Our food and travel writer Rachel McAlley made a beeline to York with her family for an evening of Yorkshire food, Yorkshire charm, and Yorkshire hospitality at The Star Inn The City, one of Andrew Pern’s highly acclaimed restaurants, and she was blown away by the experience.
After a short stroll along the River Ouse we took our first steps into the much talked-about restaurant The Star Inn The City, which is nestled at the bottom of York’s famous Museum Gardens and directly next to the vast river, a stunning location to have dinner.
It was a chilly spring evening outside, but warm and welcoming once we opened the door to The Star Inn The City. We were greeted with smiles from both customers and staff, there was a little dog sat watching the world go by while its owner enjoyed a glass of wine in the bar, the bar tenders were mixing cocktails, and the kitchen was buzzing with busy chefs preparing dinner for guests. This was going to be a relaxed, comfortable and enjoyable evening.
No sooner had we stopped looking at the décor, and all the quirky niches in the bar area we were shown to our table, handed the menus, and our jackets were taken away for the evening. It was time to peruse the menus.
There were three of us to satisfy, two adults and one very picky 6-year old, so when we spotted the Starlets Menu we knew this was all going in the right direction.
After much deliberation we had to make the difficult decision of choosing dinner for from the extensive menus. We opted for the Baked Potato Soup for our little one, and the chefs happily deconstructed their perfect soup filed with scallions and crispy bacon to accommodate her needs, we also ordered Pressed ‘Nose-to-Tail’ Pig Terrine, and Grilled Sowerby Bridge ‘Halloumi’ which was served with heritage beetroot, charred leeks and a rather fabulous beetroot shot!
Without any words spoken our starters were devoured within minutes, even our little starlet enjoyed every spoonful and bite of her deconstructed soup. The pig terrine was moist and flavoursome, and it worked perfectly with the route veg remoulade, teaspoon of mustard and the huge portion of chunky sourdough toast that it was served with. I had wanted to try the Sowerby Bridge Halloumi for a few weeks as I’m originally from Halifax and Sowerby Bridge is an old haunt of mine, and I wasn’t disappointed as the halloumi was perfectly squeaky, seriously tasty and the added beetroot shot just finished off the dish with aplomb.
We were preparing for the main event when a young lady arrived and delivered a Green Apple Sorbet for our daughter, and two rather fabulous looking sorbets for the adults. The ‘Adult’ gin & tonic sorbet was served in a crystal glass with a shot of Slingsby rhubarb gin, fever-tree tonic, freshly poached rhubarb and a few squares of rhubarb gel. Oh my word, what a treat for the senses!
After a brief chinwag with the servers about how fabulous the sorbet was, it was onto the main courses and again everything about them looked wonderful, from the presentation to the aroma and the flavour.
Towering Yorkshire Puddings and Onion Gravy were the preferred choice for the little one, and seemingly they were quite delish! We chose the Roast Breast of ‘R&J Yorkshire’s Finest Duck’, and the Little Fillet of East Coast Sea Bass with Smoked Haddock & Pea Risotto both taken from the Market Menu, and we opted for a side of Tenderstem Broccoli with Chilli and Toasted Pine
nuts, and a side of Salted Skinny Fries to share. Now, where to start with these dishes? Firstly, the duck was like silk to both cut and eat, it was perfect in every possible way, and secondly the risotto was creamy and light, which is not an easy combination to get right. The risotto was up there with the best of the best, it really was drool worthy.
Unsure whether there was any space left to enjoy dessert we decided after a slightly amusing heated discussion that there is always room for pudding! Our daughter who couldn’t get enough of the delicious apple sorbet requested it for her dessert, which I’m sure the staff would happily accommodate anyone who asked for it not just our picky child. We went for Classic Sticky Toffee Pudding with Caramelised Banana and Banana Ice Cream, which was truly divine; it was hefty, hearty and a sticky toffee heavenly concoction, and the Salted Caramel Tart, served with ‘Maldon’ Smoked Popcorn & Stamfrey Farm Clotted Cream. The tart was a moreish caramel dream encased with super-thin buttery pastry, blooming marvellous.
During the meal we had the pleasure of meeting The Star Inn The City Operations Director Matt Hunter who kindly talked us through his favourite ingredients from the menu, all the provenance of the meats and fish, cheeses and vegetables, and he gave us an insight to the restaurant as a whole.
We would recommend anyone visiting York to take the time to dine at The Star Inn The City. From the service, to the presentation, and of course the flavours on each and every plate, this is a fantastic restaurant with talented chefs who know how to make a Yorkshire family happy.
Prices start from £6 for starters, mains are from £12 (Market Menu) and from £14 on the All Day Menu, desserts are from £6, and the Starlets Menu starts at £3.
The Star Inn The City, Museum Street, York. 01904 619 208.