Saturday, 10 December 2016
REVIEW: Walmgate Ale House and Bistro, York
Oh wow. We were invited for lunch at the Walmgate Ale House and Bistro when we were in York, and I'm still thinking about it. If you're heading there soon, or live nearby, you must go. The food was incredible. I'm still bitter I couldn't fit in dessert. They take pride in using Yorkshire produce from within a few miles, and use fresh vegetables, meat, bread and cheese delivered fresh each day.
The restaurant is part quirky-pub and part gastro-sensation, with decorations honouring their resident ghost and a great ale selection (according to Matt). We were due to be driving back home later that day though, so didn't partake in the alcohol, but we did enjoy an excellent meal. Like, really excellent.
I started with Truffle Arancini with pepper coulis and parmesan, which was beautifully cooked and perfectly seasoned. Truffle can so often by overpowering, but this was balanced really well with the red pepper coulis and the shards of parmesan.
Matt had the soup, which was spiced sweet potato and pretty much kept him full all day. I always think of soup as a bit of a boring option, but this was delicious and had a proper kick to it.
While we were there, they were holding a Game Festival, with specials featuring venison, partridge and pheasant. We both partook, although I wish we'd had a third dinner guest so we could have tried the partridge too, which combined partridge breast and confit leg with lemon and thyme marscapone and fried polenta with bacon. WOW.
But I really wasn't disappointed with my choice - breaded pheasant with mulled pears, fondant potato and red cabbage. This was amazing. It came with heaps of gravy and the mulled pears were mindblowing - they were beautiful with the mild flavour of the pheasant and elevated the meal into something really special.
Matt had the venison duo, cooked topside and with a game 'bon bon' which I think is like a croquette. Again, plentiful gravy (plentiful gravy is very important to me) and the flavours were out of this world. I'm not the biggest fan of venison, but I had a bite and it was incredible - cooked perfectly pink with gloriously crispy roast potatoes.
As I said, I was bitter we couldn't fit in dessert, but the chocolate panna cotta caught my eye as did the orange posset. Oh god, why didn't I just force down dessert? I was expecting simple, no-nonsense food from the Walmgate Ale House and Bistro and was very pleasantly surprised by the menu, which was something really special. Highly, highly recommended.
The Walmgate Ale House and Bistro is at 25 Walmgate, York YO1 9TX. The restaurant kindly paid for our meal in exchange for this honest review.
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