Reviews of 31 Castlegate York - A Nice Contemporary European Restaurant
Kevin Ireson the Webmaster says: We have to thank Rebecca and Lee for the personal recommendation of this fine establishment. We had a good evening. The food was good as was the service. The lady who was front of house and head waiter were very nice, friendly and professional. The decoration here is pleasing and there is a good amount of space available around each table. On an evening this stylish restaurant in York serves up tasty modern seasonal European style dishes.
Friendly Staff Greet You Pleasantly
As we entered a member of staff appeared quickly, asked if we had booked and told the head waiter. We were shown to our table in the main dining room. The head waiter (could also be the manager) happily chatted to us and the other diners as he passed. We were asked if we required predinner drinks. We ordered 2 Kia Royal which arrived quite promptly. We were left with the food menus. So far so good. All boxes were being ticked for me.
Gentile Ambience With Modern Decor
Our meal was on a Thursday in the early evening. You would not expect a full house at this time or this time of the week. There were however a couple of other couples in for early bird deals. They did leave soon after we arrived but, it was by no means empty which is a good thing in my eyes. 3 other tables become full as we ate. So you should not be the only one eating if you come here.
The feel of the place is pleasant. In fact I would say edging toward a fine dining restaurant, as opposed to a bistro. Quite background music was the order of the day. The simple modern designed tables and chairs had a good amount of space between them giving you plenty of space. They have some colourful modern art prints on the wall which contrast with the neutral tones. wood panelling, a large classic unused fireplace with a large gold framed mirror over it. All in all it looked and felt quite good in my opinion.
Good Food by Chef Nick Julius - Modern Seasonal European Menu
Bread was offered and brought to us promptly. We got 2 thick slices of toasted but not fresh hot toasted brioche. It was nice and crunchy outside, and soft inside. The tasty balsamic and olive oil with it gave a slightly salty edge. Alternatively they may have seasoned it for us, which was interesting.
Our waiter made his recommendations of a meat platter starter and assiette of venison main. He called the venison the "house speciality". So we happily ordered a platter and some chorizo and pork belly salad to start. I ordered the venison and was looking forward to it as the waiter had bigged it up. David went for a medium rare ribeye steak which I was appalled at. "That is no challenge for a chef. We can do that at home easily!", I bellowed at him across the table. But, there we have it. People like what people like.
Starters arrived in a good time. Not to long, not to quick, just right for us. David's meat platter came with nice bit of chorizo, ham, salami and some nondescript Brie. Also 2 bigger slices of brioche came. Although not toasted or salty this time but, still very nice.
My chorizo and pork belly salad was a real delight. Not overdressed even though it looked as though it might be. There was a shine to the dressing but, it was quite light. It went well with the big crispy pork flavour of the belly pork and the tiny bits of very crispy chorizo. These of course all fell to the bottom of the salad so I had to dig through the leaves with a fork and get at it all. Even the cherry tomatoes were quite nice. It came in a big bowl which made the portion look small but it wasn't. The amount of meat in there was quite surprising. I was hungry when we arrived. By end of this starter I was not!
Main Courses Looked Divine
The mains that arrived looked a real treat. Our friend Margaret would have called them "Divine!" I am sure. So we tucked in with high hopes!
David's steak was cooked perfectly. Medium rare is just how we think ribeye should be cooked as the meat is a bit fatty. It was nicely browned both sides as you can see in the picture. It had a nicely charred, thus smokey 1/2 tomato. It also had a wonderful circular pyramid of sweet tasting, crispy, battered onion rings with it. Chips were nice also but we only had room for a few. A small amount of salad leaves were there for some added fibre.
My assiette of venison also looked super on the plate. I began with the fillet which tasted deliciously gamey. It was was cooked medium rare so quite moist, succulent and pink in the middle. Next was the roulade. This was filled with what tasted like a sweet, sage and onion stuffing. It was a real treat and again not overcooked.
The lovely scone shaped puff pasty on top hid a sumptuous, rich gravy within a small metal pot. My fork went through the light pasty with ease into the depths of the contents. I pulled out a few small piece of melt in the mouth venison, dripping with tasty gravy. It was all to die for so far.
THEN CAME DISASTER! As I picked through the contents I came toward the bottom of the small pot. Unfortunately I came up with 3 or 4 pieces of gristle and fat which were as large as he bits of meat I had been savouring. I put these to the edge of my plate in a pile. Well, unfortunately there was no more meat in the bottom so 1/2 the contents were this muck. It really ruined what was up to that point a great meal. I pointed this out along with my disappointment to the waiter. He was a little surprised but, I got nothing off the bill for it!
Puddings Were Great
Although portions did not appear large, we were very full by the end. I looked at the choice and decided on a Castlegate Cheese Board. David had a Assiette of Rhubarb.
My cheese board cheeses were British, as stated on the menu. Most were tasty and came with the usual cheese board suspects; nice crunchy biscuits, celery, grapes and some flavoursome, home made chutney. Also there was a good portion of each. Not massive but, a good few mouthfuls of each.
David won the desert challenhe with as his Assiette of Rhubarb looked and tasted delicious. It was a star from start to finish as all three parts were very tasty. A crunchy topped crumble was a good introduction top the trio of sweet delights. Next there was a rhubarb brulee which was also very nice. Last the rhubarb sorbet cleansed your palate well. A great, seasonal finish to a good meal really.
Things We Think Could Be Improved
- Really there was not that much wrong with this meal.
- A signature dish should be as close to perfect as is possible. That is why it is called signature dish.
- My venison assiette was far from it. They may have used the fat to flavour the gravy but, what on earth was the gristle there for?
- Also it should really have been filtered out before serving. Loss of 1 point there for lack of attention to detail.
- The Brie cheese turned up twice and was distinctly lacking in flavour. It might well have been British but, you really want a British highlight to finish a meal. This was definitely not one.
Please mention Hotels in York website when you call. Thanks.