SOLITA'S TRANQUIL DINING TERRACE
Tucked away in Low Petergate, in the shadow of York’s famous minster, is one of the ancient city’s best kept eaterie secrets.
Venture down this winding cobbled street and behind the white mullion window frontage hides Solita, one of the best outdoor eating spaces I have visited for a very long time.
It’s not only its good food, we’ll discuss that later, it’s the whole ambience of its outdoor dining terrace.
Enter through the restaurant, with its wooden floors, large polished oak tables and distressed leather furnishings, that are just so right for the area and pass through into an outdoor dining terrace that’s like no other.
Its small and well planned. It’s what I called a walled secret garden and blends beautifully with the York scene. Tables are spaced perfectly down the sides, the chairs have seating pads on but above all its quiet and tranquil. With only 36 covers Solita have got it right. The ambience is old world and relaxing its almost like being a guest at a private function – and you won’t be cold or get wet as there’s a slatted roof that comes over should the weather become inclement.
We started our meal with one of their famous cocktails that are really something to savour and there’s over 30 to choose from. My Bramble with Gin,Lemon juice, Crème de Mure, Sugar and Rosemary Bubble had a strong taste of berries which did not drown the alcohol.
My partners classic Negroni with Gin, Campari and Sweet Vermouth was the perfect cocktail prior to sampling the menu as it was strong on taste yet not overpowering.
The Solita Terrace menu for all day dining is not as full as the restaurant one but there is a great choice of dishes from brunch specialities to light bites and everything is cooked to order
From the starters menu, which includes a selection of sharers as well as wings and individual dishes I decided on Cheeseburger Spring Rolls something, despite my world travels and restaurant reviewing I had never had before – and I was not disappointed.
The spring rolls were crispy and filled with minced burger meat and a delicious cheese melt. But a word of warning this is one large portion so like me you may need some help from your dining buddy.
My partner chose his favourite Nachos. They were a colourful work of art in presentation with a great mix of vegetables, spices and sour cream and were as tasty as they looked.
Solita is the home of the Wagyu burger but don’t let this put you off as there are dishes for everyone including Mac N Cheese, vegetarian and vegan options.
The Solita burger with ketchup, mustard, pickles burger and cheese was my choice. It reminded me of the old style burgers that were tasty and smooth. The meat was finely minced, succulent and well cooked yet not dry. I requested no mustard and that’s exactly how it came. The Solita was just right for me and the bun was delicious.
My partner’s Bacon Double Cheese burger was a real man-size dish. With double cheese, smoked bacon, ketchup and a fascinating decoration of an edible bacon candy skewer.
As sides we chose salt and pepper fries, onion rings – with batter that was so hot and crispy and a great salad with a very tasty dressing. Again large portions and great value.
Could we manage one of Solita’s desserts? My partner opted for a lemon sorbet, that was well loaded with fresh lemon flavour. But, I was tempted by the Solita Loaded Brownie.
I chose the Rocky Road variation and this was certainly more than Heaven on a Plate. If there were Oscars for desserts this would certainly win one.
Even now my mouth is watering when I start to describe it. The brownie was soft and chewy with a decoration of mini and large marsh mellows on top, toasted nuts and tiny pieces of chocolate flake – sheer decadence in a sweet.
The jewel in the crown at Solita are the attentive and friendly staff who cannot do enough to make your visit special and are very knowledgeable about their product.
As the afternoon sun started to fade sadly it was time to leave Solita feeling relaxed and happy – but it won’t be goodbye as the famous saying goes “We’ll be back”.
Solita 76 Low Petergate, York. Tel: 01904 437278
Solita opens daily at 10.00am to 9.00pm in the evenings for food. After this it becomes a bar serving drinks until 11.00pm Sunday-Thursdays & Friday/Sat until 12.00