Big portions for big appetites at Coleman's Pizzeria and Steakhouse
What happens when you take two Bawtry businesses and combine them into one country pub? The answer is Coleman’s Bistro at The Blacksmiths Arms in Everton, the latest venture from Andy Miller and Andy Longworth of Bawtry’s Bar & Brasserie and John and Sarah Coleman of Coleman’s Pizzeria & Steakhouse. The group joined forces last November to relaunch this well-established pub and the result is something really rather special.
The licensee – and the face of this new incarnation – is Claire Fleetwood, who has been working for Andy Longworth since 1988. With years of experience running some of the region’s best-known establishments, she’s the driving force behind the early success of this new eatery. The Sunday carvery in particular is going down a storm and it’s already become a buzzing weekend haunt for Bawtry regulars who fancy a change from the norm.
We visited midweek and were surprised to find the place bustling despite its relatively remote location. It’s great to see that they’ve retained the rustic pub feel (think cosy corners, low beams and toasty fires) and, while the menu is populated primarily by pub classics – there are several different burgers and steaks alongside dishes such as pie, lasagne and chicken kiev – the contemporary bistro influence shines through on the plate.
My starter looked pretty as a picture and tasted just as good. Lightly toasted soda bread was spread liberally with horseradish (watch out if you prefer your condiments on the milder side) and topped with smoked mackerel and salted cucumber. A scattering of micro-herbs finished the dish with a flourish. My dining partner enjoyed an equally tasty chicken liver pate – homemade with port, cranberry and mixed herbs – and a very generous portion of warm crusty bread with two types of chutney. A wonderful start to the meal.
We’d heard great things about the pub’s sausage selection but weren’t quite prepared for a ten-strong list courtesy of the Bawtry-based Wilkinson Butchers. This is anything but ordinary bangers and mash – you choose three sausages (Cumberland, lamb and mint and Welsh dragon in my companion’s case), a variety of mashed potato (he had spring onion mash but could have opted for creamy, gruyere or bacon and brie) and a jus (beef and ale, port or minted red wine). It’s a great concept and there’s something to suit even the fussiest of tastes. I also tucked in to a hearty portion of mash but mine came with a tasty pork fillet rolled in fresh herbs and doused in a rich port jus – delicious.
By this point we could have practically rolled home but the briefest of glances at the dessert menu soon changed our mind. Without a second thought for my waistline, I devoured a great slab of four-layer chocolate cake, complete with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries. My companion chose a light and fluffy lemon meringue pie with a gentle citrus tang and agreed that it had been worth pushing our thresholds that little bit further.
It may have only been five months since the Coleman’s Bistro partnership took hold of The Blacksmiths Arms but all indications show that it’s set for a very bright future.
Coleman’s Pizzeria & Steakhouse, 52 High Street, Bawtry DN10 6JA. Tel: 01302 711711