[AD] Cocina is an award-winning, two rosette restaurant in Chesterfield’s iconic Casa hotel. Much of the produce is from the owner’s farm, Walton Lodge, located just four miles away on the edge of the Peak District.
Date night at Cocina restaurant in Chesterfield
The décor at Cocina is contemporary and stylish. There’s an open kitchen affording a fascinating view of the chefs at work (and a glimpse of how spotlessly clean the kitchen is). We were seated at a plush corner booth and there was a nice buzz in the restaurant.
The staff were really welcoming as we poured over the menu with a good bottle of Pinot Grigio. An ice bucket was swiftly brought over for the wine. Little touches like this happened throughout the evening, reassuring reminders of being in a restaurant that does things ‘properly’.
Fresh, local produce
The menu at Cocina at Casa is based on the freshest, seasonal ingredients. Much of the produce comes directly from the owner’s farm, Walton Lodge, located just four miles away. Here the livestock are free to graze and wander on the 250 acre estate. As well as a traditional a la carte style menu, there are also a small range of sharing plates. Most of these are authentic Spanish tapas style but also incorporating some contemporary vegetarian options such as Korean cauliflower, and sauteed wild mushrooms with blue cheese, spinach and seeds. My husband opted for one of the small plates as his starter: chorizo glazed in honey and sweet peppers. I’d actually picked this myself downstairs at Barca Bar and knew just how delicious it was.
I opted for one of the signature starters, the Devon crab dish. Described on the menu as Devon crab katsu, spiced brown crab mayonnaise, watercress puree and yuzu oil; this dish was gluten free. It wasn’t presented at all how I expected – but the flavours and textures were incredible. This is probably one of the very best starters I’ve eaten this year; it was sublime.
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Regular readers know I’m a menu fiend. There is nothing more I enjoy than pouring over the menu of a restaurant online. These days I justify this as work related research… Anyway, prior to our visit I’d read that one of things Cocina is known for is their special Josper grill, a charcoal fired oven from Barcelona. Combine this with the finest Derbyshire meat, hung for 28 days to let the flavours develop and sourced ethically from the owner’s farm, and this is potentially one of the absolute best places for a steak in Derbyshire – so I knew one of us was having steak!
The trouble was, there were so many appealing options on the menu. I struggled to pick a main because everything sounded so good! Contenders included sea bass with a lobster bisque tagliatelle, a pan roasted chicken supreme with spinach and leeks and both of the daily specials. There were also two vegetarian options (a pea and goats cheese risotto or a butternut squash and filo tart) plus the sharing plates.
I finally decided on the duck from the daily specials menu. I enjoyed this immensely. A very generous portion of perfectly cooked, maple glazed duck breast served with pak choi, honey glazed carrot and port jus. I accompanied this with a glass of their Rioja (which I already knew was exceptionally good having had it downstairs in Barca Bar a few weeks previously).
My husband opted for the 10oz sirloin steak served with roast vine tomatoes, rocket and a choice of side. He opted for the dual fried chips and a Diane sauce. Everything was perfectly executed and he enjoyed it very much. Of course, I had to taste test the chips (delightfully crispy) and sauce which was exquisite.
Then it was on to dessert! With retrospect, I made the wrong choice here. I ordered the yuzu, rhubarb and lemongrass pana cotta. Although the pana cotta itself was perfectly tasty, I wasn’t keen on the granola nor the texture of the miso caramel. I am actually kicking myself for not ordering the chocolate orange fondant or key lime tart. My husband made a better choice with a delightfully creamy cheesecake served with strawberry daiquiri sorbet. Ultimately though, this is a good excuse to go back and I have no doubt that we will.
Cocina is a great place to eat for a special meal. Food is top notch with service to match.
Cocina Restaurant, Casa Hotel, Lockoford Lane, Chesterfield, S41 7JB, Telephone +44 (0)1246 245 999 or book online.
Ample free parking.
No specific menu for children.
I would suggest cocktails at Barca Bar downstairs first (and maybe after if you are more hardcore than me!).
Want to stay overnight? Click here to BOOK or see availability and room rates at the Casa hotel [affiliate link]
Here’s everything I know about restaurants in Chesterfield in north Derbyshire. We moved here about eight years ago and have really enjoyed exploring the different places to eat in the Chesterfield area. There’s a thriving independent food scene here. It’s one of the things I like most about the area which borders the Peak District…