Chopping Block, York
The foodie hub of Walmgate continues to gather pace and the Chopping Block (formerly Walmgate Ale House and before that Melton’s Too) remains in the forefront of the most enterprising eating street in York. Owner Michael Hjort, is also the director of the York Food Festival that takes over the city centre for ten days in September. He’s a great ambassador for local sourcing and regional produce both here and at his flagship Melton’s fine dining restaurant and there’s always plenty going on both during and outside the Festival at the Ale House with wine tastings, themed dinners and workshops.
The menu these days is simpler and easier to follow. The deal nowadays is real ales downstairs with a few snacks like pork scratchings and pork pies while upstairs the menu offers starters of scallops with chorizo, potted prawns, garlic mushrooms moving on to seabass with mussels, Moroccan vegetable tagine, chicken confit with creamed leeks and bacon or a soothing smoked haddock and poached egg with hollandaise. Finish with panna cotta and Yorkshire rhubarb, sticky toffee pudding, chocolate orange pot or a plate of Yorkshire cheeses. Menu standards fared better than specials on our visit but it remains a good value, laid back rambling bistro.