STEPPING through the door at Zinis on the Market Place in Bawtry, you would think you had walked into a top London restaurant.
A few friends and couples were sipping post-work drinks in the swanky bar, but it was food we wanted. We were greeted by a polite man who took us through to the restaurant and took our drinks orders.
We were the only ones there - I suppose at 6.30pm on a Tuesday it was a little early for the dinner crowd - but it gave me a chance to ogle the spectacular interior.
The booth-style seating was decked out in sumptuous white leather, and the lighting was low and atmospheric.
Frosted glass panels divided the rooms and added to the opulent ambience.
Browsing the menu my heart rate quickened. Its offerings looked fresh, delicious and decidedly expensive.
The menu held a good selection of pizzas, pastas and main courses. But my eyes were fixed on the specials menu, which changes every week using the most seasonal ingredients.
For starter I chose duck breast on mixed leaves with a cinnamon and orange sauce with raspberries at £6.95. While Liam went for oven baked sardines with sage, garlic and olive oil at £5.75.
Duck being my favourite meat, I was disappointed with my starter. I like duck well-cooked and crispy but this meaty morsel was a bit pink and not very tasty.
Sadly, Liam was not impressed with his starter either. I think he was a bit shocked when three whole fish arrived. After performing a kind of fish autopsy, he still ended up chewing on bones.
My main course, the £14.95 sea bass fillets on a bed of tomato and courgette risotto - did not raise the bar I’m afraid.
The sea bass was cooked to perfection and flaked beautifully on my fork, but the huge mound of risotto was lukewarm and lacked flavour. I’m never one to leave food on the plate, but this time I did.
Liam worked hard to finish his slow roasted lamb shank in a red wine on a bed of mushroom mash - £13.95. Despite being slow roasted the meat didn’t fall off the bone or melt in the mouth like he expected, and the mash didn’t taste of mushrooms.
We shared tiramisu for dessert, which was a rich and creamy treat at £5.95.
The waitress service was friendly, professional and not overbearing. And by the time we left, more people had filtered into the restaurant. They seemed to be having a great time and I could tell Zinis is a popular dining destination.
If I was to go again, I might try a traditional pizza or pasta. Or even go to Zinis’ sister restaurant Roccos in Tickhill.
by Hayley Gallimore