Best Night Out, Westside Restaurant Awards 2016
I have never had much luck on the gambling front. With ‘the house always wins’ firmly rooted in the back of my mind, I’ve been reluctant to dabble.
So it was with more than a little trepidation that I found myself stepping through the gleaming glass doors of Napoleons Ecclesall Road. But from the second we entered the really rather glamorous restaurant – it’s all velvet booths, green-lit palms and mood lighting – my initial apprehension began to ebb away. By the end of the night, it had disappeared completely.
Restaurant manager Daniel Grimm provides a friendly, courteous welcome and is so knowledgeable and passionate about the menu that, when he recommended the pigeon starter and mains of lamb rump and rib-eye steak, we were more than happy to take his advice.
My partner chose the pigeon, served pink on a bed of smooth cauliflower puree and accompanied by a generous onion risotto bonbon – utterly delicious – and I opted for the Thai spiced cod, a beautifully cooked piece of fish that was given a kick with tomato and chilli jam and a refreshing twist with lemon and chive crème fraiche. Things were off to a winning start.
On to mains, and the crisp and flavoursome fat on my roasted lamb rump was sensational. Diet be damned, I ate every last bit on the plate. Joined by succulent pink meat, olive tapenade and a tasty Mediterranean tart, it was a delight. My partner’s tender rib-eye steak was equally well received and sides of excellent roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables completed the main course in style.
Having realised that Daniel was a man to be trusted, we didn’t hesitate to ask for his opinion on dessert. The ‘Crunchie’ cheesecake was a certain choice, but we couldn’t decide between the chocolate trio and the lemon posset. “Leave it with me,” Daniel said as he disappeared with a mischievous smile, only to emerge from the kitchen a few moments later with all three puds – the devil! All were excellent but the super-smooth, zingy lemon posset really stole the show.
Feeling rather bold thanks to a delightful New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (yet another recommendation from Daniel), we headed downstairs to enjoy an after-dinner G&T and see how far we’d get with our £5 gaming chips. Pretty far, as it turned out. While I sensibly retired after doubling my initial stake, my partner found fortune with a run of lucky reds on the roulette table and we left with a rather tidy sum. We may have beaten the house, but Napoleons needn’t worry – with food this good, we’ll be back to spend our winnings in the restaurant in no time.
Napoleons Casino & Restaurant Ecclesall Road, 844 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, S11 8TD. Tel: 0114 266 1115