Dean Court Hotel Restaurant
Tel : (01904) 625082
For our sixth anniversary I was whisked away to York by the Veggie. I couldn't have wished for a better surprise - I have always loved York and hadn't been there for years. We stayed in a lovely little hotel called Marmadukes and proceeded to eat are way around the city (or at least it felt that way!).
First stop for dinner was the impressive Dean Court Hotel (D.C.H), its restaurant offering beautiful views of York Minister. I was expecting good food as the place has two AA rosettes but it surpassed even my high expectations. I can safely say that dinner here was one of the best meals out I've ever had.
The staff were charming and just the right kind of attentive. Everything about the decor and the setting was perfect.
We ordered a lovely Rose wine and mulled over the menu whilst sampling the gorgeous pesto rolls and butter on offer. The starters were all rather tempting, with duck, scallops and pigeon being just a few of the choices. I finally decided on the Goats Cheese Bavarois with beetroot jelly, walnut and chive dressing. I must confess I wasn't sure what a 'Bavarois' was but it sounded unusual and I love anything with goat's cheese and beetroot. For my main I couldn't resist the appeal of the Ribeye Steak au Poivre (cut from 21-day matured Yorkshire Beef) with marinated tomato, grilled mushrooms and fat chips. Yes essentially 'steak and chips' but if executed with style you can't really beat it in my book.
The Veggie opted for the Pea and Watercress Veloute with a ravioli of ricotta cheese to begin, followed by the only vegetarian choice (the one thing that I would alter about the place) Spinach, Yorkshire Blue Cheese and Caponatta Spring Rolls with red onion tart tatin. At least the dish sounded imaginative and wasn't the usual risotto or pasta.
Before our starters arrived we were presented with a small amuse bouche of spicy sausage with black eyed beans on toast. Although they initially assumed the Veggie was a meat-eater once she let them know that was not the case they couldn't have been more accommodating. After asking if fish was an option, they eventually offered slices of perfectly ripe watermelon with a berry coulis instead. Top marks for making an effort and the Veggie was left feeling a little bit special.
The evening was beginning to draw in and York Minister was glowingly lit up outside. As I said, the setting couldn't be faulted. A feeling that our starters were in accordance with. My Goat's cheese dish, which turned out to be mousse-like, grey and wobbly. If that doesn't sound appetising, forgive me, as the contrast of the deep purple of the beetroot and soft brown of the walnuts was perfect. The mousse itself was wonderfully rich and full-flavoured as the Veggie agreed. Undoubtably one of the best starters I have eaten, the textures and flavours blending into a moreish delight.
Not to be outdone the Veggie's soup was creamy and light, the flavours astoundingly fresh. The addition of the ravoli took it to another level, and I was pleased that I wasn't the only one raving about the food.
Would our mains be able to continue such high standards? Well they certainly gave it a good shot! My steak was beautifully cooked and was a lovely piece of meat. The ribeye has always been my favourite cut and here it was the star of the dish. The accompaniments were fine, nothing too amazing but tasty, especially the marinated tomato.
The Veggie's spring rolls also went down well and were apparently unlike anything else she has eaten. It's always nice to have a dish that surprises you and with its unusual 'fusion' of asian and british cuisine this was it!
Whilst we were both full we couldn't resist sharing the creme brulee, which was not just your run of the mill dish, oh no, this was given a asian twist too. Lemon Grass Infused Crème Brulee with
coconut and chilli sorbet, was the perfect palate cleanser. The flavour of the custard had just enough hints of lemon and I adored the hot and sweet sorbet (although the Veggie thought it was a bit too weird).
The bill came too around 75 pounds, a total bargain for such a memorable meal. I will definitely be returning there next time we are in York.
Scores on the Doors: 9.5 out of 10.