Lincolnshire Pride

Dining Out at The Jews House

An exceptional setting for exceptional dining. The Jews House on Steep Hill in Lincoln offers a wonderful tasting menu experience within its historic Grade I listed 12th century building

Roast Lavinton Lamb Saddle, Wild Garlic, Stuffed Morel and Baked Shoulder.

Winston Churchill said that ‘to improve is to change; but to be perfect is to change often.’ It’s a quote not lost on the owners of The Jews House Restaurant on Lincoln’s Steep Hill, Gavin Aitkenhead and Samantha Tomkins. 

Back in Autumn, the two restauranteurs made a brave change, happily one that has yielded tangible benefits for The Jews House’s customers and for the restaurant itself.

Having previously offered à la carte dining, tasting menus and Sunday lunch service, the two decided to refocus and concentrate on just two tasting menu format dining options, opening from Wednesday to Saturday, and offering private dining Tuesday evening onwards.

“We were initially worried about making the change, although it was something we’d wanted to do for a while,” says Samantha. “The quality of the produce we work with and the freshness of our ingredients has always been important to us. Being able to get the produce we want has been difficult when only buying a small amount due to the three menus we offered.”

“With the choice of either a four course or six course menu, we are able to source from more artisan suppliers to get the quality and consistency of produce we want.”

“The menus will ensure Gavin and I can continue to provide dishes, produce and service that we can both be proud of.”

And, in the respect of changing often, the focus on a tasting menu format also means Gavin can offer a more dynamic approach to creating menus, evolving his dishes constantly to incorporate seasonality and to favour the best ingredients from his more artisanal suppliers.

Gavin creates every element of the restaurant’s dining experience in house. Examples include The Jews House’s brioche bread with its caramelised shallot, and the snacks served with aperitifs, or the truffles and other sweet treats after dinner; a chocolate bouchon or white chocolate and macadamia fudge are two examples. Ice creams, sorbets and all other elements are prepared by Gavin, in house.

Whilst Gavin favours local suppliers where possible, necessarily there’s a need to look further afield for the best producers.

Lincolnshire produce includes lamb from Sophie Arlott’s Lavinton native breed flock, plus game from several North Lincolnshire estates and beech-smoked Lincolnshire eel from our own estuaries and waterways prepared by Smiths Smokery near Boston.

Fish enjoys a strong presence – especially on the four-course tasting menu – so other artisanal suppliers are based in Cornwall and there’s seafood from Scottish or Norwegian waters. Meat dishes in the six-course tasting menu include A4-grade Wagyu beef which is produced right here in Britain (we’re sworn to secrecy in the respect of the exact identity of the supplier).

Undoubtedly, The Jews House’s tasting menu format allows diners to experience a liberated Gavin who can in turn present great dishes to his customers. But it also affords Samantha the chance to curate flights of wine to really complement those dishes.

As restaurant and wine manager, Samantha not only provides an exceptional welcome to diners and ensures an assiduous front of house, but she also offers a spectacularly well-chosen selection of wines carefully paired to each dish and favouring surprising, well-aged or just really enjoyable examples.

There’s a well-curated wine list too, including a list of exceptional examples by the glass whose quality is underwritten by a Coravin system.

The Jews House usually accommodates 30 covers during evening service, with a ground floor restaurant overlooking Steep Hill, and a first floor restaurant available for private dining for up to 20 diners, with bespoke menus available too.

2024 represents 18 years since Gavin and Samantha decided to establish The Jews House, and it’s set to be their most important yet, with a reinvigorated dining experience, albeit one which remains very much faithful to the couple’s original vision.

“We always enjoyed dining out and travelling. We still do when time allows,” says Samantha. “When we first spoke about opening our own restaurant, we made a promise to each other that we would only ever prepare food that we would enjoy, with a commensurate experience of attentive front of house service and with the quality of wines and a setting we would expect alongside those dishes.” 

“Maintaining that commitment, and being faithful to our own expectations has ensured that we’ve some really wonderful regular customers, and that we enjoy a really good reputation in the city.”

“We’re proud of that reputation, and we take great pleasure in upholding it.”

Fjord Sea Trout, Saffron, Scottish Mussels with Dill Oil.

The Jews House Restaurant, Steep Hill, Lincoln

A dining experience that brings you back again and again; passionate about using the best suppliers to create remarkable dishes, served in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.
Wednesday to Saturday 6pm – 9pm. Closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.

Four course tasting menu £85/person, optional full wine flight £49/person.
Six course tasting menu £105/person, optional wine flight £38.50/three glass, £58.50/five glass.

The Jews House Lincoln, LN2 1JD. Call 01522 524851,

Gariguette Strawberries, Shortbread, Baked Vanilla Cheesecake, Strawberry Sorbet.