The Black Bear Inn in Bettws Newydd is one of our favourite local pub restaurants. Recently, they did a set Game Dinner menu for a night, instead of their usual blackboard menu. Priced at £38 per person, the multi-course feast was a set menu served to all diners.
Sourdough and butter to start; we always enjoy the Black Bear bread served with good quality butter.
The Wild boar and pigeon terrine, pickled walnut arrived as a generous meaty slab per person. We enjoyed it smooshed over the sourdough.
Potted rabbit, rye cracker was another great dish, the meat soft and spreadable against the hard crispness of the rye bread. Trademark Black Bear pickles cut through the fattiness.
My favourite of these starter dishes was the Wild mushroom croquette, full of meaty, intensely-flavoured mushrooms in a crunchy coating, served piping hot. Dipped into an avocado-green parsley mayonnaise, I could have eaten several more of these.
For Pete, the best starter was the Perl Las biscuit, squash, apple. The blue cheese biscuit was light and crumbly and all about that blue cheese flavour, salty against the sweet squash puree and cubed apple.
The Game bird and Madeira broth, root vegetables looked so simple but the broth was magnificent, richly redolent of poultry and Madeira, without that funky game bird taint that neither of us enjoy.The root vegetables had a bite left to them, and the little pops of different flavours worked well with the broth. Not a drop was left in the bowls!
The main was a very generous portion of Fallow deer, red cabbage, mash, damson jelly which we were hard pressed to finish but it was so good our plates were soon empty. The meat was tender and beefy, beautiful against the sweet and wobbly jelly. I don’t want to think about how much butter was beaten into the mash, but it was worth it!
By the time Chocolate mousse, red wine poached pear, candied walnuts arrived we were already full but gamely continued (see what I did there, I know, consider me told off). Silky smooth dark chocolate mousse was dense and rich, wonderful against the winter-spiced red wine-poached pear. And a wonderful garnish of candied walnuts, a snack I feel they should bottle and sell on the side. Probably just as well for me that they don’t!
To book onto one of these themed dinners, keep an eye on the Black Bear’s instagram for announcements.
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