Hotel Lincoln

91 Cardigan St, Carlton
Phone: 9347 4666

You can thank/blame the duck enabler for this one. I had heard through the twitters that Hotel Lincoln had a duck pie on the menu, so on a Friday night, after a couple of hours of indoor climbing at Hard Rock, I wandered up Cardigan St with my sister and brother-in-law – I’m never going to get tired of the idea I have a brother – and Mr E and Ms J for some dinner. To my chagrin, and the disappointment of Ms J, we found out that the duck pie was only available on Tuesday nights, so no duck pie for us.

I hadn’t been to the Lincoln in years, and I don’t think I’d ever eaten there before. I was expecting something of a gastropub, but I didn’t quite expect that there was what felt a quite prim and proper restaurant out the back! Needless to say, we were all a tad under dressed, and I’m fairly sure the staff were unimpressed when we traipsed in. Still, to their credit, they were supremely professional, and I think they warmed to our table, despite Ms J’s rather gauche insisting question as to whether we’d get bread for the table. She was pretty famished, you see. In hindsight, we perhaps should have eaten in the bar!

As the mains were likely to take a while – you’ll see why below – so Mr E ordered the smoked trout pate with avocado and toast as a starter for the table. The trout was a little too solid to be called a pate in my opinion, but it tasted good, and was well paired with the avocado and shaved fennel.

The mains arrived not long after, with my sis, Ms J and Mr E all ordering the duck cassoulet. For such a hearty dish, the servings were plentiful. I suppose they would have to be, since the cassoulet contained confit duck, pork belly and sausage. I tried a little of the duck and the sausage, but people get a little possessive when it comes to pork belly, it seems… The duck was beautifully cooked, and worked beautifully with the beans. The sausage was a touch on the salty side, I thought.
I ordered the veal osso bucco, with soft polenta and gremolata. On a cold Winter’s night, this dish really hit the spot.
The veal was tender and falling off the bone, and the hearty richness was rounded out by the polenta. This sounds all a bit too heavy, but thankfully the sharpness of the gremolata cut through it. I loved this dish, and my only disappointment was that I wasn’t able to get the bone marrow out with the fat clumsy knife with which I was provided.

My brother-in-law (see, still cool!) had the roasted kingfish fillet, with kipfler potatoes, spinach and anchovy butter.

This was a supremely well-conceived dish. Although I found the kingfish just a touch too ‘fishy’ for my liking, this was beautifully complemented by the buttery-ness of the potatoes, and the saltiness of the spinach which carried he anchovy butter. The squeeze of lemon set it all off perfectly.

The food at the Lincoln was, in a word, great. The service was, in a word, excellent. I was a little disappointed at the small range of option on the menu, but I guess what they do produce, the produce extremely well. I’d definitely recommend you visit, but just be aware that prices are more fine dining than pub, and the atmosphere is that way too.

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2 Replies to “Hotel Lincoln”

  1. I wasn't blown off my socks impressed by the Lincoln when I went – it was great but they didn't cook my brother's steak as requested. It's no Station Hotel.

    What the heck is with everyone doing cassoulet at the moment?!

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