Opened in 2013 in central York, The Star Inn The City is a sister venue of the well-established and Michelin-starred Yorkshire pub The Star Inn, where I'd enjoyed a very good meal in the not too distant past. Although I wasn't expecting food quite at that level, as a holder of both an AA Rosette and a Michelin Plate, I was reasonably expectant of a good quality meal as I visited for lunch with my wife, young daughter and baby son on a drizzly October Saturday.
We were in York for the day for a family event in the afternoon, so parked at the large Marygate Car Park, a mere five minute walk from the restaurant. It's a pleasant little stroll through the museum gardens to reach the restaurant, which sits on the riverfront in a very nice spot. On arrival, there was a bit of a wait to be seen to but the welcome was warm when someone did get around to us, and we were shown to our table in the main dining area. I'd requested a high chair when booking; this wasn't in place but the tables and chairs are fairly low so my son was fine just sitting on a normal chair.
The main dining area is a nice, airy space with floor to ceiling windows, one side overlooking the gardens and one overlooking the river. There's an outdoor terrace too as well as a large space upstairs where a wedding reception was taking place during our visit. Even at 12:00 there was already a good buzz and atmosphere and although it was far from packed when we left, the restaurant did get busier during our visit. It's also a noticeably child friendly venue with lots of families in which was good to see.
There's a decent drinks list with plenty of wines by the glass and cocktails, plus a good selection of non-alcoholic options; I had a perfectly decent Henrick's and tonic to start whilst my wife enjoyed a reasonable strawberry milkshake. There's one carte menu on a Saturday lunchtime plus some specials and a three course children's menu too which is always appreciated. Lunch for me began with the ox cheek fritter, accompanied by chunks of Yorkshire blue cheese, pickled walnut and celery. It was a solid dish, nothing mind-blowing but perfectly tasty. My wife's goat cheese with beetroot was probably the better choice and my daughter enjoyed a nice little bowl of pea, cheese and ham risotto. There was no problem bringing a little side portion of chips with the starters also for my son, and he tucked into those very happily.
Then came... a wait. I had wondered on arrival if the wedding upstairs might have slowed things down and indeed, there was a very noticeable delay sat waiting for our mains, although it was far from the longest wait I've ever had in a restaurant. At one point a waitress did arrive at our table with a couple of plates, but it turned out these were in fact for a nearby table; it's never great when that happens. When it did arrive, my treacle braised pig belly was a nice dish but not quite as good as I'd been hoping for, the meat was a little under seasoned and the accompanying white bean and black pudding cassoulet didn't do a lot for me. My wife did enjoy a good duck dish though and my daughter's peppered steak with chips and onion rings was one of the better children's menu main courses I can recall trying; very tasty.
For dessert, I opted for the 'After Eight', a slice of bitter chocolate delice with peppermint sorbet and a cocoa nib. Taste wise this was a very enjoyable dessert, the sorbet in particular I thought was very good indeed. Presentation wise, the end of my chocolate slice had been nicked off and kind of push backed into place on the plate, a pretty minor complaint but in a restaurant of a higher level, they wouldn't have served it to me. But look, I still very much enjoyed the dessert overall. My wife opted for a chocolate mousse from the specials menu which she said was very tasty too (too good to let me try any) and my daughter was very happy with two scoops of chocolate ice cream, complete with a bit of jam to hold them in place.
And so, an enjoyable lunch came to an end. Service throughout (aside from some minor niggles) was child-friendly and professional, but there were some pacing issues. The venue is impressive though and overall, I thought the food was also of a pretty good standard too. I'd happily drop back in if I was in the area, and I'm sure I'd be served another good quality meal.
|Ratings||Michelin Guide||AA Guide||Good Food Guide|
|At time of review||2|