Thursday, September 11, 2008

The brothel at the Blue Bicycle (York part 3)

The Blue Bicycle Restaurant,
34 Fossgate
YO1 9TA.
Tel: 01904 673990
After a look around the Shambles shops and a drink at a very local pub we headed to the nearby Blue Bicycle restaurant where we had a table booked downstairs. The Blue Bicycle is so named because it used to be a brothel. The lady owner always rode a blue bicycle and when the bike was outside the brothel clients would know that the place was open for business.

The Veggie had booked us a table in one of the booths that used to be a bed. The small alcove still boasted the original headboards, although they must have been pretty short in those days!
The menu and specials looked pretty good, but first we were treated to tiny flowerpots with a small bread roll baked inside, plus softened butter and a whole bulb of garlic slow-roasted to the point of being spreadable. An unusual and delicious opener.

There were quite a lot of fish dishes on the menu, although there was a ribeye steak on the specials board. However, as I had had one of those recently I decided to have the fettucine with fresh herbs and green vegetables to begin and then the fillets of sea bass on fondant potatoes with a kind of tomato and basil tart.

The Veggie went for the specials soup which was pea and watercress. Unfortunately there was only one vegetarian main which was a lentil and chick pea dhal, with naan and pakoras.
The whole atmosphere of the restaurant was nice and cosy, and candlelit. The downstairs was defintely preferable to the less intimate and noiser upstairs area.
Our starters arrived and were very nice. My pasta was silky and fresh-tasting, the pairing of the crisp vegetables and light and creamy sauce was successful. The Veggie's soup was also good, although not as nice as the D.C.H's.

My main of sea bass presented me with a well-cooked piece of fish and the fondant potatoes were lovely. Unfortunately I didn't like the tomato and pastry 'tart'. The pastry was overcooked and puff would have been better than shortcrust with this dish. The veggie curry was quite nice, but nothing that special. It was a rather large portion which The Veggie struggled with.
We decided to order some earl grey tea and share the tempting sounding strawberry and champene trifle. The dessert came in a teacup with wafers. It was exceedingly rich, heavy with cream and custard. Even between the two of us we couldn't finish it.

Dinner for two came to around 69 pounds with the optional service charge included. Service was very good and our waitress was very sweet.

Overall it wasn't the most memorable meal ever, but the setting added a special appeal and it was reasonable in price.

Scores on the doors: 7 out of 10

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