What's on the menu?

What's on the menu?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Review- Dinner at Missoula Nottingham

A Thursday Night Treat- Dinner at Missoula

A few weeks ago we attended Missoula Nottingham's opening night and were pretty impressed by the place. So much so that we vowed to return soon after for a food review. September and early October have been pretty busy months for us but last week we finally managed to get back to Missoula to try what promised to be hearty American-inspired food and a unique dining experience in very different surroundings.

Missoula is part of the Stonegate Group of leisure venues and their Nottingham venture is one of only three Missoula Bar and Grills in the country so in some ways Nottingham should feel privileged that we're one of the chosen few to be able to sample the Montana inspired food menu on our our doorstep.

Missoula's location in the heart of our iconic, upmarket Lace Market area on High Pavement facing the majestic old Unitarian Church which happens to be the atmospheric Pitcher and Piano bar.

Nottingham Food Lovers Blog
The interior of Missoula Montana Bar and Grill Nottingham 
The interior of Missoula Nottingham is pretty striking with elements that merge a modern dining area with a hunting lodge. (Complete with stags heads). Cow skin inspired seating booths sound like they shouldn't work but the reality is that they add to the ambiance and whilst some of these touches might sound a little tacky at the onset, the reality is that no expense has been spared on creating a fantastic seating area that will help spark good conversation.

Review: Our Meal at Missoula Nottingham

After working some long hours recently it's always good to find somewhere to sit back and relax with a drink and some good food. Working on the outskirts of the city centre means it's pretty easy to head into town after a quick change at work.

Starter: Missoula Sliders

Sometimes it's good to share so we opted for the Missoula Sliders (£7.75) for our starter. A trio of mini burgers, each with a different topping: Blue Cheese, Barbecue Sauce and Pulled Pork (Pictured below). The last time we went out and had three courses in full we were struggling by the end of it so we decided to play things a little safer and share despite some fantastic sounding starters on the menu including Battered Shrimp in Tom Yum Tempura Batter and the option of an Oven Baked Creamy Blue Mushroom tempting my funghi addiction.

Missoula Nottingham
The Triple Mini Burger Starter- Missoula Sliders
Our option of the Missoula Sliders came out in good time. Presented on a large wooden block. Each patty inside the burger was a good size which I would say was about the size of a table tennis ball if I'm struggling to find a comparison. The size meant these were definitely a great choice as a sharing plate for us.

We started with the blue cheese which was lovely and creamy, the barbecue sauce burger had a lovely smokiness to it but the real treat was the burger with pulled pork which was about as awesome a starter as I've ever had. There was so much taste in that one mouthful that I could have easily ordered another set of sliders if I hadn't been looking forward to my main course for the last few weeks ever since first.

Our Main Meals: Pretzel-Crumbed Sea Trout and an 8oz Rib-Eye USDA Steak

Ever since I first saw the menu's for Missoula I had yearned for a taste of their pretzel-crusted Sea Trout. I often tend to migrate towards a good fish option on the menu, particularly if there's an element of something I haven't tried before. I'd never heard of using pretzel to create a breadcrumb before but I felt drawn towards the doughy and salty elements I thought would work well with a light fish.

Pretzel Crusted Sea Trout
My Sea Trout was served with a mustard and caper sauce on a bed of beautifully fresh tomatoes and peppery wilted spinach alongside a grilled lemon.  I also opted for a side of seasoned fries which came in an almost endless container.

The Pretzel-Crumbed Sea Trout (£14.95) was a fantastic meal which I would happily choose again and again. The Pretzel-Crumb was a beautiful addition to the fish and added a nice layer of additional texture. Every element to the plate bought an additional compliment to the flavours. As a fussy eater I would usually leave tomatoes on the plate but on this occasion they were so soft and fresh that I took the plunge and devoured them.

With such a high grade of steak on offer on the menu it seemed fitting for us to try some good American steak so the other half opted for the 8oz USDA rib-eye (£19.95) with a side of a twice-baked sour cream and cheese potato,

Missoula Nottingham
8oz rib-rye USDA steak with a twice baked sour cream and cheese potato 
The USDA steak came out as a lovely size which I'd guess as a little more than 8oz. It's appearance had a clear marbling as a result of the cattle being grain fed which gives it a fantastic appearance. Ordered rare-to-medium it came out exceptionally well cooked with the right amount of pinkness in the middle and with very little fat to the cut.

The twice baked potato with sour cream and cheese was a lovely starchy addition alongside to steak although we felt that the steak really needed some sauce and it our request the chef made us a portion of a spicy tomato ketchup which worked wonderfully with the steak and added to our experience. 

Our main meals were all a fantastic size as you can see from the photos. Good hearty fayre, well prepared and exceptionally flavoursome. 

Dessert: Warm Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough With Ice Cream

After having made it through starter and a great sized main meal we decided that we would share a dessert. The other half usually only has half her pudding anyways, leaving myself to finish it off. We both love cookies so opted for the Warm Chocolate Cookie Dough dessert (£4.25). Unfortunately the Key Lime Cheesecake was unavailable which was unfortunate for us but there were still a fantastic array of desserts to choose from. 

The cookie dough worked out to be a great large dessert with a generous slab of moist, chocolaty cookie dough about 8-10 centimetres in diameter with a lovely big dollop of vanilla ice-cream on top. Heaven for someone with a sweet tooth like myself.

Missoula Nottingham
Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough With Ice Cream

Our Reflections on Missoula Nottingham 

We had been looking forward to sampling the food at Missoula Nottingham ever since first seeing the menus. I'd been a little worried that the Pretzel Crumbed Sea Trout might not live up to my expectations but it really exceeded them. It's rare that you build something up so much as we had done and it delivers in excess. The food at  Missoula did just that for us.

As well as the amazing food we have to also thank the lovely staff at the restaurant. Manager on the night, Adam had us behind the bar making our own cocktails which we'll tell you all about in a future post and the waiting staff who helped to make this a very memorable experience.

We would happily go back to with family and friends. The environment feels friendly, the menu is varied with options for all and their drinks menu would put a lot of places to shame. 

Missoula Nottingham
Great for couples, equally good for a meal with friends and family. Missoula brings Montana to Nottingham

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