I’m generally a chirpy soul and have the energy levels to rival a bouncy Tigger. On the odd occasion when I can’t make sense of the world (Donald Trump, terrorism, black pudding, bad manners) a pick-me-up in the form of good food goes down really well.
I found myself at Pitcher and Piano earlier this week to check out their brand spanking new terrace and new season menu. Access is via staircase towards the back of the pub. I immediately fell in love with the quaint artwork adorning the walls.
The pretty patio, comfortable chairs and high stools are ideal to enjoy a spot of al fresco drinking and dining.
Although sunny, it was a little windy during our visit, so we wound up eating indoors. I’m a huge fan of cocktails, and the Bison Martini (Żubrówka vodka, Chambord, apple juice, vanilla sugar syrup, lime juice) didn’t disappoint. This drink is good for those who like fruity, floral notes without the sickly sweetness. My dining partner had the Rum Swizzle (Kraken Black Spiced rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, lemon juice, grenadine syrup, aromatic bitters). I loved this cocktail (the gentle caramel notes of the rum are truly stunning) and I couldn’t help get in a few sneaky sips.
We kicked off with the Grazer board (3 for £12.50) as follows:
Chicken and Chorizo: succulent chicken, gorgeous chargrilled chorizo, fantastic flavour combination and my favourite.
Cajun Spiced Calamari: wonderful hit of paprika, calamari cooked perfectly, Cajun crumb tasty.
Tempura Fish Fingers: tender fish, good seasoned batter, felt more like regular fish and chip shop batter and less tempura – still delicious though.
For main, I had British Buttermilk Chicken (spicy coated chicken breast, coleslaw and skinny fries). Melt in your mouth chicken with a crunchy crumb was heavenly. Coleslaw was proper (not the criminally non-mayo sort that I’m seeing of late in eateries that shall remain nameless). Shoestring fries were also very good and great swiped through ketchup.
My dining partner had 10oz Rump Steak (grilled flat mushroom, tomato, rocket, skin-on chips). His medium rare steak was cooked to perfection and was very tasty, whilst the peppercorn sauce was creamy, punchy and very moreish.
For dessert I had Sticky Toffee Pudding (warm toffee sauce, vanilla flavoured ice cream). I’ll be honest – it’s not much to look at, however moist sponge, butterscotchy sauce and a molten river of vanilla ice-cream was gorgeous. When I return, I will most certainly be having this again.
After being told they were out of cheesecake, my dining partner had the P&P Flourless Chocolate Brownie (salted caramel sauce, vanilla flavoured ice cream). This looked visually stunning, with the glaze on that sauce being the envy of chefs around the country. I found the sponge to be a little on the dry side which may have been down to the ground almond sponge base. Still, this wasn’t an issue, as the wondrous sauce acted as a magical lubricant.
I really enjoyed the meal. I’m not a fan of franchises and find myself surprised to like Pitcher and Piano so much. I’ll go so far as to say that it’s one of my favourite pubs in Derby. Why? Customer service is brilliant. Liam and Tom are luminous stars who are attentive and kind. The bar ambiance is quirky and cool. Our snug area also housed bookshelves.
The food is delicious, fresh, and bears hallmarks of manna that momma used to make. With three menus including breakfast and roast dinners, there is also something for everyone. And the meal deals are phenomenal. You can get three grazing dishes (like the ones pictured above) AND a bottle of wine for under £20. How cool is that? Here are just a few deals this generous bar have got going on:
The Grazer Boards are amazing and I strongly urge you try them out. The terrace is a fantastic addition to the pub and I already have two visits lined up in the coming weeks to take advantage of this summery weather.
For a pick-me-up that doesn’t cost the earth, but will leave you with a smile on your face, check out Pitcher and Piano now.
Star Rating 1-10 (1: “I’d rather eat my own shoe, I hated it that much” – 10: “I’d pillage for a meal here”.)
Value for money: 9
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Address: 19-20 Friar Gate, Derby DE1 1BX
Tel: 01332 206790