There’s something of celebrity about Nutters, a whiff of expectation and an air of grandeur – it does help that Nutters is set in a eighteenth century manor house in rolling grounds, approached by a long drive, with a polished and warm welcome from Nutter Snr himself upon arrival.
Seated in the newly refurbished bar area we were served a selection of canapes whilst choosing from the well balanced menu; a fish goujon was light and delightful, however the wrap was fridge cold, soggy and tasted no more special than philadelphia in corn tortillas. The waiting area has been newly decorated; whether this is being rolled out throughout the whole restaurant I’m not sure, but the decoration jarred with the old school, main body of the restaurant, which is characterised by sumptuous royal blue carpets, dark wood, low lighting and white table cloths.
Starter of carpaccio was lightly seared and wonderfully soft with a parmesan crisp that added a welcome crunch of texture and salty savouriness, although the accompanying crispy vegetable nibbles were soft rather than crispy and didn’t add anything to the dish. Vine ripened tomato soup was deeply flavoured with a warm evocation of late summer, but the truffled chives on top added nothing to the dish; the perfume rather overwhelmed and rather jarred with the sweetness of the tomatoes.
Mains were well constructed and obviously well practised by Andrew Nutter and his team. Brill with a red pepper crust with black pudding and scallops was dainty and soft, the porky sweetness marrying well with the rest of the dish. Hake with a tomato and scallop tart was brilliantly executed, the pastry light and crunchy. Steaks came out faultless, cooked to our exact specifications and were obviously good quality hunks of meat.
So swiftly on to pudding; a delectable chocolate delice with proper, handmade peanut brittle. This was a chocolaty, creamy delight with great shards of hard, salty brittle and tempered dark chocolate, set off by a caramel/peanut ice cream: I was in rapture and can still taste it now. For the rest of the table a small plate of petits fours arrived; small, sweet, but not anything out of the ordinary.
Wine at Nutters is managed, advised on and served in style by Nutter Snr, your glasses constantly topped up without you noticing, whilst he glides around the floor chatting to the clientele – this is clearly a man who loves his work. The operation at Nutters is smooth and well polished; food comes out silently from experienced and well kept waitresses. Service was outstanding; however we did have a little trouble in locating staff between courses, they came out with the food and then disappeared again as if by magic.
I had initially been worried that the grand exterior, the white linen and the dark panelling would have equalled a dated, fusty experience, but felt at ease whilst eating here. Although the mains were skillfully put together, some dishes failed to live up to the standard conjured up by the grand setting. Prior to eating at Nutters we had heard such glowing reviews that we expected impeccable food in an amazing surrounding. Whilst neither was achieved, Nutters came very close and was certainly a thoroughly enjoyable meal.
Price for four starters, four mains, one pudding, pre-dinner drinks, two bottles of champagne, one half bottle of port and three coffees: £245.50
Food – 8/10
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value for money – 7/10
Total – 30/40
Go again – yes I would, I think there’s many positive points here and it’s worth another visit.
Nutters, 691 Edenfield Road, Norden, Rochdale OL12 7TT – 01706 650167 – firstname.lastname@example.org – Twitter