If it’s true that we really do eat with our eyes, then the location of Matlock’s Stones restaurant is simply delicious.
The steps leading to the Dale Road bistro might be easy to overlook.
But follow them down and you’ll find a cosy intimate dining room with a terrace that overlooks the willow-lined riverbanks of the Derwent.
Sadly, on the day we visted, the English summer was living down to recent expectations so there was no opportunity to dine al fresco.
Instead we we were shown to our table by the friendly and attentive waiting staff and left to study the menus.
Stones offers a tempting set menu with few, but delicious-sounding, options including the likes of roasted pork cutlet with creamed potato, savoy cabbage, red wine sauce.
Priced very reasonably at £21 for two courses and £24 for three it’s a great way to sample their modern British fare.
We were tempted on to the a la carte menu though, where I opted for the pea soup with ham-hock cannelloni.
But before it arrived, we were presented with delicious home made breads served with a trio of flavoured butters, including rock salt and a smoked butter that was wonderful and dangerously moreish.
My starter was rich and satisfying, while my partner’s crab and salmon roulade was light and delicately flavoured.
The sweet and earthy lamb that I chose for my main course did not disappoint either, and was cooked to perfection.
Across the table, the risotto that came with my partner’s heavenly salmon was full of seafood flavour and one of the best I’ve ever tasted.
The a la carte option comes in at £27.50 for two courses and £31.50 for three - and it’s well worth the extra for the divine desserts.
We made short work of ours, a cleansing white chcolate and raspberrry parfait and a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream .
Stone me, it was good.
Rating: four stars.
1 Dale Road,