It had been more than 4 years since my last visit to the The Star Inn in the lovely village of Harome, North Yorkshire, but it was a meal I had fond memories of. After a thoroughly enjoyable lunch last time, I was well due a return visit so duly stopped off on a fairly miserable October Wednesday, with my wife and two young children.After a long drive, we arrived slightly early for our reservation to find plenty of space in the ample attached car park. The welcome on arrival was warm and friendly and all necessary COVID safe measures looked to be in place. We were shown to our table in the same area of the pub as we sat last time; the decor was as I remembered, traditional but clean and crisp. There is an air of formality here but there was no issue whatsoever from any of the staff with our young children, although perhaps there was the odd disapproving glare from a certain arrogant gentleman on another table. But you can't blame the restaurant for that; the restaurant's policy on children is very clear. On offer at lunch is an extensive carte menu, a tasting menu and a full three course children's menu which was great to see. There's a good range of wines by the glass as well as a decent number of beers (as you might expect in a pub) and the non alcoholic selection wasn't too shabby either for my wife and the kids. After my usual Hendrick's and tonic to start, lunch began with a chunky serving of white and brown bread, the brown being black pudding flavoured I was told (although it was very subtle in flavour), with some accompanying butter. The bread was very good and like all decent restaurants, they served a portion for the children too which is always a lovely touch. Lunch proper began for me with the Ploughman's Ravioli; in essence the flavours of a classic ploughman's lunch inside a raviolo. It did exactly what it said on the tin; the pasta was nicely cooked, the ham hock filling was suitably tasty and the other flavours were enjoyable too, particularly the zingy ale chutney and the well balanced cheese sauce. My wife opted for the celeriac soup which she described as the most delicious soup she can remember tasting (high praise indeed). She wasn't quite as enamoured with the accompanying smoked eel burger, but that's just a matter of personal taste; I enjoyed the half I tried. My daughter had the Wensleydale cheese wedges with vegetables which was basic but OK, and for my toddler son they were happy to bring just a portion of chips with the starters, which he munched through happily. The main's arrived probably slightly more quickly than I'd been expecting; my wife and daughter had gone to the toilet but they still served their plates which was mildly surprising for a restaurant at this level. The waitress did say she'd come back and give the explanation of the dish when my wife returned, but that didn't happen unfortunately. For my main, I'd selected the fallow deer (locally shot according to the menu) with a pluck tartlet and poached elderberries. It was a pretty decent dish, the venison was maybe a touch chewier than I would have liked ideally, but the little tartlet was very neat and overall the flavours were nice enough; it's fair to say I expected a bit more from this as a main course though. My wife too wasn't blown away with her partridge main either, the meat was nice and there were some good flavours but again, like me she'd expected to be wowed a bit more with the main course. My daughter opted for the steak and chips from the children's menu which was fine, the meat could have been better and the fat in particular was very chewy, but she munched away happily enough. By the time we reached desserts, the pace had slowed somewhat and there was a noticeable wait before they arrived. I went for the hazelnut praline parfait, with salted caramel and espresso, and a creme fraiche ice cream. It was a very tasty and nicely presented dessert, the ice cream in particular was impressive, and overall I enjoyed the plate. I also had the suggested Stellenbosch red wine which was suitably well matched, and it's worth mentioning every dish on the menu is available with a matched drink (not always wine) if you're so inclined. My wife plumped for the damson frangipane with bramble ripple ice cream and an Armagnac custard. It was another good dessert, nothing particularly mind blowing but good accomplished cooking with enjoyable flavours. My daughter had the fresh fruit salad which wasn't very imaginative, but did fulfil exactly what was promised on the menu. And so, an enjoyable meal came to an end. The bill came promptly; there's no automatically included service charge which is fairly unusual I'd say at star level nowadays, but of course there's the option to add a gratuity on the card machine. I duly left my usual 10% which the waitress collecting the payment described as "very generous"... I don't think she was being sarcastic and having lived in Yorkshire for a period, I can confirm everyone is pretty tight up there (I'm joking, don't write in). Overall, this was an enjoyable lunch. The food perhaps wasn't quite as good as my previous visit, with the mains in particular being slightly disappointing, but there's still some accomplished cooking here. The service was of a high level throughout and perfectly child friendly so all things considered, I'd happily venture back in future and look forward to doing so.
|Ratings||Michelin Guide||AA Guide||Good Food Guide|
|At time of review||6|