Much was made of the news that a new branch of small but growing restaurant chain Middletons Steakhouse & Grill was opening in Leamington a few weeks ago.
There was quite the buzz when The Courier and Warwickshire World published the story.
The site Middletons has opened its new branch at was previously occupied by Gusto but had been unused for a while - it's a large and prominent spot in the Regent Court/Livery Street cluster of restaurants in the town centre and it needs to have a big hitter in place.
Thankfully for the town, Middletons fits the bill in this regard.
Having launched with some promotional offers in its first few weeks, Middletons has now gotten into its stride in the town and we reviewed its main menu on Saturday night (March 12).
Chilli prawns and calamari were our choices as a starter.
The former of the dishes had a real spicy heat to it.
The prawns were succulent and the sour dough bread a nice accompaniment with which to mop up the sauce.
The calamari rings were deep friend to perfection, warm and crunchy on the outside and great to dip in the garlic mayonnaise they were served with.
Both dishes were of a good portion.
For the main dishes partner chose, my partner chose the 8oz sirloin steak with her choice of coleslaw for a side and some peppercorn sauce.
I was interested to see how well Middletons does seafood so picked the prime surf and turf, opting for half a lobster in place of king prawns.
I had sweet potato fries as a side.
Both dishes were wonderful with the steaks cooked extremely well and of a nice quality.
We barely had room for desserts, such was the generosity of the portions we had received but this section of the menu offers a lot of variety and we were keen to see if Middletons gets this part of it right.
To finish off I had one of my favourtie puddings - sticky toffee pudding with ice cream.
It was a real treat.
My partner chose something a little different and new - the chocolate and salted caramel torte which was soft, fluffy, creamy and once again generous in size.
There can be a stigma attached to chain restaurants when it comes to the consistency of the standards of food they serve but Middletons definitely bucks this trend and it felt like we were eating somewhere a lot more higher end than what the menu prices where.
What's more, the standards the Middletons is setting both in its food and high level of friendly service should help it to thrive as a new establishment in the town and on a restaurant scene that is still fighting hard to bounce back after lockdown.
For more information, bookings and prices for Middletons in Leamington visit https://middletons-shg.co.uk/restaurants/leamington-spa/