A couple of months ago I introduced you to one of my favourite local eateries - The George & Dragon pub in Hurstbourne Tarrant, Hampshire (you can read the first review of their summer menu here). I wanted to do a little follow up post as the menu for this pub is seasonal and changes in the Winter to more hearty, warming tastes.
The George & Dragon is nested in a cosy little village called Hurstbourne Tarrant which is just on the outskirts of Andover, Hampshire. There are plenty of beautiful countryside walks in the area - we often take Harvey to a little forest just on the other side of Hurstbourne Tarrant, going towards St Mary Bourne. The pub itself is cosy and spacious, with little nooks for a more private dining experience.
We started with some bread and butter - the staple of any good restaurant. I love freshly made bread and soft slightly salted butter - simply delicious! It's a great nibble to have whilst you're deciding or waiting on starters. Which by the way we decided on pretty quickly: asian style salmon roulade, and mussels in a white wine sauce - YUM. Liam and I always get the meals which both of us will enjoy and then go halfsies - brilliant if you want to taste more of the menu. Our starters arrived pretty quickly - perfect timing after a glass of wine and a quick catch up!
The smoked salmon roulade was delicious and creamy with added flavour and texture from the seaweed it was wrapped in - like a British sushi piece! If you like shellfish, mussels in a white wine sauce is heavenly - and each restaurant have their own twists they put on it.
For mains we had roast venison with seasonal veg and a red wine jus, and squid with squid ink risotto and a pea puree. The venison was so tender that it literally melted in your mouth - coupled with earthy kale and red wine sauce, it was the perfect hearty meal for a cold Winter evening. Kale has honestly never tasted better!
I then tasted the squid and squid ink risotto - the risotto was definitely the star of the show. It was earthy, creamy and simply delicious. I know some people may be weirded out seeing black risotto on their plate, but honestly give it a go because it has a buttery taste rather than salty or fishy. Topped with some little tentacles and a crispy pancetta slice, this was a perfectly balanced dish.
The menu of The George & Dragon changes very often, so check their website before your visit to see whats on the current menu! I cannot wait to come back to the cosy little village pub again soon and see what other traditional meals the chef can spice up with a little imagination and knowledge of tastes.