Varied menu, quality meats and relaxed atmosphere
There’s nothing quite like dining next to a roaring fire during the cold winter months; absorbing the warm glow of heat as you fill up on delicious food and drink.
While this might typically conjure up images of a pub snug, in fact we were in The Courtyard in Bawtry, at Turkish restaurant Elif. And on this occasion, the coal fire was actually a charcoal grill lined with meat skewers.
Elif has been at The Courtyard for just a year, but its varied menu, quality meats and relaxed atmosphere has proved a hit with customers. We arrived early one Friday evening, ducking away from the bitter wind into the stylish cocktail bar where we were greeted by owner Jonathan Clough, who led us upstairs to the restaurant.
Thawing out next to the grill, we had prime seats at the open kitchen, where we watched the expert chefs get to work. We kicked off the evening with a selection of one cold and two hot mezes: hummus, grilled Turkish sausage, and pan-fried prawns with garlic and parsley. Each dish was packed with flavour and beautifully presented with fresh salad. The hummus was a particular highlight and was came with a plenty of bread for dipping.
Presentation is something Elif clearly take pride in, and my main course arrived as a foil swan – quite a spectacle. Unwrapped, the swan revealed an earthenware pot filled with chunks of lamb, onions, tomatoes peppers and garlic. The lamb was particularly tender and was balanced wonderfully by a refreshing bulgar wheat salad.
Across the table my partner was tucking into a generous portion of adana (minced lamb) served with yogurt and tomato sauce. The meat was perfectly seasoned, with a wonderful char-grilled flavour and also came served with a delicious accompanying salad. An ideal winter-warmer dish.
With so much indulgence we could only manage to share a pudding and opted for the traditional baklava, a decision we didn’t regret. The rich, sweet layers of filo were filled and topped with chopped nuts and soaked in syrup – creating a beautiful just-crunchy texture and the perfect ending to our meal.
The huge selection of dishes here gives diners the flexibility of enjoying an extravagant meal, or a healthier light bite. While the delicious food and drink are enough of a reason to visit Elif, they are now offering diners a refund on their parking cost. Simply show a photograph of the parking ticket and they will deduct this from the bill, leaving you to enjoy a relaxed dining experience without the added worry of parking fees.
If you’re looking for somewhere to hide away this winter, or are in search of great cocktails and authentic Turkish cuisine, take a turn onto the cobbles of The Courtyard and you will uncover a real treat.
Elif Turkish Bar & Grill 16 The Courtyard, Bawtry Doncaster DN10 6JG
Tel: 01302 711944