Despite being a grade II listed building and a stone’s throw from Trent Bridge, you could be forgiven for never having noticed The Embankment. It sits back from the river, unassuming – but this pub has an interesting past, and a pretty damn good present.
This place began life as one of the very first Boots pharmacy stores, and as a (albeit soon to be former) Boots employee, this was quite the novelty for me. The bar area still displays some of the original artefacts, and Jesse Boot’s office still sits intact upstairs. Now part of the Castle Rock Brewery crew, it offers a wide selection of real ale and craft beer.
But it’s not the history that sets this place apart; what makes it such a gem is its unrivalled beer garden. This south-facing sun trap catches the rays all the way through to 8 or 9pm, and it was on such a day that I happened to be there soaking it all up.
Onto the food: rather than typical pub grub, The Embankment has chosen a couple of culinary niches for itself. The first is a tapas menu, featuring the likes of stuffed vine leaves, beer-battered halloumi and garlic fried prawns. The second offers stone baked pizza. Now, I’ve eaten my way through a considerable amount of pizza on the Notts restaurant scene, but I can confidently say that this is the best of the bunch for me. Let’s start with the base – the dough just feels incredibly fresh, hot and soft and melt-in-the-mouth. It also manages get the goldilocks treatment: not so soft it falls apart in your hand, not too charred on the bottom (as is often the case with stone baked pizzas).
Now for the toppings – we went for one veggie and one meaty.
‘The Green Goat’ was naturally topped with creamy goat’s cheese, but also had a surprising accompaniment of brie (which I don’t think I’ve ever had on a pizza before). Made gorgeously gooey from this duo, the pizza was given a sweet finish from an onion marmalade and a peppery afterbite from a handful of rocket.
The aptly named ‘Sausage Fest’ was crammed full of chorizo and salami, as well as some locally-sourced sausage.
It was this last ingredient that really gave this the edge, bringing an almost earthy flavour and evening out the saltiness of the cured meat. Again, the sprinkling of rocket leaves gave it the necessary bit of crunch to make every slice a delight.
And just when we thought it couldn’t get much better, it turned out to be 2 for 1 on pizzas – living the dream! So maybe I was swayed a little by the good beer and glorious sunshine, but for now I’m sticking with the verdict that this was my favourite food experience for quite some time.
robyn’s review: 10/10