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“Pretentious Valentine's Night Dinner”

The Tower Restaurant
Ranked #34 of 467 Restaurants in Lincoln
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $27 - $64
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Business meetings, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: Here at the Tower Restaurant our menus are written according to the season. We feel this captures the very best produce available at the time and ensure quality and freshness of the dishes we can offer to you.Head chef Darren Rogan and his team are constantly striving to achieve perfection in his eclectic menu. He relishes being creative and pushing the boundaries of gastronomy with different flavour combinations and ever evolving cooking techniques. We believe that dining out should be a hassle-free experience for all, and therefore we have Vegan, Coeliac and lactose intolerant menus at the ready. Should you have any other dietary requirements please do not hesitate to contact us.Booking is strongly advised to avoid disappointment.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

I booked this evening dinner at the Tower restaurant based on what I saw on its website. The ambience was fine and it set a tone that echoed the website illustrations.
As with so many relatively expensive restaurants, it confused pretentious with quality.
We arrived about 10 minutes early for our dinner and were invited to wait in the adjacent bar, where we ordered a cocktail. This took 8 minutes to materialize, because they had to locate one of their special's ingredients. It transpired that the Valentine's £39.95 five course meal package included an aperitif. We were not offered this when we were invited to wait in the bar by the dining room staff. Two minutes after our specials arrived we were ushered to our table. The dining room maître d’ simply pointed at the door to the dining room, but didn't offer to open it for my wife. Cocktails in hand, we were immediately presented with the aperitif, another cocktail. Both the bar cocktails and the rather sickly dining room effort had been spilled in transit and the outside of all the glasses were sticky. This meant we had to leave the table to wash our hands. The Mens' hand dryer didn't work.
The wall light above my wife had a dozen dead insects reclining in its glass bowl.
We ordered a jug of water, which was simply plopped on the table; we poured it ourselves.
I ordered the Blade of Beef Wellington. No effort was made by the waiter to ascertain whether I preferred my meat rare or well done. I like it rare. The beef arrived so well done it was like braised steak and fell apart in flakes. It had a paper thin pastry crust and the pate was in a separate cup. In essence, it was an overcooked fillet. My wife's cod dish was excellent. The vegetables were tasty and properly cooked.
When the wine that I had ordered arrived I was correctly offered a taste. The waiter then inquired whether my wife would also like a taste?! People don't taste wine to see if they 'like' it; the person who orders it tastes it to ensure it is not corked. Nothing more.
A waiter appeared and asked if we'd like a bread roll. I accepted and my wife declined. The waiter hesitated and then decided to give her a bread roll anyway.
The vegetables were served on a platter that we had to share. As we helped ourselves a piece of cabbage fell onto the tablecloth. When the main course was cleared away, the waitress looked at the offending leaf, but elected to leave it there, where it remained in the middle of the table for the rest of the evening.
The dessert was a shared platter of small options set in the middle of the table on a slate. No plates were provided for either of us. An attempt had been made to make it look artistic, but it was, frankly, a bit of a mess. The waitress was about to walk away after delivering it to the table when my wife had to enquire, what each of them was. The waitress had little idea; for example, ‘That’s a white chocolate cone with something in it’, and ‘I don’t know what that is’. Not very promising. Part of it was ice cream, which quickly melted and flowed off the flat slate onto the tablecloth.
When settling up, I was asked directly by the waiter how much of a tip I wanted to add to my credit card payment. So as not to ruin an otherwise enjoyable evening, I gave a 12% tip. Much more than the staff deserved.
Apart from my overcooked main course, what really let the Tower down was the service. They were all small things, but, if you're paying in excess of a £100 for a meal for 2 (including a bottle of wine) in what clearly considers its self to be a quality, stylish restaurant in a good part of town, these things matter and detract from the overall impression. Pretentious, rather than good. We are unlikely to return.

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2  Thank wedgep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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237 - 241 of 322 reviews

Reviewed February 5, 2013

We wanted to take my aunt out for Sunday lunch and not being local, asked her where she wanted to go. She had read favourable reports of the Tower Restaurant recently, so we gave it a try and were very glad we did. The restaurant is stylish and immaculate and the food was of the highest quality, Presentation was excellent and extras such as a variety of warm breads with assorted butters reinforced the very high standards. We found the prices (2 courses £14) extremely reasonable (especially since we are used to eating out in London). We were all extremely happy with our food choices; I had the roast beef, which was pink and delicious. Service was also excellent, and we were very impressed with the whole experience. We wll definitely be eating there again on our next visit to Lincoln.

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Thank Lesley K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Our quiet meal wasn't so quiet maybe due to a function being held same night. Busy evening but food & service were good & the atmosphere made for a very good night out.
We will be returning but may go midweek for that quite meal.

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2  Thank smiler888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

I was amazed at the presentation, quality and imagination of the restaurant of this small unassuming hotel just off the main thoroughfare on the hill of Lincoln. With the weather making travel not desirable we decided to eat in the hotel restaurant. One of my colleagues and I ordered the Twice Baked Lincolnshire Poacher Rarebit Soufflé, Wilted Kale, Wild Mushrooms, Crispy Leeks, the third of our party ordered the Pan Roasted Duck Breast, Almond Couscous Tart, Vanilla Pommes Purée, Port Reduction, Pickled Blackberries. Before it arrived we were served with warm bread rolls and three types of butter beautifully arranged on slate, then to our surprise we are also served with appetisers. The main courses were delivered and would have passed the scrutiny of "John & Greg" of Masterchef. In fact one of our party asked if this was the chef of Lincoln who was on the last series. The pictures on their website are not an exaggeration to entice you in but a true reflection of the presentation of the most tasty and interesting food I have eaten in many a long year.

The sweets all came up to the same quality as we agreed to order different sweets and do tasters. Grilled Banana Sandwich, Bitter Chocolate Brownie and Goat Wood’ Langton Cheesecake all laid with delicate, artist care in small pots with quinelles of cream or ice cream. You will see from the menu at http://www.lincolntowerhotel.co.uk/PDF/ALaCarteMenuJan2013.pdf the most reasonable prices.

If i ever have good reason to be back in Lincoln i will be staying and eating in the Tower Hotel again. Even as a vegetarian there are still options on the menu I am keen to taste. Fabulous!

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Thank Susan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Have been here a few times in the past and the food has always been excellent. This occasion the chef appears to have tried to be too clever with his "fusion" of food. Pigeon breast and strawberry sorbet (or ice cream) does NOT work. Too rich, too much going on and would be better with a less is more approach. Seems to be trying way too hard. Service is very good though, just a pity the bar next door is a bit chavvy! Shame the standard in food has dropped - much prefer going down the road to The Reform Restaurant for dinner now.

Thank Rachel U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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