Menuwatch: Rascills, North Yorkshire

01 December 2017 by
Menuwatch: Rascills, North Yorkshire

Generous portions, quality local ingredients and proper puddings are the hallmarks of Rascills, says Russell Brown

Artisan had won several accolades over the years, including The Good Food Guide North of England Restaurant of the Year, a Michelin listing, Yorkshire Life Restaurant of the Year and an extremely positive review from Jay Rayner in The Guardian, before Richard and Lindsey decided a new challenge was in order, and they took on the Falcon Inn in Withernwick, East Yorkshire. The ambition was to do something that appealed to a wider audience. However, after 18 months the couple decided that they could not take the inn any further, and so Rascills completes a circle for them. Richard describes their latest venture as "a little tucked away, but not exactly in the middle of nowhere". He says: "The first year has been really tough, but we are getting some great reviews and it is good to be back in the guidebooks again. It gets in your blood and we do enjoy the challenge."

Lindsey and Richard Johns
Lindsey and Richard Johns

r the first nine months, they offered a small Á la carte menu, but have recently moved to a set five-course dinner menu, priced at £45. Richard stresses that this is not a tasting menu, as the courses are more substantial than that, but at the same time, it allows him to showcase some of the superb produce available in the area.

"The menu is very seasonal; we are using many of the same suppliers we have had since our Artisan days. These are long-term relationships and we have some sensational produce. The lamb in the region is excellent and, of course, the game season is getting going now."

The couple use a variety of excellent and trusted suppliers, most of which are in very close proximity to the restaurant. R&J Farmers & Butchers in Kirkby Malzeard and Farmison & Co butchers in Ripon, are both "superb meat suppliers", while Hodgson Fish of Hartlepool takes care of the seafood and Roops Bakery in Leeds provides outstanding sourdough bread. Ampleforth cider, made by monks about six miles away at Ampleforth Abbey, is on the drinks list, as is beer from Hambleton Ales, a small artisan producer near Ripon. Bon Coeur Fine Wines near Scotch Corner provides the wine pairing for each course.

Recent options on the menu include wild mushroom and truffle ravioli with an optional wine pairing of Villa Wolf Pinot Gris from Pfalz in Germany. A 125ml glass is priced at £4.95.

Eight-hour cider-braised pork belly, cider fondant potato, creamed cabbage and bacon, apple purée and cider sauce
Eight-hour cider-braised pork belly, cider fondant potato, creamed cabbage and bacon, apple purée and cider sauce

A popular fish course is the treacle- and whisky-cured sea trout, accompanied by compressed apple, beetroot, avocado cream and cucumber oil, and sometimes salmon is used, depending on the availability of the ingredients. As Richard says: "The menu can change twice within a week - it certainly isn't set in stone."

Main course meat dishes have featured lamb, pork, beef and duck in recent months, and on the Sunday lunch menu roast local partridge with creamed cabbage and bacon, partridge sausage roll, cider potato fondant and red wine sauce is a popular choice at £17.50.

Diners can end their meal with the Rascills pudding plate or a selection of artisan cheeses.

The pudding plate changes as often as the menu itself, but the leaning is towards the classic desserts: fresh ice-creams, crème brÁ»lée, sticky toffee pudding, bread and butter pudding, lemon tart and orange and polenta cake all make an appearance in miniature form - and with Richard's twist. Having just notched up its first birthday and with recognition in both the Good Food Guide and the Michelin guide, it seems Richard and Lindsey are well on the way to establishing

Rascills as a prominent feature of the North Yorkshire dining scene.

From the menu

•Fillet of wild halibut with compressed watermelon, mango, lime and lemon oil Pinot Grigio, Sentito, Italy £3.85

•Smoked Nidderdale chicken Caesar salad with crispy mozzarella cheese

and Parmesan crisp Chardonnay, Little Rascal, Australia £4.25

•Pork belly, creamed spinach, apple compote, mini sausage roll and cider sauce

Côtes du Rhône, France £4.95

•Slow-roast rump of aged beef and braised shin with spinach, roast baby onions, fondant potato and red wine sauce Shiraz, Australia £4.25

•Sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce Pedro Ximenex Sherry, Spain £5.50

Village Farm, Howker Lane, Raskelf, York, North Yorkshire YO61 3LF

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