Two of Yorkshire’s most beloved gastro pubs have reopened their doors, and marked the occasion with their boldest new food menus to date, showcasing the very best locally sourced and sustainable produce.
Marton-Cum-Grafton’s The Punch Bowl and Helperby’s The Oak Tree Inn, have been working hard during lockdown to ensure their highly-anticipated comeback doesn’t disappoint their loyal customer base. The result is a selection of irresistibly well-put-together dishes that sets them apart from the average rustic countryside pub. Both venues have also had their interiors refreshed in time for spring with a brand-new lick of paint.
Starters range from the exotic Sticky Confit Duck with crunchy Asian salad and sesame crackers, to the hearty Yorkshire Chicken & Doreen’s Black Pudding Terrine with fruit chutney and toasted sourdough. The Mount St John (Provenance’s very own Kitchen Garden) Beetroot & Goats Cheese Curd Salad features hazelnuts, goat's curd and pickled roast and crispy beetroot from the pub's respective kitchen gardens.
The main plates include everything from hearty pub classics to more refined and delicate contemporary dishes. Highlights include the Black Sheep Beer Battered Haddock with chunky chips and mushy peas and the juicy Yorkshire Wagyu Burger that comes with all the trimmings.
The Sesame Crusted Hake Fillet is destined to be a real foodie favourite and comes with prawn dumpling, tamarind black bok choy, crispy onions and Thai coconut sauce. Another inspired option is the Yorkshire Wolds Chicken Breast, served up with sweet potato and Yorkshire chorizo croquette, garlic and saffron aioli and sprouting broccoli.
The small yet perfectly formed steak menu includes three grand reserve cuts (sirloin, ribeye and Chateaubriand) of prime beef, all aged for a minimum of 21 days on the bone for supreme succulence. Desserts include a heavenly Lemon Panna Cotta, Warm Chocolate Fondant and a fine selection of artisan cheeses from the nearby Cryer & Stott Cheesemongers.
Both venues wanted to mark their return by giving something back, and so a special dish was created to help out two of their favourite charities. For every sale of the divine Salad of warm Spillman’s Asparagus, each pub will donate £1.50 to their charity of choice.
Blessed with crispy hens eggs, sourdough crisps and tarragon emulsion, the dish is as easy on the eye as it is on the palate, which will hopefully make it a bestseller across both venues.
The Oak Tree Inn has chosen Lucie’s Animal Rescue, a family-run charity that takes in stray cats, dogs and other pets into their own home, where every effort is taken to rehabilitate and rehome the animals.
The Punch Bowl will be making its donation to Sense, a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting adults, children and families living with complex disabilities. Like so many other fellow businesses, each of these charities has been under extreme pressure during the pandemic and welcome any donations and support with open arms.
The family-focused and dog-friendly sister venues are both part of the award-winning Provenance Inns and Hotels Group, which has a portfolio of award-winning inns and hotels across the north, each with a strong focus on supporting local food and drink producers.
Tom Patrick, Head of Marketing of the Provenance Group said: "Like our fellow businesses across the hospitality industry, we couldn’t be more thrilled to be opening our doors once again and welcoming back our customers. We know from feedback that they’ve been missing their favourite hand-pulled ales and restaurant dishes, and are confident they’ll be blown away with our new food menu."
"We also wanted to help out two charities that are very close to our hearts for various reasons, and aim to raise as much money as we can for Sense and Lucie’s Animal Rescue with the exceptionally good Spillman’s Asparagus dish. The staff at both The Punch Bowl and The Oak Inn are raring to go and can’t wait to see the customers return. It’s going to be quite the summer, come rain or shine."