red chilli added in chunks.
I am happy to concede my previous review has been eclipsed by this recent visit. Cooking and flavour combinations were certainly competent, despite a general slight lack of seasoning and punchy flavour throughout. The other issue I had with this meal was the cost. Ox cheek came in at £8, main at £19 and with cabbage and 1 beer I ended up shelling out £30 plus. Those prices put it firmly in the territory of competing with the Hart’s, Perkins and La Rock’s of Nottingham. For my money it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as a visit to any of those.
Restaurant website: http://www.thepelicanclub.co.uk/