THE PERFECT PLACE FOR A SPOT OF LUNCH
Finding the perfect place for lunch in the centre of York can often be difficult. Some places are far too tourist influenced serving afternoon teas, regional specialities, snacks and then there’s the usual chain offerings.
But if you are looking for somewhere quiet, sophisticated and comfortably chilled, then look no further than Bills situated in Coney Street. You could easily be forgiven for missing it where it not for its small but stunning entrance with an ornamental bench that’s usually filled with fresh English garden flowers.
Bills is a breakfast, lunch and dinner eaterie and somehow the atmosphere changes with each session, but it never-the-less it still retains its sophisticated contemporary feel.
The décor is Bills trademark wood furniture, but here in York chandeliers add a delightful touch to the restaurant. It’s a very large but narrow space that runs into various areas and each has its own décor style.
But above all it’s the chilled atmosphere and the fact no one wants to rush you that makes Bills special. This place would fit the bill, pardon the pun, for a business power breakfast, a girlie or family lunch, a pre-theatre or even a romantic dinner for two.
The staff are very knowledgeable about their product and if you want to know more about the dishes they are a mine of information but above all they are efficient and friendly.
Whilst we perused the menu we ordered a portion of Giant Green Gordal Olives which were absolutely delightful.
For starters my colleague ordered Crispy Calamari with red chilli and lime aioli. It was a very generous portion and the Calamari lived up to its description of being crispy, whilst the Calari was tender and the dip complimented it perfectly.
I decided to go vintage for my starter with a Prawn Cocktail. Like many dishes of the 60’s the humble Prawn Cocktail is now on the most wanted and trendy list of starters.
Bills take on the Prawn Cocktail is modern and its presentation excellent. The lettuce was crispy, there was a large quantity of prawns, a smooth Marie Rose sauce and a spiced tortilla that just finished the dish off great.
Main course for me was Bills Hamburger with all the usual trimmings. I opted to go nude as they call it swopping the bun and fries for salad whilst adding smashed avocado to my burger.
The burger was cooked to my liking and the meat was succulent and smooth with a secret sauce adding that exclusive taste touch.
My colleague ordered the Mojo Marinated Chicken Skewers. The chicken was tender and marinated with herbs and she found the combination of grains, wild rice, red onion salad, tzatziki very interesting and the sticks of cucumber very refreshing with the grilled flat bread the ideal addition to the meal.
When it came to desserts we were absolutely spoiled for choice. My colleague chose the Lemon Meringue Pie in a Glass. Beautifully presented it was a layered sweet with a contrast in textures. A top of meringue with a lemon sorbet then lemon mouse and a crushed biscuit base. Expertly created this was a light sweet and was not too acid tasting as lemon can be.
I was totally blown away when my heaven on a plate arrived. The Bill’s Chocolate and Hazelnut Praline Sphere is a work of art so much so that I just didn’t want to eat it but just savour looking at it. However my chocoholic instinct got the better of me and I started to nibble at this incredible dessert.
The base is a cup-like shape of solid dark chocolate in which rests an indulgent salted caramel ice cream with a chocolate and hazelnut mousse and chocolate sauce. Sounds rich, the thing is, it isn’t its, very flavoursome and the decoration of golden pearls adds to the wonder of it all.
Bills is certainly a place to visit during the long summer months but make sure you have a walk planned afterwards especially if you go for the Chocolate and Hazelnut Praline Sphere.
Bills, 12 Coney Street York. Tel: 01904 623548
Open Monday to Saturday 8.00am – 11.00pm – Sunday 8.00am – 10.30pm.