Right in the heart of York, The Ivy St. Helen’s Square offers relaxed yet sophisticated all-day dining.
The Ivy first threw open its doors in York in December 2017 with a 120-cover restaurant featuring images of York on the walls, including historic lithographs of landmarks such as the Minster and Micklegate Bar, a marble-top bar, pendant lighting and leather banquette seating.
Wine & Dine Yorkshire was invited to sample The Ivy and we were certainly not disappointed. We were greeted at the door by a member of staff who walked us to our table, and taken through the specials straight away and offered water for our table.
Our table was right at the back of the restaurant which was nicely tucked away and overlooked the stunning decor.
The first impression of the menu was that it included an extremely varied choice of dishes with full vegetarian options and daily specials – what more could you ask for?
We opted for the salt-crusted sourdough bread served with salted butter, which was beautiful – a simple combination which cannot be beaten! Then shortly before our starters arrived our waiter brought us a bottle of white wine and ensured our glasses were never empty.
For starters we had roasted scallops served with aligot potatoes, crispy prosciutto, tomatoes, red peppers, capers and a red wine sauce (£12.50) and tempura prawns served with yuzu pickled mooli and kohlrabi with sesame seeds and kimchi sauce (£10.95). Both dishes were absolutely amazing – the scallops were heavenly and perfectly cooked, paired excellently with the sauce and they literally melted in your mouth. The prawns were light but also crisp, delicious with a lovely kick from the kimchi sauce.
For our main courses, we chose the lobster linguine served with a tomato and chilli sauce, San Marzano tomatoes, parsley and spring onion (£29.95) as well as braised pork cheeks served with creamed potatoes, sugar snap peas, watercress, horseradish and wholegrain mustard sauce (£17.95). We also opted for sides of truffle and parmesan chips (£5.25) and thick-cut chips (£3.95).
The pork was amazing, the meat fell apart in your mouth, so tender and succulent. This was one of the best pork dishes I’ve sampled to date – I would highly recommend this dish if you are visiting. The linguine was just as delicious, the lobster was cooked brilliantly and with a slight kick from the spices in the dish, it really was a taste sensation.
We couldn’t resist ordering a dessert as we knew the standards were high. We both finished off with the creme brûlée (£6.95), a classic dessert which, again, we were not disappointed with – a classic set vanilla custard with a caramelised sugar crust – just beautiful.
The dishes were of the highest quality from the starters right through to the desserts, and the restaurant does not skimp on portion size either.
Dining at The Ivy is a completely different experience to a standard restaurant. One small element that left a big impression was that the staff do not leave your bottle of wine on your table, or in a cooler next to it. They take it away, keep it chilled and consistently check whether you need a top-up. It’s the small things that matter, and this certainly made a lasting impression with us.
We couldn’t leave without sampling the pumpkin patch cocktails. These are limited edition for Halloween and certainly tickle your tastebuds. Pick your own carefully crafted treat from the selection in partnership with Cazcabel Premium Tequila. Here, Head of Beverages, David Thompson and his team, have created four delicious spookily named concoctions sweetened by rich and earthy flavours such as natural honey and agave.We opted for the ‘Diablo Verde’, a devilish blend of Cazcabel Blanco Tequila, Cointreau, Mezcal Verde, lime, pineapple and our green juice mix of apple, avocado, parsley and mint (£10.75). All the cocktails definitely fit the Halloween theme with vivid colours and combinations that created a ‘potion’. Our favourite was ‘A Clockwork Orange’ which was a combination of Cazcabel Coffee Tequila, Cointreau, Crème de Cacao and cream (£9.75). This drink was different but a winner with us.
Overall our visit to The Ivy was incredible. The staff were friendly and attentive, the food was excellent and the atmosphere was perfect. From start to finish the complete experience was everything you’d wish for from a restaurant and we will most definitely be returning.