Micklegate is a street in York that I firmly associate with my student days, mainly as a setting for the kind of night out which ends with your friend purging herself of certain alcoholic beverages (Sambuca) down an ill lit alleyway.
They were the best of times, they were the most glamorous of times
Fast forward a few years and to a slightly more responsible me, the street has also come through it's alcoholic adolescence and matured considerably into a respectable thoroughfare.
Alongside the pubs, which are still there but just a bit more upmarket, the street is starting to gain a reputation as a foodie destination, alongside other famous York culinary locations such as Bishopthorpe Road, Goodramgate and Fossgate.
One of the newer additions has come in the form of a perfectly placed bistro and organic wine shop called The Rattle Owl.
I actually attended a menu taster event back when the place opened last year and was thoroughly impressed. The menu was thoughtfully put together and the high quality of everything we tasted was extremely apparent. I also give plus points to anywhere with a female head chef, something which is unfortunately still rare I'm the industry.
So when Des asked me the other week if I fancied going to The Rattle Owl for a 'date lunch', I obviously said "YES PLEASE AND THANKYOU!!"
For £18 each, the three course set menu was an absolute steal in my eyes, especially considering the fact that the dinner menu main dishes start at £12.50.
For starters, Des went with the Wild Mushroom Soup, which was absolutely spot on with a silky hit of umami-esque flavour. The bread and butter which accompanied, an often overlooked but vital addition, was also fresh and spot on.
I went for the Gloucester Old Spot Pig's Head Terrine, which came with black pudding, crackling and apricot.
It's no secret that starters are usually my favourite part of a meal and this certainly lived up that statement. The terrine was moreishly soft, counterbalanced by what I can only describe as 'black pudding gravel'. Texturally this actually worked really well, especially as the crackling gave a real bite to everything.
For mains, Des made a standard seafood lovers choice with the East Coast Seafood Bouillabaisse, which was generous is measure and apparently 'perfect for seafood fans'!
I fancied something a bit less liquid and made the excellent decision to go for the Confit Duck Leg Salad, which was perfectly prepared and beautifully presented. Honestly, for someone usually quite picky, I don't really have any criticisms!
Dessert often can be a disappointment, especially in certain establishments where the mains are carrying all of the metaphorical culinary weight.
Again, there were no disappointments here. Des made the tactical choice to go for the chocolate brownie, which can be a disappointment if not done well. The Rattle Owl seems to be onto a winner though with its triple chocolate incarnation of this particular classic, which was listed on the menu as being accompanied by raspberry trimmings. This included an enticing raspberry truffle, which of course I had to sample...
I went for a slightly 'healthier' choice (who was I kidding?!) and dived right into the Yorkshire strawberries, with Elderflower, Meringue, Chantilly Cream. A perfectly light antidote to the fatty duck in my main.
All in all, the Rattle Owl seems the perfect place to go for a well priced, yet high end, lunch date here in York! I also love the beautiful interior, which is bright and airy with lovely copper detailing. (The toilets are full of lovely copper plates depicting the city.)
I have also heard good things about the Brunch and Dinner menus and will certainly be heading back in the future to sample more!
The Rattle Owl
T: 01904 658 658
104 Micklegate, York, YO1 6JX