The city of Derby is home to a diverse, and growing, restaurant scene. With its many cultural landmarks and great shopping, the city has never been so popular, or full of such great places to eat. Situated on Iron Gate, in the centre of Derby, opposite Derby Cathedral is the European Restaurant and Bistro. Occupying the second floor of a beautiful old building it has been cleverly designed to accommodate two very different styles of dining.
Featuring both a casual bistro style dining room and a more formal main restaurant, The European gives diners the option of choosing their preferred setting for dinner. On one side, the formal dining room is a muted palette of pink, grey and warm neutral tones. The old large sash-cord windows are left undressed to maximise the space and light. Wood panelling covers the walls; painted white they give the room a clean yet distinguished look, whilst gentle suede upholstery on high backed chairs looks soft and inviting. Stained glass, in complementary soft colours and modern abstracts, adds an interesting visual element and completes the look of this elegant room.
Bistro dining in a cosy atmosphere
On the other side, the bistro room is waiting, relaxed under the eaves. Original beams are matched by the dark wood of the furniture and vintage style Parisian prints on the walls add to the effect. This room feels cosy and relaxed, somewhere that you might retreat to on a rainy evening, with its exposed brick fireplace and warming terracotta on a feature wall. The menu remains the same regardless of where you choose to eat, and there is food that suits either style well.
The menu is very good value with starters averaging around £6, and mains at around £13. From the list of starters you could choose homemade chicken liver pate, or Parma ham on a bed of rocket with shaved Padano. Main courses include a wide selection of pasta dishes as well as a selection of a la carte offerings such as pan fried chicken breast with garlic, tomato, herbs and spring onion or breast of duck with a berry jus.
There is a separate specials menu that changes on a regular basis and includes, for starters, pan fried halloumi cheese with crab apple jelly or prawns with chorizo. To follow there is a dish of burrido; monkfish, scallops and king prawns with a choice of saffron based sauces, or lamb loin with port, rosemary and sun-blushed tomatoes.
Early Bird Special for £11.50
Open for lunch and dinner between Tuesday and Saturday, with only dinner service on Mondays, the European is a popular dining destination in Derby. You can enjoy the early bird 2 course menu for £11.50 per person, and if you book online through Go dine you will also receive loyalty points towards a free meal. The European is one of the most loved restaurants in Derby city centre but if you feel like something else then we have many more ideas in our guide to restaurants in Derbyshire.