When you mention The Bronze Pig in Lincoln to others then their eyes light up. Either people are excited about their visit, or indeed have visited already for a birthday or an anniversary.
The restaurant is intimate, with only 12 tables, and only one sitting, meaning that you have the table to yourself for the whole evening. This is quite unusual in a restaurant of this standard, but allows guests to dine leisurely, enjoying their food and the environment, without having to rush for the next guests. There’s even a chef’s table for 6-8 people with views into the kitchen to marvel at the masterpieces being cooked. It’s decorated in a unique modern style, with wall murals and multi coloured chairs, bringing a bright vibrant aura to the rooms. The chatty and personable owner explained a little about the ethos of the restaurant. Despite his Italian background the restaurant is decidedly British with almost everything on the menu coming from within 10 miles. A few exceptions such as the fish (from Grimsby) are allowed, but even bottled waters are locally sourced and Gino has even dabbled in British wines. The menus nod towards traditional cuisines, which with Lincoln being a heritage city with a huge amount of history is a lovely link.
The food is seasonal and the menus change every month, with an evening of gastronomy held every 3 months with a special tasting menu. The food finds a wonderful balance between traditional menus and ingredients with a modern often deconstructed twist. Meats like rabbit, guinea fowl and pheasant make an appearance, with touches of sweet and savoury alongside each other, as well as a range of textures in every dish. The pan roasted quail was accompanied by a poached quail’s egg, but served alongside slightly blackened corn, giving a fine dining meal a homely nod. In a similar manner, the impeccable cod served with a tarragon pesto, sat on a cassoulet bed, once again mixing very familiar ingredients that one might find at home, alongside flavours and cooking techniques only found in top end restaurants.
The deconstructed lemon meringue pie was both sweet and torte, with a white chocolate ‘base’ that tasted like a rich tablet. A basil jus added an unusual but welcome flavour, and also that signature sweet & savoury mix.
The chef is passionate about his food, and his taste comes across in the food. I was lucky enough to chat with him briefly after the meal and he talked enthusiastically about coming up with menus for the month.
The evening was delightful from start to finish, and certainly in the top few meals I’ve eaten in recent times. With the frequently changing menus and expansions to the restaurant in the next year it’s certainly a place to return to.