Ok people, we’ve been seeing each other, what, sixteen months now, it’s high time you met my first restaurant love; the coup de foudre that ignited an irrepressible hunger for wining and dining; the venue that has so much to answer for, I give you, The Star Inn.
This is my Castle on a Cloud restaurant, situated in gorgeous rural North Yorkshire with a signature dish of black pudding and foie gras with vanilla scrumpy reduction and caramelised apple slice. Say no more, Mon Amour.
There are, of course, other items on the menu for those with aversions to foie gras (or veal), but first take a look around and marvel at the beauty of this 14th Century low-beamed, wood-fire-warmed idyl. You can eat in their very pretty restaurant next door, or indeed the attic if you’re after some private party action. For us, however, it has always been about the bar.
Head chef and Director, Andrew Pern, is a bit of a schleb, he’s got books and everything.
They usually have a tempting aperitif to lure you in at the bar, last time it was Poinsettia cocktail, though we swerved this in favour of champs
Their menu both reads and translates deliciously; in all our sixteen years of patronage rarely has a dud dish has graced the Mouseman table.
A la carte:
Scotch egg with crackling and apple sauce
Most ingredients are locally sourced, which nowadays has a tendency to sound cliched. However these guys are forerunners in the practice and their expansive and immaculately maintained kitchen garden out back speaks volumes about how seriously they take their locality.
I can make these assertions with vague authority having been part of the inner sanctum when taking part in their ‘Chef for the Day’ programme some years ago. Aka: Eat as many (then) Michelin starred dishes as you can in the space of seven hours. Aka: The Dream.
Harome shot pheasant and ham pie with buttered sprouts, chestnuts, crispy bacon and truffle mash. The sauce in that pie was like no other, buzzing with flavours of bay, wine and tasty animal goodness.
Wild sea bass with clementine hollondaise, crushed hazelnuts and three little pigs chorizo
Pan-fried sirloin steak with blue Wenslydale salad and shallot butter
Crispy battered Scarborough woof
And all of them beautifully shoehorned onto one plate:
You also get handmade petit fours with your Baileys Latte (yes, someone in our family actually still orders that). It’s this kind of Northern value for money that keeps us coming back for more.
Some (namely my father) would argue that this unrelenting love for The Star stems, in part, from me never having actually picked up the tab. There is a theory that free food tastes infinitely better but if that is the case, why then my parents continued repeat custom? Riddle me that, Daddy!
Along with some quality free-loading The Star also speaks to me of nostalgia and home comforts; when the weather is like this:
…And let’s face it, cold conditions are not rare in God’s County (indeed the blonde, on his last Yorkshire venture, referred to the Star’s environs as the Howardian Hills of Hell ©)…
And the only one who wants to leave the house looks like this
There is one suggested trip that is going to get you out of the door faster than you can say ‘foie gras’, and this is it.
The Star Inn, Harome, North Yorkshire, YO62 5JE