Naomi MacKay and Alison Page stepped into the season as they tried the new spring menu at Berkhamsted High Street’s Lussmanns Sustainable Kitchen & Garden.
We hadn’t visited the building since it was Bill’s so as soon as we entered we were taken with the decor – each of the Lussmanns restaurants has a different theme chosen personally by MD Andrei Lussmann. Here, the mood is Ibiza, with white walls, an eclectic selection of bold artwork and a cosy vibe.
The building has a number of areas, including the garden room out the back – and an al fresco seating area that will open as soon as the weather allows! A large round table sits next to a fireplace, offering a nice option for a small group, and upstairs is a private dining room, full of the character of this old building, which can be hired separately.
Now onto the food! The spring menu has just launched – starters start at £6.95 and mains at £16.50 but if you can eat early, a good value set menu, which still offers a decent choice, is available from between 12noon and 6.30pm with two courses for £19.95 and three for £23.95.
We started off strong with the Oyster Mushroom Bruschetta and the intriguingly named Rhug Organic Bombas – croquettes filled with organic mutton and mashed potatoes served on a bed of salsa brava – a combination that was far tastier than I expected.
To go with our mains we ordered a side dish of Mac & Cheese with spring greens. Sprinkled with cayenne pepper, which elevated it to another level.
Linguine Fiorentina was the mains choice for our vegetarian – the pasta mixed with Njuja, sun-blushed tomatoes, spinach and walnut. Full of flavour and a refreshing alternative to the sauce-covered linguine one often finds.
I had to have the Courgette & Basil Arancini – these Italian riceballs are one of my favourite things to eat – and these, served with Mediterranean vegetables and salsa brava were tasty – and surprisingly filling.
Not filling enough that we couldn’t fit in dessert though! I had my eye on the Sticky Date & Ginger Pudding, but as it wasn’t available that day (a good excuse to go back just to have that!), I was offered bread and butter pudding, which was deliciously light. Alison was just as pleased with her Bramley Apple Crumble, with added hazelnuts and rosemary and served with a local ice cream.
Lussmanns is the perfect spot for an out-of-the-ordinary meal at a mid-budget price. The surroundings and personal service turn the meal into something rather special.
- Look out for the summer issue of Living magazine – there will be a chance to win a meal at this lovely restaurant.