Yorkshire sourced fish, fruit and fowl are heading the new menus at one of York’s most interesting restaurants.
The 17th century, Grade II-listed The Rattle Owl, at historic Micklegate, has garnered a growing following among the city’s food lovers for providing superb dishes which reflect the changing seasons.
And, as summer gives way to autumn, head chef Tom Heywood has cherry picked the finest of the county’s produce for his new lunch, a la carte and private dining menus.
Tom, who trained at the three AA rosette The Cottage in the Wood, at Keswick and at The Pheasant Inn at Harome, before joining the Rattle Owl, has once again kept the menus simple, with a lunch menu solely comprising grazing plates.
Among the dishes on offer are a wild rabbit terrine with hedgerow rowan berries, a beetroot cured salmon with horseradish and fennel and mutton neck and belly – from nearby Sutton Bank – with Gordal olives, turnip and pistachio.
Garden and allotment vegetables feature heavily across all menus, in dishes such as tomatoes, with tarragon and ricotta cannelloni and cucumber consommé, while cheese is inventively paired with quail eggs as a dinner starter and kale, as a side dish.
Fish, sourced from the east coast of the county, is served simply, with haddock accompanied by a potato salad, choucroute, mint and chives and black bream is cleverly offset by a fennel jam, miso and black olives, aubergine and brazil nuts.
Desserts, too, reflect Tom’s ability to give classic flavour combinations a contemporary twist.
His Eton mess pairs Yorkshire grown strawberries with elderflower vinegar ice cream, while the sweetness of his peanut butter parfait is given a kick of colour and acidity by a citrus-green lime jelly.
“We are really lucky in Yorkshire to have a vast range of locally grown and reared ingredients,” said Tom.
“The county produces excellent meat, dairy, fish and vegetables so I have endless opportunity to experiment and develop my dishes and make sure they are exactly right before I add them to the menu.”
A firm favourite with the historic city’s residents, The Rattle Owl also offers private dining which means Tom and his small team need to provide varied menus of consistently high-quality dishes.
“But that’s what I enjoy most,” said Tom. “It means I can use the full range of ingredients as they come into season and I like knowing that, no matter how frequently a customer may dine with us, there will always be something new for them to try.”
The Rattle Owl also plans to unveil a new bar in the next few months.