Orton’s Brasserie is located in the building on Orton Square that was once Queen Victoria Arts Club.
The venue retains the basic shape and an overall feel of clubby sophistication, but the edges have softened a bit – graffiti artwork by a local artist cover some sound–baffling panels, some soft seating areas have been introduced and there’s a playful design scheme alluding to the ‘Gorilla in the Roses’ headline in the Daily Mirror at the time of Joe Orton’s trial for defacing Islington Library books.
There’s an extensive cocktail menu – our old-fashioned and negroni were both beautifully sharp-as-you-like palate awakeners.
We started with a meaty ham hock terrine and a light-as-air chicken liver parfait. The plates were attractively dressed and the accompaniments were intense but well balanced.
Mains were similarly classic – tarragon-infused chicken with a wild mushroom fricassee and belly of pork with salt-baked beets. Belly of pork has to be done really well to remain interesting and this did the job. The meat was moist and piggy and the beets and carrots were earthy, soft and sweet. The herby chicken was good too – we loved the crispy chicken skin and charred sweet corn especially.
Staff are relaxed, confident, knowledgeable and genuinely appeared to be enjoying themselves.
By Tim Burke, Leicester editor
Pictures courtesy of Orton’s Brasserie
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