Review of 'The Greenman'

While in Ashbourne checking out the area on a Friday night we were looking for somewhere to eat. In the central square there are pubs, a fish and chip take-away (that was very popular on this warm evening with many patrons eating at picnic tables in the square) as well as a Thai restaurant in the basement around the corner that we noticed. Wandering around a bit further down to the main road through town we stumbled across “The Greenman” down a side alley that seemed to be quite busy so agreed to give it a try (look for the name above an archway).

Despite it being quite early on a Friday this “gastro-pub” had a number of bookings so we had to wait in the alley beside some tables with drinkers chatting away while they checked to see if they could find us a table. Eventually we were told we could have a table in the bar area which we readily accepted. The interior is modern and cool with two main rooms, one by the bar and another more formal dining area. As more people arrived, it did get a bit noisy inside despite the rooms being small and the tables spaced apart though with the hard surfaces everywhere this is going to be an issue. Note that there is also lots of outdoor dining space with umbrellas shielding from the rain…or the sun.

Dining Area

The menu was a single-sided sheet of A4 simply divided into “Appetisers”, “Starters”, “Main Course” and “Dessert” (there is also a much more extensive drinks menu, or rather, book). The theme here seems to be simple, modern food featuring local produce where possible though the chef appears to be willing to travel a bit abroad to keep up a bit of variety including quite a bit of fish considering how land-locked Ashbourne is.

For our drinks we stuck to soft drinks (I was driving and I don't drink anyway!) which were a bit more expensive than what you might expect as, unlike most pubs, they don't have these on tap but rather are sold by the bottle and, in the case of my lemonade, it was a premium brand (“Fever Tree”, £2.40 for a small bottle).

Chicken Liver Parfait

We skipped the appetisers (which includes a South European-tour of olives, king prawns, octopus, Manchego cheese, jamon, and chorizo) and went straight to the starters with the “Blakenhall Farm chicken liver parfait, rhubarb, candied Catalan almonds” (£8.50) which was served with an absolutely gorgeous bread and, to gild the lily, a large dollop of home-made butter. The parfait was perfectly smooth and delicious with delicate fresh herbs decorating the plate that added to the light, though very more-ish, flavour. The rhubarb added a welcome, slight sweet note to the dish which added a bit of contrast along with the wonderfully crunchy bits of candied almonds perched on the top of the dish. The supplied bread (not indicated on the menu) was superb with the perfectly prepared butter though this was a bit misbalanced with the parfait ending up in having us ask for some additional bread so we would not waste it.

Wagyu Burger

For our mains, my companion had the “Yorkshire Wagyu beef burger & skin on fries” (£19) with “sauerkraut, caramelised onions, wild garlic ranch, old winchester [cheese]” which was quite tasty. The burger was deliciously moist though the delicate Wagyu flavour was largely drowned out by the heavy-hitting, though delicious, toppings. The chips were well prepared with very little grease - crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside.

Pork Belly

I had the “Blakenhall Farm pork belly” (£20) with “wild garlic polenta, spring onion, watermelon, arabica” that also delivered on flavour, though this time far more subtle. In the middle of the modern, black plate there was the polenta, topped with wilted spring onion, a decoration of fresh greens, the piece of pork belly and topped with a rectangle of slightly seared watermelon. On the side was a small dollop of a dip to add some additional flavour. The pork was a good size but slightly overcooked but it went well with the polenta and watermelon.

Bar Area

At £52.80 for drinks and 1 1/2 course for two people (without tip) it was a bit on the pricey side but the food was absolutely delicious and the staff were friendly and professional throughout. We never felt any pressure to leave.

Well prepared modern food, though quite pricey, with very helpful staff in cool, contemporary surroundings. Bring your Visa.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2021-08-06

Cuisine: American/British

Address: 10 St John St, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 1GH ENGLAND

Location: Derbyshire (England) - Ashbourne



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Telephone: +44 (0) 1335 346040