After the sad demise of Jeff Baker's place last year, the York restaurant scene has been crying out for a decent higher end place to dine. Enter Andrew Pern, the chef proprietor of the Star Inn at Harome - famous for one of the best gastropubs in the country and for being where D and I got married (although I notice that we are not yet name checked on their website). If I tell you that the Star is where top notch, "proper" pub chef Tom Kerridge chose to celebrate his 40th birthday that might give you an indication of how splendiferous it is. Anyway the Star now has a sister venue on the banks of the River Ouse in York and last night we toddled along to check it out.
The Star Inn had a Michelin star for years and is definitely at the fine dining end of the gastropub spectrum. The York place is a bit less formal in terms of food and service and is the kind of restaurant that caters for a varied crowd - from large groups of revellers to romantic couples. Impressively for such a large, airy building it manages to encapsulate the lovely cosy feel of the country place and the location is terrific - I can't wait to go on a summer evening and watch the sun set on the river through the huge windows.
|Beetroot ravioli, goats' cheese|
But, of course, big windows and a wood burning stove will only get you so far if the food isn't up to scratch - and thus it is with gread delight that I can report that the food was absolutely wonderful. Just take a moment to go and look at the menu (I'll wait) - isn't it just jam packed with dishes that you want to bury your face in? Andrew Pern has been a huge advocate of using local produce since way before it was trendy, and has a knack of sourcing amazing ingredients then treating them with an appropriate amount of respect and this shines through in the cooking. I just can't decide what the highlight was - although the confit duck leg with chorizo "baked beans" might just edge it over D's scallop and pork belly combo.
|Confit duck leg, chorizo baked beans|
A minor niggle - no complimentary bread. I am very fond of bread. But I forgave them when the espressos arrived with mini chocolate tarts teetering on the saucers, all biscuit crisp pastry and a dark kiss of a filling.
|Coffee, chocolate tart|
So hurrah for York having a lovely new place to eat, drink and be merry. The bar area is open to non diners which makes me very happy and a perusal of the breakfast menu, which is served from half eight in the week and from nine at the weekend, makes me even happier. I can see this becoming a regular haunt, and while it may never quite replace JB's in our affections, it is likely to come perilously close.
The Star Inn the City
Lendal Engine House