Sussex Business Times’ Features Editor enjoyed a three-course meal at Limetree Kitchen in Lewes
Located on the quiet cobbled Station Street in the town of Lewes, Limetree Kitchen posed the perfect appearance for a warm or even romantic meal on a cold October evening. With the front window lit up with fairy lights, contrasting with the dismal winter weather, I could hardly wait to go inside. The waiter and barman, Craig, greeted us at the door and welcomed us in with a friendly smile. Unusually, we were given the opportunity to choose where we sat, although this was probably helped along by the fact that there were only three or four other customers in the building, which is to be expected at this time of year.
The interior of the restaurant impressed me. It was a combination of modern and rustic, each table laid up with intimate candle lighting, polished cutlery and comfortable, cushioned chairs. The blackboards on the walls were plentiful with dishes, showing the true extent of the talented chefs working there. Chandeliers hung from the ceiling and the back wall was decorated using music sheets, which I thought added a unique feel to the restaurant; something I hadn’t seen before. The tables sported a worn-out look, matching the door from the kitchen to the dining area. I appreciated that the dining area was separated from the main bar area, providing dinner guests with some form of privacy. Without knowing, I had chosen the table in front of the radiator, supplying us with the perfect level of heat throughout the evening while the wide variety of background music was played at a suitable volume.
Craig supplied us with menus and a bottle of water before taking our drinks order. My guest went for the non-alcoholic option of Elderflower with ice, while I went all out and chose the Limetree Bellini cocktail, consisting of Prosecco, Peach Puree, Sugar Syrup, Raspberries and Sherbert neatly decorating the top of the glass. It was soon after this that Craig took it upon himself to present us with an Amuse Bouche – Tomato Tartare and Smoked Ricotta on a crispy Tortilla with Red Basil. If I wasn’t already looking forward to the wonders the chef was going to cook up for us, this definitely done the job!
Craig returned to our table shortly after with our desired drinks and asked if were ready to order. I am always hesitant when considering a starter as I never want to take away from the main and dessert courses, so my guest and I opted for the selection of cured meats to share rather than selecting individual starters. It wasn’t long before it was placed neatly in front of us, and Craig offered to explain each individual meat and its origin, which we appreciated. It’s always nice to know where exactly your food has come from. The platter consisted of Wild Boar Prosciutto, Truffled Salami, Smoked Salami and Fennel Salami, decorated neatly with vegetables and piccalilli. As a confessed Salami fan anyway, I was in heaven. The sweet piccalilli perfectly complemented the different meats and Craig even supplied us with complementary bread and butter. It wasn’t long before the platter was empty, with my guest and I fighting over who was going to eat the last piece.
Craig – who was attentive throughout our meal without encroaching on our evening – was soon back to take our main course choices but I will confess, I had already decided on what I was going to have for my main course before even arriving at the venue. Just looking at the menu online was enough to whet my appetite! I opted for a medium-well Rib-eye Steak, served with hand-cut Fries, Aioli and a Roquette Parmesan Salad and my guest; the Posh Fish and Chips, consisting of battered Hake Fillet, hand-cut Chips, Pea Puree and Tartare sauce. The presentation of both dishes was exquisite, almost to the point that I didn’t want to ruin it! My steak was the best I have ever had the pleasure of eating; tender and juicy and perfectly complemented by the aioli sauce. The fries were crisp and it was safe to say that the meal as a whole was plentiful, causing slight worry in my mind that I wouldn’t be able to manage a dessert. I gathered from the strange noises my guest was making that the Posh Fish and Chips was equally delicious and I could see from the other side of the table that it was hot right to the centre; proof of a well-cooked meal.
A welcome pause was left before he returned to take our dessert order. Undecided, we asked Craig what his recommendation was and trusted his suggestion, so we opted for the Lemon Verbena and Honey Pannacotta, Lychee Sorbet and Bee Pollen Honeycomb to share, still full to the brim from our previous courses but refusing to be defeated! The presentation was, yet again, amazing and the taste even better. The Sorbet was incredibly refreshing and this, along with the sweetness of the Honeycomb and light Pannacotta, all infused together to make a delightful dessert.
With overall outstanding service, beautifully presented and delectable food served to us in an intimate and cosy atmosphere, Limetree Kitchen made for a perfect evening meal. I left with only one negative – the lack of parking, but this is to be expected when dining in the tiny town of Lewes. I would highly recommend Limetree Kitchen for anyone looking for a tranquil and intimate dinner and I will be sure to return soon!
Limetree Kitchen, 14 Station St, Lewes, BN7 2DA