It has taken a while to work out exactly why we enjoyed Bistro Guy quite as much as we did. It wasn’t down to just a single factor; it was a combination of great elements that show this restaurant is getting things just about right. In short, Bistro Guy is exactly what a neighbourhood restaurant should be, offering great-tasting food, unpretentious service, nice surroundings and excellent value.
During the day (9am-5pm) the place is busy serving breakfasts, brunches, sandwiches, teas and coffee. Wednesday night has a special feature: log-fire pizza and cocktails (in the garden when possible). It’s a delight to sit under an awning, catching the last of the sunshine in a garden that backs on to York’s city walls.
In the evening, three nights a week (from 6.30pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday), Guy Whapples and his team offer a tightly edited five- or seven-course tasting menu under the heading: “Small plates of food with a Japanese fusion”.
The food, which features lots of great seasonal Yorkshire produce, is complemented by some first-rate friendly service by the waiting staff, who seemed to know the exact moment to come to the table without making you feel hurried. It all adds to the excellent ambience of the evening. Informality and simplicity are the hallmarks of what Bistro Guy has set out to deliver, and that is exactly what this restaurant achieves.
Feeling adventurous, we went for what seemed like an unusual combination: oak-smoked salmon on roasted beetroot with wasabi cream. The sharp-sweet beetroot perfectly offset the more mellow tone of the salmon. And this was the gentlest wasabi known to man: just a light piquancy added to the dressing. Spot on.
Next up was a slate board to share of mushroom scotch egg, Yorkshire asparagus veloute and white truffle oil. And more… Karaage chicken, Yuzu dressed fine beans with a wasabi emulsion. Plus an unexpected surprise: whiskey smoked duck, sweet potato, orange and ginger sauce. The dessert small plate was the perfect finale: rich chocolate brownie, coconut panna cotta with red bean ice cream.
This is a super bistro, minutes from York Theatre Royal.
By Ann Fugler, Yorkshire editor
Pictures: Bistro Guy Facebook page