Just over a 10 minute walk from the Minster you will find Pearly Cow – the new shining star of York’s restaurant scene.
Part of the No1 by Guest House – a beautiful and stylish boutique hotel that languishes in a Grade II Georgian Townhouse, Pearly Cow is fast becoming the hottest dining ticket in town – and its easy to understand why.
This place has a special ambience from the moment you enter the foyer.
It’s early Monday evening and Pearly Cow is already busy with discerning diners. As we make our way to our table we are genuinely blown away by the warm and cosy ambience of the restaurant. This is an oasis of fine dining calm.
The brass topped tables in dark wood glimmer in the candlelight, the polished wood floor shines and the soft natural coloured upholstery on the seating is just made for comfort.
Our server couldn’t be more helpful about both the menu and the history of the place. There’s no rush she assures us so we order some Marinated Nocellara olives whilst we perused the menu.
The menu at Pearly Cow pays homage to Yorkshire’s dales, moors and vales and the mighty North Sea by using high quality local produce including award winning local family farm and butcher R&J and Hartlepool based Hodgsons Fish who supply all the seafood.
My friend was fascinated by the Nori sea-weed cured salmon served with crème fraiche but was a little dubious about choosing it but she was glad she did.
The cured salmon literally melted in her mouth and had a beautiful flavour. It was very thinly sliced and tender and simply delightful.
I chose the Tiger prawns served with horseradish, orange and pickled beetroot. The prawns were succulent and the contrast of flavours made it a refreshing starter.
Both our dishes were beautifully presented and came served with a plate of ice underneath which exaggerated and enhanced the flavour.
It was not a difficult choice for me for my main course when I saw Halibut was on the menu. This fish is so delicious but not many restaurants have it on their menu. This Halibut was served with a Hazelnut Crust. The nutty flavour enhanced the already flavoursome thick and juicy steak of fish which was cooked to perfection with fennel and orange giving a fusion of flavours to the fish. The fish came with Saffron potatoes but I gave them a miss in favour of Beef Fat Chips, dijonnoise, chives which a colleague had raved about to me and recommended I try them and I did
These chips were like no other so crispy on the outside and smooth on the inside and drenched in butter. Evidently layers of thin potato are pressed together and then fried in deep beef fat – but I am sure there is a well guarded secret to achieve perfection such as this.
My friend had to admit that her Roasted Yorkshire Dales chicken was the most succulent, tender and flavoursome that she had tasted and the smoked pancetta, garden peas and potato terrine were the perfect accompaniment.
We decided to be good and ‘eat our greens’ so ordered a portion of seasonal greens that included mange tout and broccoli with fried bread croutons and confit shallot.
My friend decided on the Raspberry Souffle for dessert which takes 30 minutes to come to the table. This she declared was the King of Souffles and well worth the wait. It was light and fluffy and totally out of this world.
White Chocolate Parfait with Summer Fruits was my choice and this became my ‘heaven on a plate’ The parfait was well frozen just as it should be and one could taste the chocolate it was garnished with a selection of summer fruits but the whole dessert rested on a unique mat made of vegan friendly strawberry red jelly – that was certainly something.
All good things must come to an end and we were disappointed that we hadn’t time for a cocktail in the Marmalade Lounge with its sinkable chairs and sofas or enjoy some time in the Rhubarb Bar with its eclectic décor and paintings by local artists adorning the wall but our carriage, albeit a railway one, awaited for our journey home.
Pearly Cow can be whatever you want it to be ideal for a special celebration or a romantic meal for two, a place to dine with friends and family or to introduce friends from outside God’s Own County to the wonders of our local product.
The staff at Pearly Cow are knowledgeable about their product and will help and advise and even tell you some of the ingredients and cooking methods – but above all they make you feel very special.
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and Sunday lunch plus there is a unique Afternoon Sea – a twist on the normal afternoon tea.
For opening times please consult the website pearlycow.co.uk/pearly-cow-york/
Pearly Cow, 1 Clifton York YO30 6AA. Tel: 01904 946299