Pesto – and a pint

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The Waggon and Horses pub at Millhouses Park has had another makeover and ended up covered in Pesto.

Or at least the small Pesto in a Pub chain has reopened it following a refit.

General manager Andi Ferguson, originally from Darnall, has come back to Sheffield to oversee the relaunch with his all-new team of 35 staff. “It’s great to be home,” he said.

He said it’s definitely still a pub. At the moment their cask ales are Easy Rider and guest beer Greene King IPA.

The place still looks like a pub and the makeover has given it a warm and relaxing feel. My friend Linda spotted that all the sets of tables and chairs are different. An idea of the owner, Neil Gatt, apparently.

However, service is at the table by very nice waiting staff dressed in black, so it’s a halfway house.

The menu is based on sharing little plates of food and the manager who seated us explained that five or six plates between two leaves most comfortably full.

We each had a very pleasant glass of white wine. I tried the crisp Bianco Lazio Villa Desideri (£3.50) and Linda had the fruitier Chardonnay Villa Serena (£3.75). They do a good range in large and small glasses and bottles.

The food menu also has a good selection, with something to please meat, fish and vegetable lovers, and prices are around £4 to £5.

Call in between lunch and 7pm on weekdays for ane early bird deal, which is £7.95 for three dishes.

Don’t take the name too literally, as I only spotted pesto stirred into a risotto or served with gnocchi.

We went for a prawn and rocket bruschetta (£4.50), arancini (£3.95), tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms (£3.95), a pizzetta (£3.95), spicy meatballs (£4.50) and fishcakes (£4.50).

A petite waitress arrived in good time, her huge tray laden with all six dishes, so full marks to the kitchen for timing. And full marks to her for carrying and offloading it all so deftly.

The bruschetta was pretty good, with lots of prawns in a creme fraiche dressing on top of the rocket.

Both of us really liked the pizzetta mini pizza, which had a great topping of goat’s cheese and a sweet red onion marmalade. The crust was light and well made.

The fishcakes, made with cod, were very soft and need more fish and less potato, in my opinion, although they had a rich, creamy taste.

The spicy beef meatballs were firm and had a nice little kick to them and came in a pleasant tomato sauce.

The tagliatelle wasn’t a big hit as the creamy, thyme-flavoured sauce was bland. The porcini were a bit gritty.

However, the arancini, which are deep-fried balls of risotto rice, were great. The saffron-flavoured rice was good and lovely mozzarella oozed out of the middle.

Six dishes is easily enough for two, so we were both pleased when the dessert plates were small.

My torta al limone (£3.55), a mousse served on a biscuit base was great and really zingy.

Linda’s cioccolato divino lived up to the name, with dark chocolate mixed with amaretti biscuits, almonds and orange liqueur.

Coffee was good too.

A very pleasant evening.