Visit: 20 October 2021, dinner for 6 people
The Lighthouse Restaurant opened its doors in 2010 led by proprietor and head chef Jonathan Hardy. It now features in The Michelin Guide and the team are working towards a Michelin star.
The restaurant is located in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside between Ashbourne and Sudbury, at the rear of the Rose and Crown pub in the small village of Boylestone, It’s easy to miss when you are driving there, but look out for an old, red telephone box that is opposite the pub.
The 40-seater restaurant is in a well-decorated, rustic barn conversion with exposed beams and an open kitchen. We visited on a Wednesday evening and every table was booked, which is a testament to this restaurant’s popularity.
To start with, we were served two amuse bouche. One was a seaweed tapioca “quaver”, with tasty blobs of Boylestone damson and satay. The second was a very good fried chicken beast, with a Thai green sauce, mooli and kaffir lime.
Next, we were served a very good focaccia style bread, topped with hen of the woods mushrooms and truffle.
The next course was leek and ham hock, served in a creamy cheese custard, made with Lincolnshire Poacher cheese, and pickled mustard.
The fish course was a very well-judged halibut served with fermented celeriac, hazelnut, amaranth and sea purslane. This was one of the standout dishes of the evening for me. The fish was perfectly cooked with an excellent creamy sauce.
The second standout dish was a Wagyu beef shin, served as a deconstructed cottage pie, with pomme puree and pickled onion. I’m not usually a fan of deconstructed dishes, but this was excellent. The beef had a very deep flavour, and the sauce was perfect.
The pre-dessert was Nashi pear, with yoghurt and lychee. The dessert was white chocolate, fresh blackberries, and blackberry mousse.
The menu changes to suit each season and everything is home-made – all the sauces, stocks, the focaccia bread, cakes, desserts and the ice cream. You can choose either an 8-course taster menu or a vegetarian option; no a la carte option is available. The food is excellent. The taster menu is very reasonably priced at £65 per head and there is a wine flight option at £60 per head.
This is a very good restaurant. I definitely recommend a visit.