The Rattle Owl
The Rattle Owl restaurant is within a spit of York’s Micklegate Bar, occupying the building that was once the much-loved Blake Head Bookshop & Vegetarian Cafe.
The décor is pleasantly rustic with light oak furniture, original parquet flooring, exposed brick and soft lighting – smart, not stuffy. The staff are lovely, oozing quiet confidence and charm.
The menu is also super – a perfect selection for a mid-week early-bird sitting with three choices of starter, main and dessert, enough to create a delicious evening meal drawing on Yorkshire produce.
First up, Haxby Bakehouse bread to munch on. This is always a good sign – the renowned bakery just north of York produces some of the best artisan bread in Yorkshire.
My perfectly poached egg starter arrived soon after on celeriac purée, topped with a hat of crispy potato. The main of slow-cooked beef feather blade, poached potato, salt-baked turnip, cavalo nero, roast garlic and shallot sounded an awful lot of flavours, but when brought together was everything I could want from a dish. The portion size was excellent too.
With three puddings to choose from, I had roast pineapple with salted cashew nuts, caramelised brioche, granola, fresh honeycomb and yoghurt sorbet. Now this sounded more like breakfast in a dish but it all balanced well and worked beautifully.
Owner Carrie O’Callaghan has created an award-winning restaurant in just a few years, featuring in The Good Food Guide and winning the Best Sunday Lunch Little Vikings Award. It’s perfect for little people.
There are plenty of talking points at Rattle Owl too. At the front of the restaurant is possibly the smallest bakery/off-licence/shop in England, Owlet. And underneath the 17th-century building are the remains of a Roman road and house, uncovered during renovations. Is there much more you can ask for in York?
By Ann Fugler, Yorkshire editor
Photos: Ann Fugler & The Rattle Owl