Eat­ing Out Hid­den jem stands the test of time

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Tonight’s Tv -

It’s been four years – but peo­ple are say­ing it is still as good as it has al­ways has been. No I’m not talk­ing about the World Cup, but Jim’s Yard in stam­ford.

It was 2006 when Jim’s culi­nary skills first came onto my radar when he opened his first res­tau­rant in Stam­ford. Tucked away be­hind the his­toric stone build­ings in Iron­mon­ger Street, the res­tau­rant needed no fan­fare to at­tract cus­tomers – the fine food spoke for it­self and Jim’s rep­u­ta­tion grew fast.

The Miche­lin Red Guide has awarded Jim’s Yard with a cov­eted Bib Gour­mand. But rather than just trust­ing the pro­fes­sion­als, on a quiet Tues­day night, I de­cided to see for my­self if Jim was still in the Premier League of lo­cal cui­sine.

At 7.45pm there were al­ready a good many ta­bles oc­cu­pied and we were de­lighted to be seated by the French doors over­look­ing the pa­tio area.

Choos­ing a starter proved to be quite dif­fi­cult, with tempt­ing dishes in­clud­ing crispy fried prawns with sweet chilli and basil dress­ing (£7.50), mush­room and tar­ragon risotto (£5.50) and chicken liver and gar­lic pate with toasted brioche and home­made chut­ney (£5.95). In the end I opted for oak smoked salmon with ca­pers, onion rings and brown bread (£6.95) and my wife chose the grilled Stil­ton and onion tart (£4.95).

The pi­quant ca­pers were a per­fect part­ner to the gen­er­ous por­tion of suc­cu­lent salmon. If I was go­ing to be picky I would have liked at least a few leaves of rocket or wa­ter­cress to fin­ish off the dish, but this is a mi­nor point. My wife’s puff pas­try tart

Jim’s Yard, tucked away be­hind histroic stone build­ings in Iron­mon­ger street, stam­ford, does not need to shout about its qual­ity. It is dis­tinctly premier league. was filled with sweet caramelised onion and topped with lash­ings of melted crumbly Stil­ton. We de­cided that both were equally good choices.

For main course I opted for the poached fil­let of hal­ibut with Nor­folk sam­phire, dauphine pota­toes and a white wine sauce (£14) and my wife choose the seared fil­let of seabream with potato puree, fine beans and shell­fish but­ter sauce (£13.95).

I ad­mit I read the menu wrong be­cause I thought my dish came with the creamy Dauphi­noise pota­toes, and was sur­prised when my plate ar­rived with four fried potato puffs. How­ever my wife pointed out the er­ror of my ways (no change there!) and I must say the pota­toes were de­li­cious. The meaty hal­ibut flaked beau­ti­fully and the salty sam­phire had me dream­ing of the sea­side. My wife was equally im­pressed with the seared fil­let of seabream and but­tery shell­fish sauce.

You see Jim’s Yard scores where so many other restau­rants fail. Many of their dishes could be de­scribed as clas­sic dishes – but they are clas­sic dishes ex­e­cuted sim­ply but with fi­nesse. The best and fresh­est in­gre­di­ents are re­ally al­lowed to shine.

The dessert menu in­cluded the ex­tremely tempt­ing ap­ple and black­berry crum­ble with vanilla ice­cream (£5.50), hot choco­late fon­dant with pis­ta­chio ice­cream (£5.95) and ap­ple tart tatin with clot­ted cream ice­cream (£5.50) but sadly nei­ther of us could man­age even a spoon­ful.

How­ever our fel­low din­ers who did opt for pud­ding all ap­peared to be just as im­pressed with their fi­nale as we had been with our first two cour­ses.

I’m de­lighted to say that four years on and Jim’s Yard is still as good as it has al­ways been. At­ten­tive staff and con­sis­tently good food.

And with an equally good res­tau­rant in Peter­bor­ough – Jim’s Bistro – I per­son­ally can’t wait un­til Jim works his magic on the for­mer Bee­hive pub in River­gate which is due to open this year. I wish him ev­ery suc­cess.

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