It was a typical English June night the air around was warmish but of course it was pouring down with rain, all dressed up and a soggy run from the taxi to the restaurant door, We had made it, ready for a good night out as it’s not that often we can book a baby sitter for 3 kids and an over excitable boxer dog. Yes mothers do come in handy especially when they do a spot of ironing, the homework the reading with the kids.
Catch 22 is a newly opened ” fish “restaurant in Chesterfield
So through the door we went, a newly opened restaurant in Chesterfield Catch 22. There they were all near the bar waiting expectantly for the customers to arrive. We were greeted with beaming smiles and a very helpful attitude. The ladies had a glass of Chardonnay each, one large and one medium , the boys (grumpy old men) fancied a glass of red so I asked what they had to offer he told us 2 types and then was stuck for the rest so he reached for the wine menu for me to peruse over. I guessed the bloke behind the bar just couldn’t be arsed to learn about what he was supposed to be serving, a little harsh I know but !
We opted for a bottle of Malbec as it seemed that it didn’t come by the glass and the wines that did I didn’t fancy at all, after all its only once a month if we are lucky
Catch 22 was decorated pleasantly not to over fishified ( I know its not a proper word) but they hadn’t overdone the fish/nautical theme. They even had some nice fish wallpaper.
So we were escorted to the table and just before the ladies sat down they noticed water dripping down onto the table and upon looking up you could see the water squeezing through the plastic looking roof , yes I did say plastic, it looked like a lean to at the back of the restaurant , ok it was pouring down with rain outside and perhaps on a normal day they wouldn’t need buckets on the floor to catch the water at Catch22. On a positive note it was the poshest decorated lean to that I have ever seen.
Oh did I mention we had to take our own drinks and the half bottle of wine to the table ourselves or am I just expecting too much of Chesterfield
The menus are mini newspapers, you know like they used to wrap up your fish in chips in before health and safety and the European parliament. There were also a specials board and little specials card. The menu was quite varied and a good selection to be fair. A little perplexed that in a “fish” restaurant there was a section with exotic meats .With so much choice it just made it difficult for me to choose because I do love my food and I am always the last to order always wondering if I have made the right choice,
Catch 22 The Starters
The waiters were attentive at first and asked us on 2 occasions if we were ready to order and on the second occasion we did order, to start with the ladies went with slat and peppered squid and carpaccio, the grumpy old men opted for the Moules Mariniere
Moules Mariniere £6.90
Fresh mussels steamed in white wine and served in a creamy garlic sauce
Beef Carpaccio £7.50
Thin slices of peppered fillet steak, served with rocket and parmesan salad
Salt and Pepper Squid £6.50
Deep fried squid rings, served with garlic mayonnaise
Now all the above starters can be cooked in less than 10 minutes but we were left waiting watching the rain drip through the lean to onto the other table we turned down for about 40 minutes. 40 minutes and my Moules Mariniere was well disappointing to look at, the muscles were very small shriveled dark things in the shells The sauce was tepid and not seasoned at all so I had to reach for the salt and pepper to give it some flavour. I did try wifeys salt and pepper squid which was delicious so I had chosen the wrong dish again. The waiter did do the standard procedure and asked if everything was good whilst we were eating but I remained silent as I didn’t want to spoil the night and I didn’t want to wait another 40 minutes for a bowl of under seasoned little muscles.
A few more people came into the restaurant and went toward the back of the establishment past the lean to part to a more solid structure. It wasn’t full or busy in Catch 22 and it wasn’t empty just enough people to create a little ambiance so I wasn’t impressed that we had to wait nearly 30 minutes for our plates to be removed from the table.
Catch 22 The Mains
The mains, the girls went for a special monkfish wrapped in parma ham and served on a bed of tagliatelle, it looked ok but the plate was not that warm and wifey informed me that the tagliatelle was luke warm and the monkfish overcooked. I had the surf and turf, a very nice succulent fillet steak cooked perfectly blue, well-seasoned juicy and delicious served with a scrawny half lobster with the taste of seafood sticks. The surf and turf came with a little bucket of handmade chips and they did look scrummy, however looks can be deceiving and it was, obviously the oil was not hot enough as the fat had seeped into the potato making them very greasy indeed. My good friend Lee went for the wild menu item of Elk, well it must have been a midget elk as the portion size was very small. We had to ask them to remove the finger bowl from the starters so we had enough room to get the mains on the table.
Catch 22 The Dessert
well we decided there would be no harm in looking so back came the pretend newspapers, very limited choice and not enticing before but there was an offer on for a free dessert and as I had the surf and turf I qualified. So we had the jam roly poly which came after a 20 minute wait, not sure if it was because they were deciding if I qualified for the freebie or because they had to wait for the microwave to become free. The sponge and jam were boiling hot and the custard on the plate was cold and claggy. Everyone except myself thought the actually Jam roly poly was absolutely fabulous
Catch 22 The Verdict
Well it was a bit of a roller coaster really some excellent food and then some pretty poor food, service both good and bad, perhaps the weather didn’t help, not sure and I did mention this to the manager whom never left the side of the bar/till all night long. He did comment that he would pass my comments on to the chef and that was that as he handed my receipt. Off we went into the wet night in search of our next experience. Certainly not a disaster but I doubt that we will be going back again . That’s just my personal opinion your probably best of trying it for yourself after all I am a closet food snob. The Catch 22 website, the prices differ from online to whats actually in the restaurant