We all know York offers great culture, yet on a small scale. That is why it was the perfect location for owners Moreno Carbone and Daniel Curro who wanted to create a modern hotel with a private feel.
Wine & Dine Yorkshire’s features writer, Ellie Atack, was invited to sample the experience and see what was on offer.
Priced at £80 pp, the Allium Tasting Menu is an exciting 6 course journey, which is served to only 14 guests across our Dining Room and Wine Library, from Wednesday-Saturday.
On arrival we were greeted by Daniel and given a tour of the restaurant. The décor was immaculate and was furnished to a high modern standard. A special mention to the toilet which had a unique water feature when you flushed – we were both very impressed by this.
We were then taken to our table where we had a look at the menu. The restaurant area is small with only 4 tables but there is also a private are where up to 6 people can also experience the tasting menu. This adds to the intimate feel of the venue as everyone having the Allium experience goes through it together. This this particular occasion there was only us and another table of two so it certainly had a cosy feel to it.
The open kitchen allowed us to see all the dishes being prepared by the restaurant’s chef, Luke Sanderson. Daniel then explained the menu to us and would be pairing a wine with nearly every course. Daniel’s knowledge and passion for wine was exceptional and we thoroughly enjoyed his attention to detail each time he poured us a different wine.
The menu had little to give away with just one word describing each course. We loved this as we were so intrigued to see what would be created. Each course was a culinary experience to be savoured where you got to hear directly from Luke detailing the elements of each course. It was great to have a chat to Luke and find out more about him as he explained each dish to us.
After college, Luke ignited his career by travelling Europe to train with talented chefs in both Spain and Italy before returning to Yorkshire to create in the kitchens of Hudsons’, within The Grand York.
A talented chef who continually pushes boundaries with dynamic taste profiles, Luke has created an exceptional experience for you at Allium, that is nothing short of captivating.
“Food is an intrinsic part of my life. From standing in the kitchen with my Grandma, to travelling the world to perfect my craft, it’s a passion that has no bounds. The creative freedom that comes with my work, and the impact that I can make on a guest is like no other feeling in the world.” – Chef Sanderson.
Each dish was presented beautifully, and we were thoroughly impressed with the quality of each dish. The prelude was an exquisite pastry case with a meaty mousse topped with a granola style crunch. This was followed by ‘la Tur’ which was a cheese dish with homemade bread to dip in. We absolutely loved this and could have had another portion!
We were certainly intrigued by the ‘razor clam’ dish, an éclair filled will with a rich fishy mousse topped with caviar. What a culinary experience! It was for an acquired taste, a little too fishy for myself but was thoroughly enjoyed by my partner.
Now it was time for the signature dish, the ‘burnt onion’. Wow! We couldn’t believe one simple ingredient could taste so good. The meaty gravy which was poured on top had your taste buds thinking you were tucking into a succulent meat dish, however, it was simply onion. This was my personal favourite dish and credit to Luke for creating such a powerful dish with a somewhat basic main ingredient but making it the highlight of the night.
Next was the ‘pork’ dish. Again, the sauce was packed full of flavour. The pork was served pink and was extremely juicy. Served with asparagus and a balsamic glaze, it was scrumptious. We loved this dish and this felt like the ‘main course’ although all dishes were of a similar size.
The ‘sweet cicely’ wasn’t personally for our tastebuds but again was presented to a high standard.
As we came up to our seventh course, this dish celebrated all things ‘carrot’. This was the final dish before the dessert and was a perfect palette cleanser.
We finished off the tasting menu with four mini desserts each. These were served in a box and all celebrated chocolate. Each was Luke’s take on everyone’s favourite chocolate bars. The aero chunk was our personal favourite as the chocolate melted in your mouth with the airy texture, we all know and love.
The wine we sampled at nearly every course included:
I don’t want to give everything away that this menu offers are you really do need to try it for yourself.
Overall, we loved every second of our visit. What Luke was able to do with each dish blew us away and Daniel and Moreno should be hugely proud of what they have created.
So, if you are looking for the ultimately treat, consider the Allium experience at The Vices York, you WILL NOT be disappointed.
Allium at The Vices York is open for reservations from Wednesday-Saturday, and all bookings can be made via the website at www.thevices.co.uk.