The Duke of York pub in Kings Square is one of York’s best kept secrets. Re-opening a while ago after a large investment in its refurbishment, this place is the crème de la crème of York’s upmarket pub dining.

Situated at the top of The Shambles it over looks a square where there’s always something going on. Yet venture inside and upstairs to the restaurant area and it’s a haven of peace and tranquillity.

The wooden beams, staircase and booth seating combined with highly polished tables, exposed beams and decor celebrate York’s history in both class and style.

The upstairs restaurant is certainly the place in York to dine. The menu is high class pub food with a sophisticated twist and has a wonderful friendly service and ambience.

It took us a while to choose our starter from the menu. My colleague decided on the crab and herb pate with watercress  that came with toasted sourdough and Yorkshire rapeseed oil dressing.

The dish arrived on a wooden platter. The bread was soft and warm, and the pate was smooth and home-made. The rapeseed oil dressing had a balsamic kick to it that was both flavoursome and mellow.

Being a Yorkshire lass, I had to go for the Yorkshire black pudding with poached hen’s egg, streaky bacon, and midnight bell glaze.

The Duke of York’s chef is a rarity in Yorkshire, as he knows how to cook black pudding to perfection. Well cooked but not dry and with a  crispy outside, it was beautifully presented; the bacon was crispy as streaky should be and the egg poached egg to perfection! Both portions of starters were more than generous even for larger appetites.

For mains my colleague chose the oven baked spiced salmon and was not disappointed. It was beautifully presented and hot. The salmon was succulent and not slimy and the crushed new potatoes with herbs and butter were a great accompaniment. But this dish is for lovers of spicy food so take note.

My parmesan crusted chicken escalope with antipasto salad, mixed leaves and herb dressing came beautifully presented and tasted as good as it looked. The chicken was crispy yet moist, but I found the huge portion of salad a little bit overwhelming and would have liked to have seen it maybe with some appropriate cheese shaving to lighten the antipasto taste.

I just wasn’t prepared for what arrived next when my chocolate and cherry sundae arrived. This was my heaven plus on a plate. Served in a tall sundae glass it had the sharpness of the fruits of the forest that blended well with the ice cream and chocolate sauce. If you have this one does not give up before you reach the bottom as there is the chef’s surprise solid chocolate that according to this chocoholic was to die for.

My colleague’s Bakewell tart with summer berry coulis and double cream was a total dream. The pastry was short and the sponge light and there was just the right amount of almost flavour.

All in all The Duke of York is one of the best eating establishments in York for those who are looking for appetising, quality food that doesn’t break the bank and that  can be enjoyed in a wonderfully calm, and sophisticated environment. The service is more than excellent and for those discerning beer drinkers, the bar downstairs has an excellent range of hand-pulled beers whilst the wine list is so reasonable and there’s some great special offers.

The Duke of York, Kings Square, York. Tel: 01904 676065

Open 11.00am to 11.00pm. Food served from 12pm-9pm Monday-Saturday. 12.00pm-7.00pm Sunday

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