Michael McGeary reviews dinner at Chadwicks Inn Maltby. The holder of a prized Michelin Bib Gourmand along with two AA Rosettes, it’s the most decorated restaurant on Teesside…
I’d enjoyed Sunday lunch at Chadwicks Inn Maltby but never visited for an evening meal, despite hearing good reports about it.
The positive vibes began soon after entering, as we were warmly greeted by polite and attentive staff, invited to sit in comfy leather armchairs and offered a pre-dinner drink.
The restaurant’s tasteful contemporary décor still manages to be in keeping with its traditional country pub exterior.
We were tempted by chef’s special, chateaubriand for two with all the trimmings (£65), but in the end I decided to go à la carte, while my wife chose from the £27.50 set menu.
A couple nearby ordered the chateaubriand and I felt a brief pang of regret when I saw it being carved at their table as we were being seated in the full restaurant. But my jealousy was short-lived and I was soon feeling satisfied with my own choices.
I began with seared king scallops Cullen Skink (£11), a light, summery starter that I’ve wanted to try since seeing it on menus during a trip to the north coast of Scotland, from where the dish hails. The perfectly cooked scallops came in a creamy soup and with delicious, tiny squares of smoked haddock, leek and potato.
The dish was paired, on the sommelier’s recommendation, with a glass of Spanish Verdejo, a dry, crisp white that resembled a sauvignon blanc.
My wife chose pressing of homemade corned beef, ale chutney, sourdough bread and lovage butter. The meat had the appearance of a pâté but the texture was much more appealing. I tried it – just to be sociable, of course – and can concur with her verdict that it’s a dish you just want to keep eating more of.
I decided to continue with my seafood theme and opted for halibut, native lobster and mussel bisque with potato and tarragon dumplings and samphire (£25) for my main course, accompanied by a glass of Chateau L’Ermitage, a delicious modern French rose that packed an unexpectedly dry punch.
My wife, however, stuck with her more carnivorous mood, selecting pork confit belly with slow cooked pork cheek, Doreen’s black pudding with fresh peas and red wine sauce.
I was anxious about this apparently reckless choice as she doesn’t eat pork – but I was reassured as she devoured the dish before concluding, “There isn’t one element on my plate that doesn’t taste amazing!”
Afterwards we shared the Taste of Chadwicks’ Desserts, which included salted caramel custard tart and pineapple parfait.
This turned into something of a race as we endeavoured to polish off the range of accompanying sorbets before they melted on the wooden serving board.
Not only was the food outstanding but we couldn’t fault the service and especially the knowledgeable wine recommendations.
Coffees and dessert wine sent us on our merry way, vowing to return later in the year for one of the restaurant’s regular wine tasting evenings.