Stephanie Burns reviews Bawtry’s Bar & Brasserie, Doncaster
I recently had the pleasure of introducing a friend to Bawtry. Though she’d heard lots about the town, she’d never actually been and was dying to see what all the fuss was about.
I couldn’t have picked a more perfect evening to show her just what makes this place so special.
As we reached our destination for the evening - Bawtry’s Bar & Brasserie - there was a real buzz, with a packed bar of groups and couples starting their weekend in style.
Even before we took a seat, the scrubbed wooden tables, antler chandeliers, and a mis-match of decorations - an old gramophone in the corner, two oars criss-crossed on the walls, chests as tables - all set against a backdrop of dark grey walls with candles flickering in storm lanterns, made the atmosphere incredibly inviting.
Bawtry’s shares a building with Coleman’s Steakhouse and Pizzeria - they both opened at the same time last year and have made great contributions to the town - and they both serve the Coleman’s menu.
After great starters of Thai fishcakes (£6.50), packed with chunks of fish and prawns and joined by a sticky sweet chilli dip, and five huge salt and pepper chicken wings (£6.25) spiked with an extra kick courtesy of red chilli, jalepenos, onions and shards of garlic, we put the establishment’s namesakes to the test.
Pizza is something you often only appreciate when you shun the supermarkets and takeaways and allow yourself to indulge in the real deal – a proper stone-baked version with a freshly made base and spread liberally with high quality ingredients. Coleman’s/Bawtry’s have clearly done their homework; a beautifully crisp base was matched brilliantly by a generous topping of goats cheese, red onion marmalade, wilted spinach and garlic oil (£9.95) and had my dining companion in raptures. Could the other eponymous dish match this calibre?
Portions aren’t small but do try to leave room for dessert. Sticky toffee pudding and Snickers cheesecake (both £4.50 and served with zingy raspberry ripple ice cream) were perhaps more indulgent puds than we really needed but they were definitely worth a little extra greed.
While Bawtry’s and Coleman’s don’t serve particularly fancy food, what they do, they do incredibly well. I’ll be dreaming about that steak for a long time to come and my friend is already asking when we can schedule in a return visit to her new favourite town.
Bawtry’s Bar & Brasserie, 52 High Street, Bawtry, DN10 6JA
Tel: 01302 711271