Whenever there’s a special occasion we love going to “fancy” restaurants as a treat to ourselves so for Valentine’s Day Josh chose Hotel Du Vin for us to try next.
We’ve googled “Top 10 best Brighton restaurants” about 100 times and Hotel Du Vin always pops up with great reviews so we were very eager to try it.
Our drinks and food order were taken quickly and the food arrived within no more than 10 minutes of ordering it. We had a starter and a main each with us both having a glass of wine with dinner, the photos aren’t very good quality because the lighting was low so apologies!!
Chicken Liver Parfait – £8.95
This was Josh’s starter which came with sourdough toast and raisin chutney. Very very good, I had a bit of food envy with this one, the chutney went very well with the parfait and the sourdough was a perfect base for both of them.
Sainte Maure Goat’s Cheese Quiche – £7.50
This would have been amazing but it was cold. At first I assumed that it was supposed to be cold (you have quiche cold at picnics right?) but the bottom and the middle were lukewarm so it must have been left out for too long. I’m happy to be corrected if this is how it should have been served but I just know that if it were hot it would have been delicious.
Classic Cassoulet – £16.95
My main definitely made up for the cold starter. White beans, confit duck, smoked Toulouse sausage and pork belly – amazing! Josh had quite a few mouthfuls of this and I would definitely order it again if I were to return.
Lapin Au Cidre Et Pate Fraiches – £16.95
Braised rabbit in a rich cider sauce and parpadelle pasta. This was, quite possibly, the worst dish either of us have ever eaten out in Brighton. It makes me so sad to say that because we were so excited to eat here, we’d been looking forward to it for a couple of weeks and to have to pay such a hefty price tag for an essentially tasteless dish is very frustrating.
The rabbit was cooked perfectly but that was the only positive about the dish. The “rich” sauce was utterly tasteless, absolutely no flavour and you could drain the water off the plate Gordon Ramsay style.
I have never in my life sent a dish back to the kitchen but with this one I was adamant to. Josh however, didn’t want the evening to be ruined by having to wait for his main to be returned whilst I sat there with my dinner either waiting for it to go cold to eat with him or for him to have to eat his main alone. However, if it were any other night, I would have.
We’re not stingy and would happily pay top doller to eat out somewhere fancy and get amazing service and good quality food. We’ve been to a fair few other “fancy” restaurants in Brighton – GB1, 64 Degrees, The Coal Shed etc and all lived up to their expectations. Hotel Du Vin didn’t and the meal we had was not worth the £85 price tag it came with, when paying so much I expect the best service and food and they really let themselves down.
Overall, the night was a bit hit and miss. The food that was good, was amazing and we could definitely see ourselves having a great night with great food here. However, the food that wasn’t so good let the whole experience down so we’re not in any hurry to go back.