I wrote a post about the lovely Skosh a couple of weeks ago and failed to mention the other York venue that we visited that day which is equally worthy of note.
Andrew Pern is the holder of one of Yorkshire’s six Michelin stars at The Star Inn at Harome. In recent years he has started to extend his empire, and back in 2013 opened The Star Inn The City in York which I think (checks archives) that I have written about here. It’s a bit more accessible in terms of price and style than the mothership and was a very welcome addition to the York restaurant scene back in the days when not a lot seemed to be going on. Now, Mr Pern has opened a second York venue: Mr P’s Curious Tavern, and it was to here that we repaired on a sunny Friday lunchtime at the beginning of May.
It has to be said though, we were labouring under a slight misapprehension – based on the name, we were expecting a pub, and popped in for a pint and, perhaps, a sandwich. It is not a pub (even if it does boast an impressive bar with a be-yoo-tiful array of gins) rather, a restaurant serving what our waitress described as “Yorkshire tapas” which description I quite like, although I suspect many Spaniards may object strongly to the cultural appropriation. We left having consumed rather more than we were expecting (although certainly not as much as we could have done), and not really minding a bit.
The highlight was probably the potted confit duck – as the name suggests, this was gloriously rich but the richness was admirably countered by the fruit and nut topping which also added an interesting textural contrast to the silky pate.
Also recommended are the great big crispy, salty rings of calamari with an unbelievably moreish seaweed salad cream. I can never resist fried calamari when I see it on a menu and these were well handled.
The décor and the way in which the food was described and subsequently presented was quirky and kitsch which I personally find appealing but, I suspect, could be highly irritating to those who favour clean lines and white linen. Such people would do well to steer clear (and perhaps take themselves off to the slightly more ascetic sensibilities of Skosh). For the rest of us, there is much to enjoy here and hurrah to Andrew Pern for finding more ways to bring his celebrations of Yorkshire food to us Yorkshire foodies.
Mr P's Curious Tavern
71 Low Petergate