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Old Rectifying House, Worcester ~ New Chef Review

Old Rec, New Chef ~ Putting the Fun back into Eating Out

Three rousing cheers for Matt Denwood who has put much-needed Fun back into eating out in Worcester. There is nothing the least bit snooty-nosed about his simple dining bar and restaurant beside the river Severn.

The bar offers an international range of beers – including local real ales – lagers and ciders – with Dunkerton’s organic Black Fox from Herefordshire. The thankfully short but well-written wine list contains some exceptional value bottles as well as three each House whites and reds by the glass (£3.50 small 175 ml to £4.75/£4.95 250ml).  The Gavi at £16.00 is a well-priced dry Italian white from Piedmont, while at £14.95 the Tuella Duro Tinto from Cockburn’s (pronounced Co-burn) Port wine quinta up the Douro is delightfully easy drinking.

The open to view kitchen run by chef Barry Stretch offers agreeably affordable dishes that are presented with all the panache of haut-cuisine .  Barry shares Matt’s sense of humour with such frankly fun items on his Evening Menu as All things Duck – Pan Roasted Breast, Duck Hash and Duck Scratchings all served with a Cherry Jus – and for dessert All Things Raspberry – Raspberry Trifle, Raspberry Ripple Ice cream and a Chocolate and Raspberry Samosa.

The dishes are frankly much more Fun Dining, than Fine Dining, and are none the worse for that.  Starters range from £3.95 for homemade soup with homemade bread to £5.90, and Main Courses from £12.50 to £16.50 (All Things Duck).  What the kitchen may lack in finesse it more than makes up for with atmosphere, while the young, attractive waiting staff are swift, unobtrusive and extraordinarily professional.

Perhaps not quite the place for a quiet tête-á-tête, but a great choice for parties of eight to ten sharing a table. As a young man I don’t think that I would necessarily choose to go there to get engaged, but I would certainly take the largest table that I could to celebrate everything else.

Worcesters Finest Cocktails? – For those who appreciate a good quality cocktail, created with equal passion, take a trip to the upstairs cocktail bar, with stunning views of the river – and let Matt (& Matt!) play with the wide range of spirits, and fresh mixers, to wow your taste buds, and relax away the Winter Blues.

Gourmet Life 20% Discount - Enjoy 20% off dining at the Old Rec, and over 50 premier dining venues, join the Midlands Lifestyle Dining Club, and you too could be invited to exclusive previews such as this, as well as wine nights, gourmet events, and discounts all over the Midlands More HERE

Contact the Old Rec, and sample their delights for yourself: The Old Rec Tel: 01905 619622

© Philippe Boucheron 2009 on behalf of eat-the-midlands.co.uk

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