The Park, York
THE PARK: YORK
WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT:
For exceptional food by Adam Jackson
To enjoy an intimate dining atmosphere
For the attentive service
To have a unique experience
The Park feels like a home away from home. Part of the Marmadukes Hotel, it's cosy, welcoming and relaxation is high on the agenda. The team definitely know how to make you feel at ease as soon as you walk through the door. You'd think somewhere with a tasting menu might be stuffy and overly formal, but The Park is just the opposite.
The furnishings are a little old fashioned and whilst not necessarily to my taste, they suit the property and the floral patterns, panelling and grey fabric chairs create quite a grand feel. There are only four tables for dinner - that's how intimate it is - and you can also enjoy a drink before or after dinner sat in the cosy lounge or at the bar.
After starting with a G&T at the bar, we were seated at one of the four tables and brought a glass of Nyetimber Classic Cuvee, which was crisp and refreshing. There was a wonderful atmosphere in the room with laughter, smiles and chatter all backed to a soundtrack that included The Stone Roses and some retro dance classics!
The restaurant is run by Head Chef Adam Jackson and holds three AA Rosettes. We were dining on the early evening set menu, which is £35 per person with £22 each for the Wine Package, but also tried a couple of extra dishes and wines. This is what we ate:
White Bread. Brown Sauce. Bacon. Egg.
Scallop. Curry. Butternut Squash. Onion.
Steak Au Poivre, Tarragon. Chips.
Duck. Carrot. Red Cabbage. Lentils.
Pineapple. Rum. Raisin. Ginger.
Shropshire Blue. Mulled Pear. Date & Walnut Bread.
This is what we drank as part of the Wine Package:
Nyetimer Classic Cuvee
Merlot Blanc De Noir, Pfanturm 2016
Malbec Chateau Haut, Monplaisir 2011
Pinot Noir, The Liberator 2013
Muscat De Frontignan, 2008
To start, we were served White Bread, Brown Sauce, Bacon and Egg - but not as you know it. The soft and fluffy bread was served with a brown sauce butter topped with crispy bacon, with a creamy egg yolk on the side. Together, it tasted like a bacon and egg sandwich with brown sauce. Very clever. Adam Jackson is known for his contemporary cookery using fresh, local produce and we were excited for what else was to come.
Next, we were presented with Scallop, Curry, Butternut Squash and Onion, served alongside a Merlot Blanc De Noir. It was a small mouthful of fragrant curry flavours, melt in the mouth scallops and sweet butternut squash. The white wine was the perfect accompaniment.
Another small plate followed, with Steak Au Poivre, Tarragon and Chips, accompanied by a glass of Malbec. The mushrooms gave a really rich flavour to the dish and worked perfectly with the peppery steak and also with the Malbec. I really liked the crispy potatoes which added some welcome texture to the dish.
The main course sounded delicious - Duck, Carrot, Red Cabbage and Lentils - and it did not disappoint! Served alongside The Liberator Pinot Noir, it was packed to the rafters with flavour, with rich and meaty duck breast that was perfectly pink alongside succulent duck leg. I'm not usually a fan of black pudding but it was actually very tasty and I liked the fact it was made in-house. The sweet red cabbage and silky carrot puree were the perfect accompaniments to the duck and I have to say, I pretty much licked my plate clean!
We had a little rest before pudding, which proved to be a good thing as we opted to go for the dessert and the cheese to end the meal. Well, it was almost Christmas - the season of indulgence!
The dessert was absolutely divine. Pineapple, rum, raisin and ginger - four flavours which should, and very much did, go hand in hand. The best bit? Well, all of it, but the little sticky pieces of caramelised pineapple were especially memorable. As were the cubes of rum soaked cake.
We didn't need cheese but I knew it would be something a little bit special so found a small corner of our stomachs to fit it in. Creamy Shropshire Blue and Mulled Pear with Date and Walnut Bread - yes, it was as good as the combination sounds!
We ended the meal with a glass of Saliza, which we'd never tried before, but as we were informed by the very lovely and helpful Restaurant Manager, is basically Amaretto made with real almonds. You can definitely tell the difference to standard Amaretto and it was a perfect end to a lovely meal.
We had one of the most enjoyable meals we've had in a while at The Park and quite simply, you must visit if you're in York. I can't wait to return!
The Park, 3 St Peter's Grove, York, YO30 6AQ.
Dotty Dishes was a guest of The Park but paid for some drinks and the cheese board.