TUCKED into the background of the market from which it takes its name, Chesterfield’s The Market pub is widely regarded one of town’s greatest boozers.
It is known for its vast ale selection, fine wines and whiskies, providing a stage for the area’s musicians and for serving the best pint of Landlord around.
It also boasts a menu the likes of which can rarely be seen gracing the tables of such traditional establishments, with specials ranging from lobster thermidor to herb crusted rump of Welsh lamb.
As well as serving the customary selection of pub meals at lunch and dinner, The Market regularly lays on themed tasting days, where curious gourmands can sample a selection of wines and beers matched with international fare.
But when my fellow diner and I decided to try out the pub’s much-lauded menu, it was the standard dinner-time selection on offer. We were seated towards the back near the kitchen, away from the bar area which was bustling with the ale-guzzling Friday night pack.
Despite The Market’s food gaining a dedicated following (David Miliband is apparently a fan) this was our first time, and my foodie companion and I were pleased to see a good, honest selection of traditional pub meals on offer.
Slow cooked shoulder of beef and sausage and mash were the usual suspects alongside distinguished dishes like homemade falafel and steak, stilton and walnut salad.
My carniverous companion and I went for steak baguette with chips (£6.55) and steak and ale pie and mash (£8), respectively, which arrived quickly and were presented simply but thankfully in abundance.
The pie was homemade - tender steak encased in buttery shortcut pastry, and served alongside velvety, creamed mashed potato and seasonal veg. The gravy was undoubtably the pièce de résistance; a thick, rich, savoury nectar liberally doused over the dish.
The same gravy was served in concentrated form alongside the baguette, which was filled with thin strips of steak that yielded to each bite. A side of steaming, skin-on fat chips was the perfect accompaniment.
Rating: Four stars
The Market pub, 95 New Square, Chesterfield, S40 1AH. Contact (01246) 273631, web: http://themarketpub.co.uk