I do like the Rattle Owl, a comfortable and welcoming restaurant in the former Blakehead Bookshop on Micklegate. I did like the café at Blakehead, too, but this is something else.
I first met the prospective owner Clarissa O’Callaghan some three years ago at a pop-up dinner in York. She told me of her plans for a relaxed venue serving good food. It’s taken her some considerable time, due in part to archaeologists finding Roman remains in the basement, and it’s taken us too long to review it.
The Rattle Owl has been open over a year and I love it. For Squidbeak it’s been a year of countless small plates and multi, multi-course tasting menus, so a menu of three courses: starter, main course and pudding, is more than welcome. It’s almost radical these days.
A starter of whipped Yorkshire blue cheese with fig, black olives and walnuts was terrific, so was plaice in a lemon crust with a mussel and white wine sauce followed by coffee panna cotta accompanied by a wonderful little doughnut and cinnamon ice cream. Praise be for three well balanced courses, beautifully presented, decent portions, no messing. Let me repeat myself again: I really liked it, one of my most reassuring finds of 2016.
The décor is pleasantly rustic with light oak furniture, exposed brick and soft lighting, smart without being stuffy. The staff are lovely. Most of the wines are organic and are sold very reasonably in their associated wine shop. On Fridays and Saturdays 11am-4pm one of the shop windows is given over to the fabulously talented York patissiere ShutiShuti and brilliant bread from the Haxby Baker (don’t get me started on their sourdough).
As for Micklegate, with super recent openings like Skosh and Rattle Owl leading the way, it’s getting better all the time.
Review by Jill, 4 January 2017blog comments powered by Disqus