Falling for the charm of Chadwicks

Lyndsey McGeary reviews the Tees region’s most decorated restaurant…

Nestled in the pretty village of Maltby, Chadwicks Inn is a 19th century public house with an array of original features, making it the epitome of charm and character. The low ceilings and cosy surroundings make the two AA Rosette restaurant a gem of an eatery.

Taking comfortable seats in their Pathfinders Bar, we sipped Bathtub and Monkey 47 gins and tonics as we perused the menus at our leisure.

With menu choices confirmed, we were shown to our table for two. It was clear that the restaurant was busy, full of couples and families enjoying themselves, which really added to the ambience and experience. A wooden platter was brought to us, upon which sat warm caramelised onion bread and butter. I intended to eat it in little morsels, keeping a little back for my starter, but I couldn’t – it was too delicious!

I opted for the set dinner menu at £27.50 for three courses. This menu had only one dish listed under each course and this felt unusual – I’m more used to making a limited choice from a set menu. But the three confident offerings intrigued me, so I decided to go for it. My starter was a hand-raised pork pie served with homemade piccalilli and pease pudding. Normally I find that pastry passes me by, but this had so much flavour. My husband elected for the à la carte menu, starting with the £11 Whitby crab, which was lightly curried with pickled sultanas, cauliflower and coriander. It was delicate and subtle, and the pickled sultanas were little pearls of beautiful flavour.

The wine list at Chadwicks Inn is immense and their sommelier is always on hand to share his expertise and advice. We opted for a French Blanc de Blanc demi-sec (Cuvee Jean-Paul), which arrived chilled to perfection in a stylish glass carafe at £15 for 500ml. With such an array of choice and knowledge, it’s little wonder that Chadwicks Inn was a finalist for Wine Pub of the Year in 2018 in the Great British Pub awards.

The main course on the set menu was butter poached lemon sole on a bed of Shetland mussels, fondant potato, wild garlic and mussel cream. Mussels are one of my favourite things and this dish really did meet my exacting standards. My husband opted for the Hartlepool-landed halibut, at £26. This was served with native lobster ravioli, saffron potato and a lobster bisque sauce. While he thoroughly enjoyed the dish, he would have preferred a slightly thicker sauce. We also tucked into a side order of skinny fries, which were served with the skin on and were accompanied by a truffle mayonnaise. So many good restaurants don’t do good chips. Chadwicks does.

Although the restaurant was extremely busy, the service was absolutely second to none, with just the right level of “attentive”.

Having had reasonably healthy, balanced plates for main, I was unashamedly welcoming of the dessert menu. From the set dinner menu, there was a lemon posset served with blood orange, meringue and caramelised white chocolate. It became more addictive with every bite. I don’t think I’ve ever had a lemon dessert as enjoyable as that. The very “set” set menu delivered excellence in every course.

Not being a big dessert-lover, my husband chose the “coffee and treats” dessert which included a Chadwicks own blend coffee (served to his choosing) and a chef’s selection of homemade treats. He opted for a white Americano (knowing that his coffee-fuelled wife would be highly likely to drink most of it). The treats included bite-sized custard tart, a dark chocolate slice and a chocolate macaron. These were all washed down easily with the delicious coffee and a glass of Spanish dessert wine, a classic Pedro Ximenes (Fernando de Castilla) priced at £5.95 for a glass.

What a privilege to have this charming little gem of a restaurant in our area. Fully satisfied with the food and the service, we headed home, vowing to return again upon the next offer of a babysitter for our children.