You might think a neighbourhood restaurant that had been trading for near 25 years would be getting a bit tired by now, but not Melton’s. This fine little restaurant off Bishopthorpe Road just south of York’s city walls remains one of the very best places to eat in the city.
Born and bred in York, Michael Hjort (the name is Danish) trained under the Roux brothers before returning to York to open Melton’s in 1987 with his wife Lucy. They have been serving what they term ‘simple Anglo-French food’ to critical acclaim and a loyal fan base ever since.
What really characterises this place is a menu lifting with seasonal and local produce. Michael is the Director and brains behind York’s annual York Food Festival and so has his finger on the pulse of local sourcing but he can also deliver with a continental sensibility. You might find local mutton salami as a starter with pine nuts and sherry vinegar or a main course shoulder and roast leg of shearling lamb (lambs over 15 months of age). The beef in red wine, comes from animals raised on the limestone pastures of the Yorkshire Dales.
Down the years the menu has expanded and so have the global influences with Midde Eastern and Chinese touches. So expect to find fried aubergine with pomegranate dressing, mutton kofta or duck with five spices. Puddings feature Yorkshire rhubarb, or a homely bread and butter pudding served naturally with Yorkshire clotted cream. Lucy is the wine expert and presents a select list with plenty by the glass, half bottle or half carafe. Early bird, racing, Sunday and first Saturday lunches are attractive offers, so are their themed diners. See also the Chopping Block, their popular café bar bistro in Walmgate.