Our weekend ventures seem to be getting a bit flat lately, so in an attempt to revitalise them we decide to try a tried and tested spot for dinner on Saturday night. We book a table at Dowd’s in Glossop , a modern British restaurant which can genuinely boast of living up to that overused phrase “Fine Dining”. We have eaten three dinners and a lunch here previously and have recommended it to others who have all enjoyed the experience.
By way of contrast, we stopped in the Globe Tavern a few yards away for a pre dinner drink. The pub is a thriving music venue for the younger “indie” crowd, offers vegan food at almost third world prices and has it’s own brewery. The Globe’s range of real ales with some cider and perry from small producers are very reasonably priced and offer excellent value. The bar staff are both friendly and efficient and the whole place has a somewhat bohemian feel.
A short walk and we reach Dowd’s. It’s 8.30 and the place seems full but we are soon seated and the waitress supplies us promptly and unbidden with a jug of iced water and some warm bread as well as the menus and a description of the soup.
Dowd’s offers an Evening Menu with four or five choices of each course at a fixed price for 2 or 3 courses or you may choose from an A La Carte selection. The Evening Menu changes monthly whilst the A La Carte is refreshed every six months. The food from either side is excellent and there is no suggestion that the Evening Menu is somehow a “poor relation” as is often the case.
We decide to choose from both sides of the menu, I tried the Beetroot and Spring Onion Risotto, Cauliflower fritter and curry mayonnaise to start , followed by Black pudding stuffed Poussin breast, Confit leg, Celeriac puree and bacon and olive sauce from the Evening Menu whilst the OH , let loose on the A La Carte, went for the Warm Pear Tart with seared Foie Gras and then the Partridge with Braised Cabbage, Rosemary Fondant and Red Wine sauce.The main courses were served with a dish of mixed seasonal vegetables which we were unable to finish.
All four dishes were exceptional, full of flavour and provided us with some new taste experiences. Many of the combinations worked very well together such as the beetroot risotto and the crispy cauliflower fritter, both set off by the curry mayonnaise.
Although very satisfied, we still wanted a dessert and both chose from the Evening Menu. We were served with a Milk Chocolate Brulee with a very unusual Raspberry and Rosemary Ice cream together with a Sticky Toffee pudding, vanilla ice cream and sea salt (you had to taste it !!) Two more empty plates were duly sent back to the kitchen.
The restaurant is compact inside but tastefully decorated in a fairly low key way, with white linen table cloths and flowers in long vases. The ambience is very pleasant, the front of house staff combine a professional service with a well-pitched friendly style and you feel looked after.
The damage, complete with a bottle of the more expensive Australian red on the list (largely from the Majestic Commercial stable), came to £66. For food of this quality this is a bargain. It was certainly comparable to many upmarket, and sometimes Michelin starred, Lake District Hotels. I cannot recall eating so well this year. The ultimate test is to consider if you could make food like this yourself at home given the time, ingredients and inclination. The answer for Dowd’s is no, not in a month of Sunday’s.
Go now, and if you think that £20.95 for 3 courses is expensive then try their 3 course lunch at the criminally low price of £11.95 ( that is, if you can get a table as the ladies who lunch in Glossop know a good deal when they see one )