Hospitality Professional’s Choices: Adam Hayes

Nottingham has been hit by a tidal wave of casual dining concepts in recent years. These concepts suit the City well, and many operators, both Branded and Independent, have launched their ideas to great success.

However, the moans and groans of the more discerning populous were soon to be heard. Guests were bored of seeing too similar venues launch similarly too often. Casual dining does not have to mean BBQ, Burgers, Pizzas etc, and although we are blessed with many that do that extremely well, it seemed there was a Foodie undercurrent that was asking for more.

One man heard our cries. Enter Bar Iberico.

Already established as Iberico World Tapas in both Nottingham & Derby, Bar Iberico was to be a more approachable venue, not that the guest experience is any less of an occasion.

The open feel of the Restaurant and floor to ceiling windows plays tricks on you. You might be forgiven for thinking this would create a cold environment, but far from it. The open kitchen and island type Bar with seating, creates a warmth and buzz like no other Nottingham eatery I know.

I have dined on my own on several visits and taken guests who have all felt the love. On most occasions I requested a Bar seat. I adore the service style. You are able to interact with the Front & Back of House team respectively. You can see a selection of the dishes are influenced by Bar knowledge, with Sherry delightfully showcased. The team obviously enjoy this arrangement. It is quite special to witness when they are at peak of service and extremely busy.

The team seem intent on you trying something different on each visit. They educate guests with passion, not pretension. Daily specials are available in case like me you visit often. Vegetarian and dietary requirements are met well, I even had a guest with Capsicum allergy who was catered for extremely well. Quite amazing in a Spanish restaurant really.

My favourite dish was actually a vegetarian one. Anyone who knows me may be slightly shocked by this! The Crispy Cauliflower, Ginger, Chilli & Smoked Almonds was recommended by Manager Richard and certainly exceeded all expectations.

Bar Iberico is both Authentic and Creative. They have broke the mold. It is not an easy balance to execute, but they welcome one and all with such ease.

So what categories do I vote for them in this year’s Nottingham Restaurant and Bar Awards? The answer is quite a few. However, I feel they are more than deserving of the title of Best New Restaurant, for now that is. I am positive the creativity will continue at the fabulous Spanish haven in Hockley.

That man who heard our cries? Dan Lindsay… I tip my hat to you sir.


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