At the end of 2017 I managed to head to a restaurant that’s been on my list for a while – Wildwood on King Street.
It is a chain but before it came to Nottingham I had never seen one before and I found it intriguing. Their mission statement is “friendly staff to serve great food, in a place where people feel at home”.
First Impressions of Wildwood
As you walk in there was a huge curtain to walk through, I assume to stop any diners feeling a cold draft as people go in and out of the doors. As soon as I entered I immediately noticed how busy it was, despite this, we were greeted immediately and shown to our table at the back.
Our table was against the back wall where there were 3-4 others around us, the kitchen was to our right and boasted a huge copper pizza oven in the centre. On seeing this my boyfriend immediately wanted a pizza as he associates these with authentic pizzas.
I noticed that the decor is good, it’s quite cliche with restaurants nowadays (a lot of wood and tiling) but it worked and it made it look like a really nice place to sit and eat. I enjoyed looking at the ceiling and seeing all of the wooden beams, they added to the character.
The menus were already on our table so we had a quick perusal whilst ordering a bottle of wine.
We were starving as we’d been on a big shopping spree earlier in the day so went straight in with marinated olives and rosemary and garlic bread.
Although two really simple dishes to start us of, these olives were some of the best I’ve ever had. They had chunks of garlic and tomatoes in there and were a combination of at least three different types. The flavours were amazing and there was no tang that you usually get with olives.
The bread was as expected in terms of taste, there were no surprises and it was lovely. The great thing about this option is that the portion size is huge!
For a main I opted for per-peri chicken with spinach, cream and cherry tomatoes. Another massive portion was placed in front of me. Unfortunately I didn’t finish as I wanted to make room for dessert.
Penne is probably my worse pasta choice (too much as a student) but when you cover it in cream I’m a massive fan. The chicken pieces were in huge chunks throughout with a few pieces of tomatoes in for measure. I’d have liked to see a little more spice as I wouldn’t have known it was peri-peri, and a few more tomatoes but other than that it was a good hearty dish. Flavoursome, filling and one I’d have again.
Always one to stick to his guns my boyfriend opted for the carne pizza with meatballs, salami, pepperoni, chorizo, ham, harissa and thyme. He actually managed to eat the whole thing and asked where dessert was. It’s safe to say this was a really good pizza for him: a lot of meat and zero veg.
As I’d made room and my boyfriend was determined to have a dessert anyway we asked for the menu and heard the specials. I stuck with the menu’s pecan pie and my boyfriend opted for the special of a sticky toffee pudding.
Surprisingly the pie I had came out warm, which was a lovely surprise. I enjoyed the mint on top as it’s one of my favourite herbs, and I loved the unexpected stickiness of the caramalised filling. I didn’t even question finishing this, I just kept eating until it was gone.
The sticky toffee was smothered in custard and displayed a mint leaf on top too. The was warm, as expected,, and was a massive portion – the photo doesn’t do it justice. As a lover of sponge puddings and custard this was never going to let my boyfriend down.
This was standard, the staff seemed friendly but it wasn’t anything really to pick up on from an overly positive or negative light. We were greeted instantly and shown to a seat quickly, orders and food were done effectively and it was easy to grab the bill.
wildwood rating: 7.5/10
£32.05pp / £64.10 in total for starters, mains, desserts and a bottle of wine.
The food itself was really cheap but the wine cost more than a third of the meal (£23) which always annoys me with these venues.
It was nice wine but nothing special, we simply opted for the sauvignon blanc, not a fancy one. I know there’s not much margin in food and £64 is really good value for what we had, but the breakdown of costs is annoying.
Overall I’d be going back again but I’d pick something simple to drink. The food was really good for the cost and the fact that it’s a chain restaurant. The atmosphere was good, a cosy venue and service you can’t complain about.
Recommended for: couples, small groups, large groups, friends, veggies
Not recommended for: Italian haters, spice lovers, dietary requirements (unless they have a separate menu)
Why not try: a specials dish
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Love for you all x