It may have undergone a major modernisation recently, but The Odddfellows at Carlton is in no rush to forget its history.
A sign by the entrance to the restaurant and pub on High Street helpfully informs visitors that it was originally built in 1750 and was known as the Red Lion until 1850, serving as a coaching house on the main Selby to Snaith road.
Once you go inside, it is hard to see any evidence of how the place once looked due to the extent of its renovation by managing director and owner Gavin Smith. The interior is open and modern with plenty of natural light and neutral furnishings.
To the right as you enter is an informal pub-style area with a large screen TV, and customers are welcome to eat in this section. To the left of the bar is a spacious, restaurant area, all exposed beams and brickwork, and comfortable seating. We visited on a sunny, mild Tuesday evening in August, and the place was pleasantly busy, though not noisy. The front of house staff were friendly and efficient, quickly showing us to our table and pointing out the evening’s specials.
There is a good selection of sparking, white, rose and red wines on the drinks menu, starting at around £14 a bottle.
The main menu itself isn’t extensive, but there is something to suit most tastes, with main course options ranging from tasty homemade pies to gammon steak and huge Whitby cod. Most are served on a thick wooden board and it’s clear presentation is important to the team in the kitchen.
To start with I plumped for tempura battered prawns with chilli jam (£4.95). The prawns were crispy and light, and the chilli jam had a real homemade taste which wasn’t too spicy. My husband went for bourbon-glazed wings topped with a herb and pancetta crumb (£4.95). The portion was generous, with five large wings which were as sweet and sticky as you’d expect.
I chose my main – East Coast mussels with chorizo, spring onions and cider (£8.95) – from the evening’s specials board, and it was served with a basket of thick cut, crispy chips and crusty bread. Again, the portion was generous and the sauce had a pleasant chilli kick.
My husband went for the Odddfellows burger (£10.95), a thick homemade beef and pork burger served on a brioche bun. He ordered chips on the side but probably needn’t have – the burger itself was more than enough.
As a result, we decided to share a pudding and went for the chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and ice cream (£4.50). Again, it was a decent portion and the ‘something sweet’ we were after.
The Odddfellows is certainly going all out to offer something for everyone – Sunday lunch is reasonably priced at £7.95, cocktails are two for £8 and there is live entertainment every Saturday. In the pleasant, south-facing beer garden is a huge pizza oven, and owner Gavin Smith told us that fresh pizza to eat in or takeaway is coming soon.
The Odddfellows bills itself as ‘the heart and soul of Carlton’, and we think that this updated, friendly pub and restaurant, which wants to remain true to its roots and its history, is well on its way to becoming just that.
Children’s menu and vegetarian options available. Free wi-fi.