It’s hard to say what’s most exciting about Peggy’s Skylight, the joyous new addition to Hockley’s roster of hangouts. Amid a boom-bust climate in which samey new eateries pop up and disappear before you can even finish your order, there’s high hopes that this place is in it for the long haul. Over the course of the evening, I was steadily convinced that it’s something the area has lacked for a while, especially when it comes to lunch options.
The delicately Arabic-themed lighting is charming and avoids garish stereotypes. The stage, on opening night, housed Peggy’s Skylight founders Paul Deats and Rachel Foster, who nailed it with their band Funky Organ.
Facing the stage is a charming cinema seat arrangement cascading down some steps from the DJ booth. To summarise, everything about this place points towards the music and everything else takes a back seat. Except the food.
The menu reads like a Persian all-star shopping list. We were treated to imam bayildi (£5.95), a slow-roasted aubergine stuffed with onion, tomato, dill and olive oil; and lahm bi ajeen (£5.95), flatbread topped with spicy-but-sweet minced lamb accompanied by a yoghurt dip. The house take on fesenjoon (£7.50) sees duck slow roasted and pulled in a bold pomegranate sauce with walnuts and fresh pomegranate.
The pomegranate seeds cut through the spiced meat well, and the strong turmeric flavour from the mast esfenaj (wilted spinach in a yoghurt sauce, £4.50) brought brilliant symmetry to the plate.
In all, my first impression of Peggy’s Skylight was that of a venue that has potential to breathe more life into Nottingham’s already-rejuvenated jazz scene, bring the old legends out of the woodwork and teach you a thing or two about seasoning while it’s at it.
Peggy’s Skylight, 3 George Street, NG1 3BH. 0115 924 0176