In this year’s National Restaurant Awards Yorkshire had eight restaurants in the top 100. Here’s all you need to know about the best of the county’s top culinary spots.
- Le Cochon Aveugle
The story so far: York’s foodie scene has had a revolution in recent years and at least a small part of that is down to Josh Overington, who took over this boutique restaurant from Michael O’Hare.
What to expect: The name translates as the Blind Swine and you hand over all menu choices here to the kitchen team who serve up a blind tasting menu in this small, but perfectly formed restaurant right in the heart of the city centre.
Signature dish: While the menu changes even between tables on a single night, the boudin noir macaron (black pudding macaron) and the hand-dived scallop cooked a la ficelle with a sea urchin butter are a particular speciality.
What the diners say: “100% best dining experience of my life. Absolutely adored every course and the wine pairing was spot on too.”
t: 01904 640222, w: lecochonaveugle.co.uk
2. The Angel at Hetton
The story so far: In the 1980s this 15th century Dales inn became Yorkshire’s original gastropub. A few years ago, its star had dimmed a little, but the award-winning Michael Wignall recently took over in the kitchen and the Angel’s halo is shining bright again.
What to expect: Outside the stone-built restaurant is picture postcard Yorkshire Dales. Inside, it’s all shades of grey, open fires and a warm welcome.
Signature dish: Expect tasting menu dishes like smoked eel with apple, caviar and white chocolate and lamb done three ways with tandoori carrot and spiced aubergine.
What the diners say: “Very high quality of food and wine. If you have the taster menu ask about the wine flight, it’s a bargain!”
t: 01756 730263, w: angelhetton.co.uk
3. The Black Swan at Oldstead
The story so far: The Banks family bought their village pub in the North York Moors and a few years later had turned it into a Michelin star enterprise. When the original chef moved on, younger son Tommy stood up to the plate and the rest as they say is history.
What to expect: This place is a real family affair. The other Banks brother James is often front of house, their dad Tom is responsible for constructing the impressive kitchen garden out back and mum Anne is also the beating heart of the place.
Signature dish: It sounds improbable, but the beetroot cooked in beef fat, which Banks showcased on MasterChef, does actually taste like a piece of prime fillet.
What the diners say: “The food was clever, interesting, surprising and utterly delicious.”
t: 01347 868387, w: blackswanoldstead.co.uk
The story so far: We’re back with the Banks family again, this time in York where they opened their second restaurant last year. More modern than the Black Swan in decor, it still has the same family feel.
What to expect: Small plates rule at Roots, but you can have the equivalent of a tasting menu by letting the kitchen deliver a selection of their current favourites.
Signature dish: There are three different menus, but whatever the season try the sourdough with Lincolnshire Poacher custard which elevates bread to a whole other level.
What the diners say: “An absolutely wonderful example of modern British cuisine.”
5. Burlington at the Devonshire
The story so far: The fine dining restaurant in the Devonshire Arms Hotel on the Bolton Abbey estate is a bit of a Yorkshire institution and while it doesn’t have a Michelin star, with Paul Leonard having recently arrived in the kitchen via Gleneagles and the Isle of Eriska, that may well change.
What to expect: The hotel has long been known for its old school Yorkshire hospitality, but the public areas have recently been given a bit of a contemporary makeover and the Burlington is also firing on all cylinders.
Signature dish: The seasonal changing à la carte and tasting menus are a showcase of regional produce with dishes like cured duck liver with rhubarb and ginger and Yorkshire shorthorn beef with asparagus, morels and wild garlic.
What the diners say: “Wonderful food, wonderful service, wonderful setting. Couldn’t have asked for more.”
t: 01756 718100, w: thedevonshirearms.co.uk
The story so far: This small but perfectly formed restaurant opened on York’s Micklegate a couple of years ago and Neil Bentinck’s culinary prowess has helped turn this former pub into one of the city’s
What to expect: The atmosphere of a buzzing neighbourhood bistro with Michelin star quality food. The menu is centred around small plates so make sure your fellow diners like to share.
Signature dish: Don’t miss the hen’s egg, which is an unforgettably Moorish combination of Dale End cheddar, mushroom and PX sherry.
What the diners say: “The food is outstanding. The waiting staff are well informed and friendly. Fabulous, a real experience.”
t: 01904 634849, w: skoshyork.co.uk
The story so far: This small plates restaurant was one of the first businesses to open in the shipping crate construction known as Krynkl in a suburb of Sheffield. That was two years ago and since then every food critic worth their salt has heaped praise on the place.
What to expect: While founders Luke French and Matt Bigland described it as “an urban restaurant, which has a close bond with…the vibes of the city and its people”, it’s much less pretentious than
it sounds. In fact, this is exactly what a contemporary city eatery should be.
Signature dish: Think modern British cuisine with a twist, like line caught mackerel with wasabi.
What the diners say: “Amazing food. Fantastic service. One of the best meals I have ever had.”
t: 0114 299 1539, w: jororestaurant.co.uk
8. The Man Behind the Curtain
The story so far: Michael O’Hare’s arrival onto the Leeds restaurant scene was not exactly understated, but while he might have been all big hair and silver cowboy boots his exemplary cooking has also proved he has substance as well as style.
What to expect: O’Hare is a rock ‘n’ roll chef and his cooking, which combines brilliant flavours with the best artistic presentation, is theatre on a plate.
Signature dish: Black Cod Emancipation Extended which looks like a Jackson Pollock painting is the incredible O’Hare at his best.
What the diners say: “This is pure theatre with interesting and exciting food and excellent staff. A night we will always remember.”
t: 0113 243 2376, w: themanbehindthecurtain.co.uk