Nestled down a lane on the outskirts of Raskelf in the Vale of York is this hidden gem. The anonymous entrance lit by pretty lights makes you feel like you are calling at someone’s back door but inside, owners Lindsey and Richard Johns have created a small, intimate, elegant dinner party-style setting that is both warm and welcoming.
Rascills is staffed by a team of two: Richard cooks and Lindsey serves. Saturday night dining involves a five-course dinner menu, which we studied while sipping lemon and lime fizz chosen from the ‘Drinks for the Driver’ blackboard and nibbling cheese straws fresh from the oven. A selection of local beers, Champagne and wines are available.
The pace of dining was slow and comfortable, adding to the dinner party feel. First up was a smooth, deep flavoured and velvety wild mushroom velouté served in a teacup with bread. The fish course was treacle-cured sea trout, lime-marinated calamari, roasted red peppers, toasted pine nuts, rocket and lemon oil dressing. The yellow oil and reddish fish made for a colourful plate, and the flavours were distinctive and delicate. Next came fresh and vibrant roasted tomato, Parmesan and herb risotto with crispy mozzarella served in a Le Creuset bowl with two tiny cheese balls nestled on top.
The main course was slow-braised pork belly and roast pork fillet, creamed cabbage and bacon, and cider fondant potato. This was the best main I’ve had in a long time. Adding apple and enriched cooking juices to the plate along with the crispiest finger of crackling was delightful.
Finally came the Rascills pudding plate, which held beautiful sweet surprises including some sublime poached Yorkshire rhubarb.
Rascills serves top-notch food worth returning for, backed up by knowledgeable and attentive service. It is worthy of its mentions in the Michelin and Good Food Guides, all within 18 months of opening. It has also been named ‘Restaurant of the Year’ in the Flavours of Herriot Country Awards. We are pleased to recommend Rascills at Great Food Club, too.
By Ann Fugler, Yorkshire editor