J Baker's Bistro Moderne York


With only three serious contenders, J Bakers Bistro Moderne is our nominee with Melton’s and Le Langhe for the title of the ‘best fine dining restaurant’ in York. But why bother with gold, silver and bronze medals? All three are utterly different and all three are equally worthy of serious attention.

Handily placed at the city centre end of the restaurant quarter of Fossgate, JB's is a bit more than a bistro. It's the brainchild of Jeff Baker who swooped on the city in 2006 after a career in Leeds where he ran the joint kitchen of Brasserie 44 and Pool Court and, for the latter, picked up the city’s first and only Michelin star.

In contrast to the rarified air of Pool Court, JB’s is exuberant and fun. Conventional dishes are wittily turned on their heads – that’s the moderne bit but don’t worry there’s nothing too far out. The lunchtime ‘Grazing Menu’ offers a choice of three small plates for £12: corn whip, Whitby crab and seaweed, house black pudding with raisins, truffle and mustard; potted pork with apple, celeriac and mustard coleslaw; Olde York cheese fondue.

The Grazing by Night menu racks up seven tasty small courses for £37.50 or three courses for £29.95. Whether it’s the 36-hour belly pork, with scallops and Japanese ponzu butter, rabbit pie and mash or risotto of winter beats with Yellison goat’s cheese, Baker has a sure touch. For pud there are the likes of tonka bean custard or apple crumble and ice cream with curried parsnip. It’s neither as hearty or as whacky as it sounds but genuinely original.

For added indulgence there is a chocolate lounge upstairs, and they are not so snobby that they won’t welcome kids, even on a high chair. For £7.50 they can feast on Parmesan, tomato and butter potato dumplings followed by chocolate fondue with fruit and marshmallows.

J Baker's Bistro Moderne

7 Fossgate, York, North Yorkshire YO1 9TA 

Tel 01904 622688

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Type: Restaurant

Price guide

3 out of 5

Cuisine type: Modern British

Part of Eat York

Review by Jill, 17 November 2011

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