Dinner in York – Nineteen

A guy I work with recommended nineteen restaurant as a good place to have dinner, and internet reviews seemed to concur. I actually booked a table at two restaurants and then went to scope them out before choosing nineteen. It had an 8 course tasting menu for £50, which is really quite reasonable for a splash out occasion like a birthday.

Apparently, one of the most coveted tables in York is table 9 at nineteen, which is the table we got :). The view is below, which was BRILLIANT for people watching, as it got quite busy later on. One of the best bits of going for a meal if you ask me!

Now, I warn you, the light was fading and I’d forgotten my phone , which has a decent camera. We had to use Kieran’s iphone, which doesn’t have a flash, so the pictures aren’t brilliant quality. Why do people love apple products so much?! Anyway…onto the appetizer.

Homemade bread with oil and vinegar, pesto and wasabi peas. Pretty standard enough. Kieran practically inhaled the wasabi peas.

This was a carrot and fennel soup, served in a jar – with a mini loaf and a spoon of butter. This is what I love about tasting menus. I would never order carrot and fennel soup – I hate anything remotely aniseed flavoured. But the fennel was so subtle and the soup was so creamy. Absolutely delicious. The mini loaf of bread made me want to hunt down whatever cute baking tins they were cooked in and buy lots of them.

The jar was slightly difficult to eat out of with a spoon, but I got there in the end. I did have to suppress the urge to just pick it up and drink it though.

Poached Mackerel with a quail’s egg and salad. The mackerel was cooked PERFECTLY. Actually perfectly. Probably one of the best pieces of mackerel I’ve ever had, and I used to actually catch mackerel out of the sea with my dad and have it on the table half an hour later, so that’s pretty damn impressive. Perhaps not the most inspired or interesting recipe – there was nothing surprising there. But the cooking of the fish more than made up for it.

Black Pudding Scotch Egg, on a bed of swede, with an unidentified fruit. You would think the star of the show would be the scotch egg, since it’s the restaurant speciality. But I actually found myself saying ‘Oh my God, have you tasted that swede?!’. It was so buttery and well seasoned – I could have eaten a whole bowl of it. The scotch egg itself was lovely – the black pudding/egg combination is very tasty and is a good twist on the classic sausagemeat version.

Blackberry sorbet, made with cassis. Lovely!

Plaice Fillet with Parsnips, potato croquettes, another piece of potato, mashed potato – lots of potato.

This is where it went very wrong. The fish aside, which was cooked very nicely – the sides were a bit of a disaster. Those two potato croquettes were frozen solid in the middle. Not good. Also, the parsnips and the chunk of potato were too hard. Good concept for a dish, but probably could have done with one less type of potato and better delivery.

Rib-eye steak with Chunky Chips, Salad Garnish and various sauces/balsamic reduction.

The steak was gooooood. Perfectly medium-rare and very soft. The chips weren’t a patch on Meltons so we ended up leaving them – a bit heavy for an eight course meal anyway. The garnishes and the meat was enough, particularly the wholegrain mustard, which I love.

I don’t like an either/or scenario. If I’m offered a choice of two things, I think ‘both’ is always the appropriate response, particularly where food is concerned. Cheeseboard or Desserts? That’s not a question I ever want to be asked, but alas. Apparently for this course, you either get a cheeseboard to share or a selection of desserts. I don’t see why they can’t do a selection of both of these things for one. One person shouldn’t have to sacrifice their preference for another – both are paying the same amount for their experience and should have the same level of enjoyment. However, as it was Kieran’s birthday, I did the decent thing and let him order the cheeseboard.

As I don’t like blue cheese, and there was no cooking skill involved in placing cheese on a board with some grapes, it’s difficult to review. However, they served some candied walnuts with it that were divine. Close enough to a dessert for me and I ate all of them. 🙂

And finally….chocolate truffles served in the CUTEST little copper pans, that I’m about to scour the internet for. They’re lucky I didn’t smuggle it out in my bag.

And that’s it. The service was incredibly attentive, and our waitress was lovely and chatty. We ordered two bottles of pinot grigio, that was kept nice and cold and didn’t taste of yack. Thats pretty much all I ask out of wine.