IT IS not hard to see why Coventry’s new Miller and Carter restaurant, off the Kenpas Highway, is fully booked.
With decadent food, impeccable service and a relaxing dinner atmosphere it is no wonder this is one of the city’s newest eating hot spots.
Observer news editor Beth Sharp went along to see why people were so keen to get themselves a table.
After a warm welcome, we enjoyed a freshly made cocktail and an XO brandy while we browsed the menu. I had a citron spritz – a refreshing summer spritzer with absolute, citron, peach schnapps and pinot grigio topped with lemonade, crushed ice and a handful of fruit – it was super delicious although maybe slightly dangerous – it is so easy to drink too much when it tastes so good. When it was brought out jealous eyes followed it across the room. It was a beautifully dressed showstopper of a cocktail garnish with fresh raspberries and strawberries. I was thrilled when it came to our table – I hate it when you see the waitress walking over with an amazing looking cocktail only to find it’s going to the table next to you.
We were spoilt for choice as the menu had a range of dishes to choose from. We opted for the baked cheddar mushrooms in a creamy garlic and cheese sauce, served with garlic bread along with the bourbon glazed chicken skewers topped with pancetta crumbs, a heirloom tomato and basil salad. The food was brought out quickly – a good thing as I had a empty stomach and my super tasty cocktail had somehow already disappeared.
The skewers were deliciously sticky, sweet and succulent and this was only complemented by the fresh, well-dressed salad. The mushrooms were just as mouth-wateringly divine and not too overly cheesy. They arrived in a small ramekin in a creamy sauce topped with gooey cheese creating a beautiful strong, but not overpowering, flavours which went superbly with the crunchy garlic bread – it was absolute heaven in a dish.
For our mains we had an 8oz fillet and an 8oz rump steak. This came with with seasoned or sweet potato fries, a slice of onion load and balsamic glazed beef tomato. We also had a lettuce wedge each – one was topped with a Stilton and blue cheese dressing while the other had bacon and honey mustard.
We were both pleasantly surprised by the lettuce and strangely we felt it was one of the highlights of the meal, especially because we had never had it before. The concept is to use the lettuce to cleanse your pallet so you can really enjoy the beautiful and strong steak flavours. I have never been a huge fan of lettuce but this fresh and crispy wedge, topped with a really nice and rich dressing, was shockingly a bit wondrous. I even had to do a double take after trying it to see if it was actually eating a lettuce.
The service was very quick and our steaks arrived promptly. Both steaks were succulent, intense, full of really strong meaty flavours and cooked to perfection – it just melted in your mouth. The crispy sweet potato and seasoned fries were also delicious and went really well with the rest of the dish as did the onion loaf which, although I wasn’t sure about, I was pleasantly surprised by. It was crunchy and delicious and not to overpowering.
For our pudding we shared a desert made for two which featured three mini-deserts in one – this included sticky toffee pudding, chocolate brownie and lemon tart with vanilla ice-cream, candy floss, toffee and chocolate sauce, a chocolate straw and strawberries. As delicious as the pudding was it was no where near on the same level as our starter and main but was very enjoyable none the less. The lemon tart was zesty, deliciously and tangy – it really complemented the contracting flavours of the chocolate brownie. The sticky toffee could have used more sauce and would have been nice warm but the rest more than made up for it. The candy floss was also a nice unique touch and something we had never seen before. It was great way to finish the meal off with.
Throughout the meal we received excellent service from our waitress Lucy who was very polite and not overbearing but still ensured we had everything we needed. One thing we noted was none the staff were running around stressed out trying to deal with the mass amounts of customers. It was very relaxed and nice – it can so easily ruin the atmosphere if staff are unhappy and overworked.