Why have so many songs been written about Monday and not, for example, Wednesday? According to Bob Geldof and The Boomtown Rats they don’t like Mondays and on Monday the Easy Beats had Friday on their mind. I’d like to change their opinions of that much maligned day; because Monday Night* is Steak Night at the Marquis of Ormonde.
Styled as a quality pub and restaurant, the Marquis is situated a couple of hundred yards along Codnor Denby Lane from its junction with the main Codnor to Loscoe road; the A6007. It isn’t hard to find. The stylish exterior with its glass walled patio hint at the quality it boasts.
We entered via the car park entrance. The interior of the Marquis of Ormonde has a contemporary feel. The original multi-roomed layout of the hostelry has gone and is now a pleasant, open, light-filled space containing the bars and dining areas. The décor is ‘of the moment’ and wouldn’t look out of place in a modern, city centre hotel reception area.
We were met by Keli, owner of the business and landlady, who was serving behind the bar. We stood and chatted and took the opportunity to have a drink before we went to our table. There’s an excellent selection of real ciders, real ales and lagers on display and I chose a pint of Doom Bar. My dining companion, Susan, opted for a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Monday night is steak night and the quality and price are too good to miss. The Monday steak menu is uncomplicated and is simply split into 2 sections; a normal and a luxury selection. The luxury menu is £49.95 for 2 people, including a bottle of fine wine and a choice of 8oz fillet or 16oz rib-eye with a variety of sauces. Also the wine selection is estate bottled.
We chose the normal section at £29.95 for 2 people; this includes a bottle of house wine. There are 3 steaks available; 10oz sirloin, 10oz flat iron or 12oz rump. Each steak arrives with hand-cut chips, a fresh bistro style salad of tender leaves, mushrooms, grilled tomato and beer battered onion rings. I chose the rump and Susan the sirloin steak. We both prefer our steaks done medium rare and they were cooked to perfection; slightly grilled on the outside and tender and juicy inside. The meat was a delight to eat; the result of a combination of expert kitchen skills and quality ingredients. We learned from Keli that the meat is supplied exclusively from their local award winning butcher from Codnor, CN Wright, who belong to the prestigious Q Guild of butchers and are dedicated to serve only the finest quality local meat and poultry.
From the 4 house wines available – 2 reds, 1 rosé and1 white – we chose the Merlot, Merlot which in French means The Little Blackbird, is a very popular red grape. Known for being soft, ripe and elegant, most Merlots are easy drinking reds that go well both with grilled meats and on their own. This is an approachable grape variety and is often recommended as the first red wine someone new to red wine should drink. If you’re not a wine drinker this could be just the place to start. It was perfect with our steaks. With its low tannin levels and smooth taste it was an ideal accompaniment to our evening meal.
With warmer weather fast approaching one of the great attractions of the Marquis must be the outdoor seating area we could see from our seats in the bar/dining room. Situated at the front of the building it takes advantage of the afternoon sun and the long, light summer evening. The alfresco seating is in keeping with the trendy theme – solid, chunky – and I must admit, would look rather nice on our patio at home!
And now for a little bit of history; the original Marquis of Ormonde was a royalist and during the period of the Commonwealth, following the Civil War was on the side of the King, Charles II. After the restoration in 1660 he became a powerful and colourful figure in English politics.
Reading between the lines I don’t think he was a popular character and wouldn’t get my vote! But one Marquis of Ormonde who would is the one on Codnor Denby Lane. Forget what the Mamas and the Papas sang about Monday, Monday; two good steaks and a shared bottle of wine in a relaxed atmosphere is a great way to start the week.
*Regular menu also available every Monday.