Apparently the Grand hotel is the finest place to stay in the city of York. It has a fine dining restaurant terribly named “Hudsons” ( After the 1800`s railway developer ) that certainly sits up there with the best places to eat in the area. I booked in for dinner after seeing some of Chef Craig Atchinsons very attractive looking food creations on Twitter . The tasting menu seemed like the best option for me to try Chefs time developed dishes and at £65 for 8 courses it seemed like a reasonable deal. The wine flight was a selection of 5 glasses (£35) to cover the 8 courses , bit of a let down on the pairing there as I normally like a different wine per course , even if it`s just a small serving. As for the restaurant ….Hmmmnnnn , I think it has remained untouched since Mr Hudsons era .Dark with zero personality , an extremely boring place to sit and dine in.
Chefs food definitely surprised me during the meal. It really doesn`t reflect upon his previous employers “The Talbot hotel in Malton” and “The Hambrough hotel on the isle of Wight”. Seems to me like Craig Atchinson has a creative streak and uses well sourced local produce in a very artistic and unique style. Atchinson`s cooking is modern British with an emphasis on using quality produce that changes with the seasons. So on with tonights tasting menu…. A solitary appetiser as I perused the menu.
Cryogenic Bloody Mary – An amusing way to begin dinner with a “make your own” Cocktail. Plenty of theatre with the pouring of the liquid Nitrogen , and stirring the potion. A combination of Bloody Mary Sorbet , Celery and Celery Meringue was extremely messy on the plate but carried all the essential flavours of the cocktail and also raised plenty of smiles amongst the diners.
Spring Vegetables , Goat`s Crabley , Preserved Roots and Woodland Mushrooms – Light and Summery and a delight to the eye. Stunning presentation with tremendous attention to the tiniest of detail. Lots of natural flavours , healthy , Simple and very WOW. Probably the highlight of the meal for me.
R&J`s Signature Beef Tartare , Crispy Tendons , Cucumber , Charcoal Mayonnaise , Mustard Shoots – Reminded me of Simon Rogans Ox in Coal Oil , similar flavours but needed more punch from the Charcoal as that key smokey flavour was essential but missing from the Mayonnaise.
Goosnargh Corn fed Duck , Breast and Heart , Beetroots , Alexanders , Turnip , Mead sauce – Well cooked and very tender Duck and a nicely balanced dish ….BUT ….more Beetroot again. There was lots on my last course so this one needed a little tweak here and there.
Carrot and Mandarin , Orange Cream Cheese , Pecans , Muscovado and spice – I love my desserts so could have eaten this one ten times over.
Tomlinson Rhubarb , Poached Rhubarb Sorbet , Candied Rose – Sweet , Tart and sour balanced nicely with a lovely floral addition from the Rose petals. A nice palate refresher.
Dark Chocolate Ganache , Salted Caramel , Burnt Butter ice cream – Not enough on my plate , I was screaming out for more….left me frustrated.
Coffee and Sweet treats in the lounge to finish , a nice little ending to an enjoyable meal. Definitely do go and sample Chef Atchinsons food whilst you`re in York. It`s reasonably priced and you can also get a 3 course alc for around £45. As you can see from the photos , Craig is a pretty talented guy and definitely cooks in his own trademark style. I think we will hear more of this guy in the future. No complaints at all from my meal apart from the boring décor and restaurant styling
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