Thursday, 5 March 2015

Dinner at The Blue Boar (Witney)

Mummy, why don't you take one of your boys with you? Me? (Eddie)

I don't often go out for dinner, it happens maybe twice a year, or three times at the most these days. In fact the previous dinner out was way back in July, when we stayed in Cornwall, and my Mum offered to look after our guys. For my birthday this year my husband insisted on taking me out. We left our kids with the childminder, and arrived to The Blue Boar for our dinner.

My husband booked a table in advance, though I think it wasn't necessary, as there were quite a few tables available. I haven't dined at The Blue Boar before, but my in-laws stayed in the hotel for a couple of days and enjoyed their breakfast and lunch at the restaurant. I was curious to give it a go, and venture from our usual gastropub Fleece, where I had a few of my birthday dinners in the past.
We were offered a small side table for two. The light was quite dimmed, I guess the owners think it creates a more intimate atmosphere, with the candlelight. It does make wonders, I agree, to smooth the wrinkles, but it's not the best light to take photos. Hence, I apologise for the poor quality of my photos. I didn't want to carry my bulky camera, and I hate the flash anyway. The images taken with my mobile, even edited, are quite inferior but at least they give an idea of what we had for dinner.

We started our dinner with drinks. I really fancied a Bellini (prosecco with peach juice), while my husband ordered a glass of champagne.

The Blue Boar offers a varied selection of starters. In fact, they all looked so good, that I was very tempted to skip the main course and just order a few starters.
After much deliberation we chose to have a shared starter of Antipasto Misto (£14)which was presented on a lovely thick wooden slab. It consisted of prosciutto, Napoli Salami, olives, buffalo mozzarella, bruschette pomodorini (tomatoes), grilled peppers, courgettes, aubergines and bread. This was accompanied by two bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This was a very good choice of a starter. The bread was excellent, mozzarella melting in the mouth, peppers grilled just right... I wasn't very keen on prosciutto, as it was sliced thicker than usual, but then, it gives a more rustic appearance to the cured meat.

My husband ordered a Grilled salmon fillet (£11.95) for his main, with buttered tenderstem broccoli, rosemary and garlic crushed potatoes and sweet chilli sauce.
I opted for braised Cornish lamb shoulder with rosemary and garlic crushed potatoes, grilled peppers, roasted Marzanino tomatoes and red wine jus (£17.95). It was pure comfort food. The lamb was perfectly cooked, falling off the fork, and the jus was superb, very tasty and rich in flavour.

I had a glass of Sangiovese with my main. It was a fruity red wine, with peppery undertones and slightly smokey.

I wasn't very impressed with the wine list. There was a choice of bottles, but if you wanted just a glass of wine, the choice was very-very limited.

We were quite full after the mains, and deliberated whether we have any space left for a dessert. Well, there is always space for ice cream or sorbet, isn't it?! I had two scoops of sorbet - in lemon and blood orange. It was excellent, zingy, refreshing and tangy, especially the blood orange. It was simply beautiful. And a perfect ending to a rich meal.

My husband loves banoffee-style puds, with bananas and cream, and he was very happy with his dessert. I tried a spoonful, and it was lovely.

The service was friendly and efficient. My only mild criticism is that when I eat, I don't want anyone asking if everything is all right. It feels rather awkward to try to say something when your mouth is full. If I need something, I will let you know. It's not just the Blue Boar, it happens in the other restaurants as well.
I would also suggest to The Blue Boar to expand their choice of wine by the glass.

The total sum was a tad more pricey than I hoped for. We didn't get any free bread or snacks offered, which is fine, but would have been quite nice too.
Last year, when we celebrated my birthday at The Fleece, we were offered complimentary glasses of prosecco (my husband did mention that it was my birthday when he booked a table). And it's gestures like this which make you appreciate the place more.

Would I choose to dine at The Blue Boar again? Perhaps, though maybe not for my next birthday.

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  1. the food looks great, especially the starter!


  2. Mmm I love shared starters full of nibbles like that. I hope you had a lovely birthday xx