Dining Out at The Ram
The Ram in Lincolnshire’s adopted town of Newark is a bar & brasserie for all the seasons. In spring and summer, enjoy a refreshing drink in the outdoor seating area, and in the cooler seasons, there are cosy corners to enjoy warm drinks by the roaring fireplaces. This month, the Ram has several other reasons to dine in the beautiful 18th century Georgian restaurant…
If you were to ask a random selection of people in Britain what grinds their gears the most, you’ll probably hear common complaints like people pushing in queues, bad drivers or perhaps rude shop assistants.
However, if you were to ask a random selection of people in Newark currently, nearly all will answer roadworks. As improvements are carried out in the town, it has been very tricky to get around for the past few months.
For Rebecca Collin at the Ram, she is particularly pleased that by the time Pride goes to press, the roads will be open, the diggers will have stopped their monotonous drone and fluorescent cones will no longer be lining the street outside the bar & brasserie.
I suppose it’s a minor inconvenience one has to deal with when your restaurant is in such a central location, in a beautiful historic town.
The restaurant has had a bit of a change with its management team, and Luke Hickman who has starred in one of our dining out features before, has joined the team as head chef. He’s introduced new menus but has not changed the dining experience too much from its original style – don’t fix it if it ain’t broke – he’s just put his own stamp on it.
What has been introduced are special events and evenings throughout the year like a very popular Spanish Tapas Night and Vegan Tapas Night planned for August, to attract new audiences.
“We decided to host special events like this throughout the year, and we’re planning a seafood evening too, to attract new diners,” says Rebecca. “As much as we love regulars and returning customers, it’s important that people who have never dined here give us a try. The special event evenings are bringing in new custom, and also new regulars!”
Rebecca and Luke are really trying to promote the fact that they can cater to all people now. It’s important they feel that whether you have dietary requirements, allergies or perhaps you’re vegan, they can provide you with a dining experience that runs parallel with the regular menu.
Not only can they cater for all types of diners, they can also cater for a lot of them! There are around 50 covers inside, 30 in the live lounge, 20 in the Colonel’s bar and up to 60 covers in the outdoor dining area, not to mention the upstairs ballroom which will accommodate up to 100 people.
“We do cater for weddings, and the registry office in Newark is literally across the road from us. If you’re a smaller party, we have a private dining area which caters for around 30 to 35 people, separate from the rest of the restaurant. If you want to use the Ram as your reception, the ballroom is a great space for weddings too.”
In my personal opinion, the best reason to dine at the Ram is its provision of drink. The enormous bar is very chic with an upholstered front in keeping with the Ram’s Georgian style, copper lighting above, and a wine cellar opposite. It also contains over 30 varieties of gin and 10 vodka varieties too, not to mention the real ales available.
Unfortunately, I visited a little too early for a tipple, but I still enjoyed the sun trap that is the outdoor seating area/beer garden as I awaited Luke’s recommended dishes to photograph (and taste!).
To start, he served the chicken and ham hock terrine with sage bread sauce, pickled apple salsa and olive crouton, and a whipped goats’ cheese mousse with beetroot terrine, raw beet salad and crostini. Both were superbly presented, and Luke assured me that almost all of the ingredients originate from suppliers in Lincolnshire or Newark.
The main came as quite the intended surprise, as I was served ‘The Ram’ Burger. The beef patty came with smoked bacon, Stilton cheese, lettuce and tomato in a sesame seeded charcoal – yes, charcoal – bun and chunky triple cooked chips.
The fun twist on the burger’s colour definitely draws the eye, and the burger was absolutely delicious, as was the following pan seared hake fillet with new potato terrine.
The desserts – a cherry bakewell and Eton mess – finished off a perfect round of dishes from Luke, and confirmed that the Ram is not only a warm and inviting space to dine in, but a fantastic restaurant too.
On the Menu…
Thai spiced fish cakes with sweet chilli and coriander mayonnaise, £5.95.
Tempura vegetables with a peanut satay and coriander dressing, £4.95.
Whipped goats’ cheese mousse with a beetroot terrine, raw beet salad and crostini, £6.50.
Home roasted honey and mustard ham with fried eggs, sautéed potatoes, salad and piccalilli, £11.95.
Pan seared hake fillet with new potato terrine, samphire, stem broccoli, charred carrot and light chicken jus rosti, £15.95.
Eton mess with raspberries, strawberries, basil meringue and vanilla cream, £5.95.
Cherry Bakewell and clotted cream ice cream, £5.95.
White chocolate crème brûlée served with a shortbread, £6.50.
NB: Featured dishes are subject to change.
Open For Business…
Lunchtime: Monday – Friday 12 noon – 3pm
Dinner: Monday – Thursday 5pm – 8pm
Dinner: Friday – 5pm – 8.30pm,
Saturday: 10am – 8.30pm, Sunday 10am – 5pm.
The Ram Bar & Brasserie, 19 Castle Gate, Newark NG24 1AZ, Make a reservation by calling 01636 940220 or visiting www.theramnewark.com.