SO the long winter nights have drawn in with stews and casseroles featuring high on the home cooking menu/agenda.
I made a rib-sticking chilli at the weekend which, although was tasty, it did not really inspire.
My boyfriend was really polite, but I could sense a lack of enthusiasm as I tried to spruce it up a bit with a garnish of grated cheese and side dish of garlic bread.
But we fancied a treat, so good old Google it was, and Healds Hall Hotel Restaurant at Liversedge ticked all the boxes.
Eating out at Healds Hall Hotel was certainly a treat. The food was fantastic and by taking advantage of the Express Dinner Menu – the main course price includes the starter and dessert – the total bill, £46.50, was not excessive.
The bill, in fact, included a great wine offer – order before 7pm and for an extra £2 a half bottle of house red is included – so for £4 we got a whole bottle of delicious house Italian to indulge.
The hotel, which has been privately owned since 1979, is situated just off Leeds Road at Liversedge in lovely wooded grounds and they offer two different dining experiences. Harringtons Restaurant is for a more formal dining experience but we opted for the vibrant bistro decorated in funky, bold Mediterranean colours with some great modern prints on the walls.
The food served is exactly the same in both rooms with changing daily specials and traditional favourites to modern European and Asian influenced dishes.
The Express Dinner Menu, which runs all evening, offers a sufficient choice of six starters, six mains and six desserts.
Now, I am no Michel Roux Jr, so I don’t want to sound pretentious when offering to describe the fare, but the Tempura King Prawns were served in the lightest of mouth-watering batter with a more-than-ample cold tomato and chilli jam while the coriander dressing added another light layer to the delicate starter. It was a delight, every mouthful offered an assault on the senses. Fantastic.
Dale, confident in the menu, went for the pigeon because he’d never had it before and I doubt that it will be his last time either.
We shared half the starters each and the pigeon was also a taste sensation. Served cold in thin slices with tiny cubes of beetroot and Yorkshire blue cheese, the tender, lightly smoked meat was a rich indulgence.
For the mains I went for the pan-fried sea bass fillet which was quite substantial, delicately crispy on one side but remaining oozingly succulent underneath. It was served with a mini-crab cake which was rather large and wonderfully tasty, and the scallop, lime and coriander dressing brought it all together beautifully.
Healds proudly boast that all their beef is cut from matured local Three Dales Yorkshire Beef and Dale’s grilled 8oz Rib Eye Steak melted in the mouth. It was served with spinach and paris browns with a blue cheese sauce which was indulgently rich. We selected side orders of mixed seasonal vegetables and potatoes and a portion of broccoli and cauliflower cheese. So tasty was the veg that it distracted me from my fish for a while.
The sweets selection was mainly traditional and featured jam roly poly and sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce but I went for the homemade ice cream and sorbet selection – the lemon sorbet sure packed a punch – while Dale had the lemon curd cheesecake with orange caramel sauce but was a bit let down by the soggy base.
The Express Dinner Menu offers good value but it is well worth a visit to explore the main menu with so many other dishes on offer – local lamb hotpot terrine, venison medallions, confit belly pork, smoked salmon lemon and rocket risotto or Thai curry to offer just a sample.
It will certainly blitz those winter blues away.
Venue: Healds Hall Hotel
Tel: 01924 409112
Opening hours:Harringtons Restaurant/Bistro: Serving noon to 2.00pm Monday to Friday and 6.00pm to 10.00pm Monday to Saturday.
Disabled access: Don’t be put off by the steps at the front of the building, there’s easy wheelchair ramp access at the side and toilet accessibility
The bill: £46.50, inc Express Wine offer.