The Refectory York Review
Situated within the Grade II listed Principal Hotel, The Refectory York serves up seasonal dishes that showcase some of the best produce sourced throughout Yorkshire and the Yorkshire dales. Upon hearing about their new spring menu and seeing the mouth-watering dishes on their Instagram we decided a weekday treat was in order.
We chose to walk through the stunning Principal Hotel to the restaurant which added our overall experience. Our first impressions of The Refectory Kitchen and Terrace were big. Designed by the same architects as London’s Groucho Club and Soho House Group. No expense has been spared to create a light airy dining room, carefully decorated with soft lighting, exposed brickwork and glass ceiling. Not to mention their beautifully designed adjoining Chapter House Bar and terrace which we imagine is full of life when the weather picks up.
We were spoilt for choice between their A la Carte and weekly changing ‘Kitchen Menu’ based on seasonal produce. Thankfully Emily our waitress for the evening was fully up to speed with each dish, what to expect and also a few of her personal recommendations. I opted to start with a salad of ‘Mackenzies Locally-Smoked Salmon’ served with avocado, pink grapefruit, herbs and a drizzle of honey. Such a great start to the meal. A really colourful and perfectly presented dish, with a fresh citrus burst that balanced the lightly smoked fish. My partner opted for the ‘Roasted Fennel and Buckwheat Salad’ from the Kitchen Menu. A fragrant herb salad of coriander and mint contrasted the earthy roasted fennel well. To say it was from the set menu it was a real hefty portion too.
For mains, my partner chose ‘Treacle Cured Flat Iron Steak’ served with textures of broccoli, a fancy name for pureed basically and bacon butter. The steak was perfectly cooked and rested, beautifully tender for a flat iron cut. I decided on the ‘Lamb Rump’, two huge pieces of Nidderdale lamb arrived. Again perfectly cooked and rested, so melt in the mouth tender. Accompanied by a tangy sweet and sour relish, balanced with salty capers and served with fondant potatoes. Being extra greedy we couldn’t resist the sides. Tenderstem broccoli coated in an almond butter plus a side of deliciously cheesy cauliflower cheese (great recommendation Emily!). Real attention to detail with the presentation of both mains.
With their own in-house Pastry Chef Martyn Edmonds we couldn’t resist dessert, plus with three courses for £22 from their Kitchen Menu, it would be rude not to! My dessert of ‘Buttermilk Panna Cotta, Raspberries and Homemade Doughnuts’ didn’t disappoint. Another beautifully presented dish, well thought out with each element complementing the next. Sticking to the treacle theme, my partner opted for the gooey ‘Treacle Tart’ with homemade vanilla ice cream and lightly spiced cinnamon custard. Thankfully she couldn’t finish it all so I was on hand to polish it off.
After three courses we were absolutely stuffed. For a Monday night visit, the restaurant was nearly full with couples on date nights, to groups of friends and families. It’s great to see a hotel restaurant like The Refectory being such a standalone venue for great food. From the décor, buzzing atmosphere, service and delicious dishes we were hugely impressed by our visit to The Refectory. Yet another great dining destination for the city of York.
Find out more about The Refectory Kitchen and Terrace York and view their menus.
The Refectory Kitchen and Terrace, Station Rd, York YO24 1AA- 01904 688688
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