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TRCH The Da Vinci Code

The Dakota Bar and Grill

1 November 12 words: Aly Stoneman
"A futuristic shiny cube of black marble and glass with an imposing entrance, it's an English motel gone Space Age"



The Dakota Bar and Grill

Unless you work at E.ON or have a thing for industrial parks after dark, it takes a lot to tempt one out to Sherwood Park of an evening. But here we are, speeding north from the city, towards a Holiday Inn just off Junction 27 of the M1. Why? Because I’ve heard that their in-house restaurant's locally-sourced steaks are top class. Although I skipped over that detail when inviting my vegetarian companion.

The Dakota is a real head-turner: a futuristic shiny cube of black marble and glass with an imposing entrance, it's an English motel gone space-age. A blue light feature in the bar lifts the décor of exposed brick walls, dark wooden tables, leather chairs and herringbone floors, while slatted black screens create a private dining area. The components are traditional, but the effect is minimal and modern.

Once seated, we order and get stuck into a large glass of pinot grigio (£6.00), and a pint of Peroni (£4.80). Speed combined with quality is a rare find, but the drinks and starters are brought swiftly to our table, which are excellent. My companion’s wild mushrooms with toast (£6.75) are rich and creamy with ne’er a soggy patch in sight on the toast, while my grilled tiger prawns served on a rocket salad with a tomato and chilli dressing (£6.95) are succulent and fat, cooperating nicely with nude leaves and a squeeze of lemon.

Three vegetarian choices for mains are a pleasant surprise, and the spinach and goat’s cheese cannelloni with a traditional tomato sauce (£14.50) arrives bubbling , with a side order of green beans (£3.25) served in butter with chargrilled onions. My medium-rare 7oz. fillet of steak (£23.00) is seared to perfection on the outside, tender and pink on the inside, garnished with a rocket salad and chunky chips, complemented by a peppercorn sauce (£1.50).

With so much choice, pudding is inevitable - mine being lemon crème brulee with fresh raspberries and a swirl of raspberry sauce (£5.25). What can be more satisfying than breaking the layer of caramelised sugar with the back of your spoon, like stamping on an icy puddle? My companion’s sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream (£5.25) arrives chaperoned by vanilla ice cream, but it’s a warm night so the slip is fortuitous.

With an unpretentious menu offering quality food and a nice atmosphere, The Dakota is a great venue for gathering family and friends together or for business meetings. ­But being located within a hotel, it could also work for a more discreet out-of-town rendezvous...

Holiday Inn Nottingham, Sherwood Park, NG15 0EA. Tel: 01623 727670

The Dakota Bar and Grill website



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