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The Star at Harome


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#31 BertieWooster

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 12:02 PM

Helmsley fast becoming the new Torquay/Ludlow, with Andrew Burton, late of Swinton Park (which deserved a star for its Samuel's restuarant), moving to the Black Swan. Menus look good, haven't had a chance to go yet. Apparently the clientele is still rather aged and country though.

Not quite sure how Burton is still going to be on the Schrager TV programme as the schtick is he's head at Swinton, but apparently that's still the plan. Swinton, meanwhile, is suffering. THe food is great, but the service on a recent visit was dreadful. Seemed like only a handful of people were in the kitchen.
It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

#32 Gary Marshall

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 06:20 AM

Made a long overdue return to the star over Easter, it never fell off the list of favourites it just relies on Mrs M to drive me there and her willingless to drive is more capricious than my interest in dining there shall we say!

It was Saturday Lunchtime and the bar was busy, which is not unusual and i'm quite happy to have a pint or two before lunch, as i'm trying to lure myself off the amber nectar at lunctime i took the bar manager elliot's suggestion of a pint of eggscellent from a nearby micro brewery which was very good (though despite my new interest in real ale i have only sampled about 5 so far).

As per, there's a short ALC menu and a longer specials, usually quite fish oriented. On the drive up i was thinking 'must not have risotto, must try something different' but on the menu was risotto of home grown wild garlic with baked doddingtons cheese 'wafers' and crispy waberthwaite ham. So i had it, and quite marvellous it was too, kermit green and seasoned within an inch, no centimetre of its life, salty, ricey, garlicy, cheesey perfection It was to paraphrase my hero 'historic'. My Driver (as i'm in winner mode) had a local marinaded goats cheese salad the exact details escape as i was far too content with my own but it too was pronounced a winner (no pun etc)

For mains i was struggling between a variety of fish courses, but in the end we both had the Halibut with montgomery's cheddar rarebit topping, some saldady leaves and a pancetta vinaigrette, i immediately went for a taste of the rarebit, eeh, it were good, as southerners imagine we say. Fish was spot on and decent chunks of pancetta enlivened the greenery.

Although we were certainly at no risk of starvation for a few weeks, we went rapidly from no dessert to one assiette of desserts and a dessert. The assiette for me naturellement, lots of goodies that i have of course forgotten but certainly incuded an earl grey burnt cream.

Wine was a giradin st aubin 04 about £32 which wasn't too bad either, the wine list is more comprehensive of late and has a few more drinkable bottles at more reasonable prices than before, with a lot available by the glass, which reminds me i had a glass of riesling with my puds too.

so all in all despite many visits to the star over the years i would rate this as one of the best meals i've ever had there. I've had loads of risotto there and i'm sure i've had the fish and rarebit combo before too but never as spot on as it was that day, despite its star they do a lot of covers (83 the friday night before) and sometimes a little finesse is lost, but not this time. There are lots of places who try to imitiate and capture what they do (ourselves included when we had the pub) and you think you've got there but when you do return to the star you realise they have just pushed the bar higher.


Andrew & Jaquie aren't known for their inactivity and this years events incude extending the kitchen and their kitchen garden and livestock raising abilities. Pretty soon it will be a small farm with a restaurant attached! Also Andrews book is out in May entitled 'Foie gras and black pudding' which will certainly be in my bookcase on publication.

Edited by Gary Marshall, 02 April 2008 - 06:26 AM.

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#33 BertieWooster

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 07:30 AM

We're back there for two nights in May, in the lovely room five (the one with the pool table). Last visit included a starter featuring dill vodka, scrambled egg and potted shrimps. It was the best thing I've eaten/drunk this century. Raving about it for days I was...Wasn't so sure about the cheesy fish.

Mrs W wanted to nick the egg holders, but I didn't let her. She whipped me at pool instead.
It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

#34 Kropotkin

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 05:29 PM

Wasn't so sure about the cheesy fish.

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I couldn't make my mind up about the fish'n'cheese dish either - I think I wanted to like it more than I actually did! We were there two weeks ago for a very enjoyable dinner, and Gary's right - I think they have nudged their standards still higher over this last year.

Edited by Kropotkin, 02 April 2008 - 05:41 PM.


#35 Gary Marshall

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 03:29 AM

first glimpse of the book....

http://www.blackpudd...foiegras.co.uk/

no point in troubling the postman with a heavy package when i can pop up and pick it up myself , oh and maybe a spot of lunch too?
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#36 Gary Marshall

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 12:21 AM

first glimpse of the book....

http://www.blackpudd...foiegras.co.uk/

no point in troubling the postman with a heavy package when i can pop up and pick it up myself , oh and maybe a spot of lunch too?

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Indeed i followed my own advice and took advantage of a day out for lunch last wednesday and picked up the book.

firstly lunch was very pleasant i had the risotto again which wasn't quite as perfect as last time but still very unctous and enjoyable, to follow i had a very seasonal sea trout , asparagus, chervil hollandaise combo whilst sarah had i think halibut with a crab crust and marinated tomato and basil salad. One point to note the menu is very fish/seafood heavy at the moment with nary a meat dish on the specials and only a couple on the menu from memory. I demurred over the usual assiette of desserts and instead had a banana 'tarte tatin' with pontefract cake ice cream (it was the ice cream that did it) tarte tatin was fine but think i would have preferred the assiette, which i've had 99% of the times i've been so quite why i deviated from the path of rightousness (sp) i have no idea.

anyway the book looks great with its brown suede cover and is quite a chunky beast, a good couple of inches thick. It's an interesting read and the nearest comparison is paul heathcote's rhubard and black pudding in terms of it talks a lot about the background of the restaurant, the suppliers, seasonal menus etc, it's a good book and has some excellent quirky photography that does a good job of conveying the attractions of the star.
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#37 adey73

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 03:35 AM

Never been, but any stand out recipes/techniques in the book?
“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

#38 Gary Marshall

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 07:56 AM

well there's certainly none of that sous vide nonsense!

it's bourgeois country cooking so there's not a lot in the way of new techniques, lots of the dishes are re-interpretations of french classics but done with local english produce, signature dishes are the likes of the aforementioned seared foie and black pudding or scallops with bloody mary dressing. it is very produce based so there's a lot on their suppliers etc. To be honest i've read the text but not gone through the recipes with a fine tooth comb, though i have spotted a couple of wintery dishes that i've somehow missed that i want to try when the time is right.
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#39 adey73

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 08:16 AM

Can you remember if he makes his own black pudding or buys it in?
“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

#40 Gary Marshall

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 08:22 AM

i would expect it is made at their recently acquired butcher's shop in helmsley but i'm not sure. When we had our place our butcher made it for us to our recipe- and bloody good it was too with sweetbreads in it.
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#41 Gary Marshall

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 02:29 AM

Another trip to the star on friday night, it's become my favourite place to go now it's cold and miserable, it never fails to lift my spirits. so we've had a few visits recently and no doubt i'll be up on christmas eve as per usual too.

fridays meal was a return to a signature dish of theirs, black pudding and foie gras. i had it years ago and thought it ok but not spellbinding, but a another portion of it at the taste of leeds back in summer refreshed my memory as to how good it was and it was good again on friday, a nice chunk of Fg sandwiched between black pudding with a bruleed slice of apple atop. good stuff.

for main i had a 'posh' ham and pheasant pie with sherried cream, as well as probably being the worlds most expensive pie at £18 it was luckily one of the nicest, a with some good pastry skills being exhibited in the lid and a lovely grain mustardy/sherried cream sauce. It was great but it also put paid to any thoughts of dessert, probably the first time in over 30 visits that i've not had the star desserts in minature.

as i was in pie mode i didn't bother with wine (!) and instead stuck to several pints of nick hambleton's christmas ale, which was superb.

We also had a nose around the 'new' restaurant which is where the old kitchen used to be, and it looks superb, rather than try to fake antiquity in the new part, they've gone for a total contrast, think plush parisian bistro, huge red banquettes, expensive chairs and zinc topped bar, it might not sound right but trust me, it looks the dogs bits.

The new kitchen is massive, about the size of claridges' and the chefs table is very cool, it's not in the main kitchen per se, it's just off to the right but has it's own cooking station in there with a very dinky mini range (i want one) and rottisserie, only drawback is it's a minimum £800 spend for up to 8.

i'm looking forward to christmas eve already.....
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#42 Bapi

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 08:23 AM

i'm looking forward to christmas eve already.....

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And of course, you'll be driving Sarah back home after that meal won't you Gary?

#43 food1

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 08:23 AM

Just a thought, but why does a pub really need a chefs table? I know its the Star Inn, but Im still struggling with the concept, in view of the refined but rustic nature of the place. Just hope the Star isn't going to lose that real genuine feel that has always made it such a grand place to go.

#44 Gary Marshall

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 01:04 PM

i'm looking forward to christmas eve already.....

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And of course, you'll be driving Sarah back home after that meal won't you Gary?

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errr , maybe not.

i had to laugh on friday, elliot asked sarah in all seriousness if she actually drank at all :laugh:
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#45 Gary Marshall

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 01:05 PM

Just a thought, but why does a pub really need a chefs table? I know its the Star Inn, but Im still struggling with the concept, in view of the refined but rustic nature of the place. Just hope the Star isn't going to lose that real genuine feel that has always made it such a grand place to go.

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more a function of the fact they have a customer base that will spring £800 + for a table so if it's there.....

this could also be the start of the push for 2*, the new room is well up to that standard.
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#46 food1

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 06:01 PM

Interesting point on the 2 star front. This is where I feel there is a very fine line. When does a place like the Star stop being a pub of sorts and instead a full blown, fancy pants restaurant? My own thoughts on the 2 star ambition is that it may be the worst thing they could do, for obvious reasons. I honestly hope they don't piss about with their format too much, as at the moment they are on a winner.I suppose time will tell.

#47 PhilD

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 12:53 PM

for main i had a 'posh' ham and pheasant pie with sherried cream, as well as probably being the worlds most expensive pie at £18 it was luckily one of the nicest,

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We are booked in over Christmas on our way up to Scotland and I am really looking forward to it.

We had lunch at Le Cinq in Paris on Friday and they may take the crown for the most expensive pie "Pithivier de Gibiers" is on their €85 three course menu. It was fantastic....but I am hoping the Yorkshire pie bests it...!

Any other must haves on the menu - the foie and black pudding also sounds great.

#48 Gary Marshall

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 02:11 AM

yes foie and black pud is the main signature dish alongside crab with bloody mary dressing. They are very strong on fish too , usually a good selection from the east coast.
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#49 Gary Marshall

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 08:04 AM

so to the star on christmas eve, we got engaged after lunch there a few years ago so there's a lesson for you, don't get carried away with the christmas spirit!

for reasons best known to myself i thought it probably wouldn't be too busy at lunchtime so rather than being there on the dot at 12 as usual, we sauntered in at 12.30 - ish, to a full bar, and a 2 table wait. No worries for me as i'd done my driving for the day but mrs m was in full 'i told you so mode' and indeed she had, hey ho, another pint of christmas star please, Elliot.....

to start for me what most would call a trio of salmon, hot house, a sort of salmon potted shrimp and smoked, a generous plateful and mrs m who of course didn't want a starter gleefully piled in too. For my main i had something i'd wanted to try ever since reading about it in the book, a braised beef shin with ale juices and horseradish risotto (though minus the seared fillet - no problem there though), it certainly lived up to the billing as a pile of unctous slow cooked beef arrived, i thought for a moment it might defeat me but of course i manfully struggled on whilst sarah made short work of her burger and skinny fries.

even though stuffed and with the festivities of christmas day to come i still managed to keep the marshall name in its rightful place by proceeding to polish off a plate of their desserts in minature.

to drink a few pints of their excellent hambleton ales 'christmas star' and a bottle of st emilion, for some reason i was on a bit of a bordeaux tack over christmas. Oddly the wine list seemed devoid of its usual descriptions but may have had an overhaul it certainly seemed as long as usual but just read as a fairly straight list with only divisions along the lines of red/white/champagnes etc which is out of character, i wouldn't be suprisied if it was an interim version and forgot to ask.

despite a <£40 bottle of wine we escaped at under £100 for two which regular readers/visitors will know that's a 'cheap' outing to the star, but as usual worth paying the extra for the certainty the star provides.
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#50 Bapi

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 11:16 AM

so to the star on christmas eve, we got engaged after lunch there a few years ago so there's a lesson for you, don't get carried away with the christmas spirit!

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You romantic bastard Marshall . That poor woman- what did she do to deserve a lifetime at the behest of your sweaty little digits? :laugh:

#51 Gary Marshall

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 07:01 AM

so to the star on christmas eve, we got engaged after lunch there a few years ago so there's a lesson for you, don't get carried away with the christmas spirit!

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You romantic bastard Marshall . That poor woman- what did she do to deserve a lifetime at the behest of your sweaty little digits? :laugh:

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she was very bad in a past life evidently.
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#52 PhilD

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 06:28 AM

We made it to The Star on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year, a stop-over on the way up to Edinburgh.

We headed for the old bar, but were shown through to the new cocktail bar which is between the old and new dining rooms. The old and new does work well together, we started in the old dining room, but moved to the new one for dessert as the old one was far too hot. We thought the new room suited the food slightly better than the old room, in some respects the food has a little finesse that the new dining room complements. Nothing wrong wit the old room, but it was intriguing to see how the environment altered our perception of the food.

Overall we thought the cooking was OK, not really a destination restaurant but good to have as a local (which is I suppose is the definition of a Michelin one star). It is quite worrying that it has such a good reputation, but I fear that is more about the dire state of cooking across the UK rather than the intrinsic quality of the cooking at The Star.

I started with the signature dish of black pudding and foie gras. A good concept, but not that well executed, I thought the dish was out of balance with too much black pudding and not enough foie. The pudding was slightly dry, possibly over-grilled, and neither the foie gras nor the caramelised apple giving enough moisture to balance the dish (Note: the breakfast black pudding at the The Crown Hotel in Helmsley was better the next day). For mains I had a roast goose dish, and my partner had an enormous stack of roast pork. Not certain if Sunday is the day of roasts but the menu seemed to be dominated by them. Both dishes are good, and we really enjoyed them - but I am afraid really only a good Championship performance not Premier league stuff.

The dessert tasting plate is large and quite interesting, with a good selection of puddings. The stand-out was the Parkin with Rhubarb ice cream.

Service was fine, at times a bit too fast, with only a slight pause between starter and main, and we were asked to order desserts at least three times. We understand that last orders are at 6:00 PM but a quality restaurant shouldn't make punters feel rushed.

Overall we were slightly disappointed, as we had been really looking forward to our meal. Did we miss out because we visited on a Sunday? Were standards dropped over the holidays?

By comparison a few days later we had lunch at Martin Wishart in Edinburgh, also a one star Michelin, overall a vastly superior meal, with amazing cooking. On this showing Wishart is overdue a second star. It is intriguing to see Michelin rank both as one stars.

#53 food1

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 10:50 AM

To be fair Phil, I don't think The Star can in any way be measured against Wisharts. I hear what you are saying but they are totally different kettles of fish, in respects of style and execution. Completely agree that Wisharts is due for a second star and is one of my fav restaurants.

Why michelin thinks its a great idea to dole out stars to pubs is beyond me, as it sends out such mixed signals. I have always believed Michelin is in the wrong and blame shouldn't be levied at the eaterie. Is it easier to get a star for a pub set up than an a traditional restaurant set up? Who knows, but I always sense that pubs can certainly get away with more than a restaurant, in ways. Bit like a woman wearing mens clothing!!!

As for the Star, its very, very good at what it does, just note how many have tried to copy its formula. One or two embarrassingly so. I too have had a couple of iffy dishes here but again that could be said of anywhere. I think the style of the food is right on the money for the sort of place it is. Avant garde is someting it need never be or would suit it. When I go to The Star, having a big plate of pork etc is what I want not something that as been sous vide for seventy two hours. My only concern for the Star, is that it retains its honesty, in view of the addition of a chefs table etc.

Looking forward to the release of the forthcoming Michelin guide.

#54 Gary Marshall

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:41 AM

it's a common mistake to compare michelin starred pubs with michelin starred restaurants, they are rated seperately, it is about best in class as it were. i know loads of people who have gone to the star expecting a 1* restaurant experience and complained it wasn't what they were expecting.

i'm suprised phil doesn't think the star is a destination place, i think it's pretty special and for me it's the total experience the character of the building etc all adding up to a unique place and worth the trip (though for me it's only a 40 min drive), don't forget the whole local food/provenance thing might be common now, but no-one was doing it when they started 10 years ago.

and come on phil, 'is sunday the day of roasts?' of course it is! and yes the kitchen does take last orders at 6pm but i've come in at 5.55 before and ordered full 3 courses without an issue in the past.

Edited by Gary Marshall, 05 January 2009 - 02:50 AM.

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#55 PhilD

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 05:55 AM

I suspect I need to clarify what I meant. I wasn't doing a direct comparison between Wishart and the Star, as I fully appreciate they are very different styles. I was contrasting them based on their similar level of Michelin attainment, Wishart being a very good one star, and IMO The Star being a marginal one star (If I was being really controversial I would go as far as to question whether Michelin drop their standards to allow the UK to get a respectable number of entries. :wink:)

I do recognise it is tricky to compare a pub against a true restaurant, but I was basing my view on the quality of the food on the plate and I really felt The Star, whilst good, missed in a few areas, the starter is a good example.

I have got to disagree with both Gary and Food1 about Michelin. First do they really rate Pubs and Restaurants seperately? If so it is the first I have heard of it. I had understood that they rated all restaurants/pubs etc using the same criteria. I makes a nonsense of the system if you need to factor in the type of establishment (after all it is what is one the plate that counts the most).

Second, I am not certain any allowance should be made for the type of restaurant. I want very high standards of execution in a cafe, a pub, and a traditional restaurant. The type of food, and the way it is presented will vary, but the underlying quality and execution should be constant i.e. I don't expect a restaurant to serve a decent pint, nor a pub to have an extensive wine list.....but I do expect a pub to have perfect beer, and restaurants to know their wine and serve it correctly.

I do agree that The Star is good at what it does, it is a good local restaurant (to me up to an hours journey), and if I lived in the vicinity I would be a frequent visitor. But, I don't think it is a destination restaurant, we chose our route to Edinburgh (from Bath) to eat there, and felt it probably wasn't really worth the diversion.

I love a roast, and cook a mean one myself. But one if my pet frustrations with UK pub/restaurants is the way the normal menu disapears on a Sunday to be replaced by a roast and a few other dishes. I love a good long lunch and I love to see what a restaurant can do, Sundays are perfect to do this. I have heard the arguments that "it is what the public demands" (which I suspect is a self reinforcing proposition) and the "Chef won't be in the kitchen on Sunday" and they are no doubt true. But to me it is a shame as other countries seem to do Sunday lunch so much better that we do in the UK.

The roasts at The Star are very, very good and I wasn't complaining about what was on the plate. I was simply wondering whether Sunday is a good day to go as the menu seemed to be mainly roasts of one sort or another. Thus, did I really see it in its full glory, or was my experience compromised because it was "roast day"? Is it better to have midweek or Friday/Saturday dinner rather than squeeze in for last orders at 6:00PM on a Sunday.

#56 Gary Marshall

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 07:14 AM

I suspect I need to clarify what I meant. I wasn't doing a direct comparison between Wishart and the Star, as I fully appreciate they are very different styles. I was contrasting them based on their similar level of Michelin attainment, Wishart being a very good one star, and IMO The Star being a marginal one star (If I was being really controversial I would go as far as to question whether Michelin drop their standards to allow the UK to get a respectable number of entries. :wink:

I do recognise it is tricky to compare a pub against a true restaurant, but I was basing my view on the quality of the food on the plate and I really felt The Star, whilst good, missed in a few areas, the starter is a good example.

I have got to disagree with both Gary and Food1 about Michelin. First do they really rate Pubs and Restaurants seperately?  If so it is the first I have heard of it. I had understood that they rated all restaurants/pubs etc using the same criteria. I makes a nonsense of the system if you need to factor in the type of establishment (after all it is what is one the plate that counts the most).

Second, I am not certain any allowance should be made for the type of restaurant. I want very high standards of execution in a cafe, a pub, and a traditional restaurant. The type of food, and the way it is presented will vary, but the underlying quality and execution should be constant i.e. I don't expect a restaurant to serve a decent pint, nor a pub to have an extensive wine list.....but I do expect a pub to have perfect beer, and restaurants to know their wine and serve it correctly.

I do agree that The Star is good at what it does, it is a good local restaurant (to me up to an hours journey), and if I lived in the vicinity I would be a frequent visitor. But, I don't think it is a destination restaurant, we chose our route to Edinburgh (from Bath) to eat there, and felt it probably wasn't really worth the diversion. 

I love a roast, and cook a mean one myself. But one if my pet frustrations with UK pub/restaurants is the way the normal menu disapears on a Sunday to be replaced by a roast and a few other dishes. I love a good long lunch and I love to see what a restaurant can do, Sundays are perfect to do this. I have heard the arguments that "it is what the public demands" (which I suspect is a self reinforcing proposition) and the "Chef won't be in the kitchen on Sunday" and they are no doubt true. But to me it is a shame as other countries seem to do Sunday lunch so much better that we do in the UK.

The roasts at The Star are very, very good and I wasn't complaining about what was on the plate. I was simply wondering whether Sunday is a good day to go as the menu seemed to be mainly roasts of one sort or another. Thus, did I really see it in its full glory, or was my experience compromised because it was "roast day"? Is it better to have midweek or Friday/Saturday dinner rather than squeeze in for last orders at 6:00PM on a Sunday.

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at the risk of opening a tin of worms they do rate relative to categories and i would suspect too, country, if you think in those terms the ratings make sense across the board not just the star.

The star is consistently rated and has been for many years, one of the best pubs in the country, that it should get a star therefore is not suprising. That Gordon ramsay has 3* in london but wouldn't make 2* probably in Paris etc, etc.

sunday last orders probably is the worst time to go but that's relative in the star you are not going to get the scrapings from the walk -in, i've seen the specials board change over the course of a lunch several times.

andrew pern can't drive so the chances are he's in the kitchen as he can't get anywhere else! (and joking apart he generally is in the kitchen).

and believe me having run one, people in a pub on sunday people want sunday roast, even the box tree in ilkley does sunday lunch rather than its usual menu and i agree i'd prefer the normal menu in a place like that, but it doesn't bother me too much in a pub environment, it may also be a yorkshire thing. From memory though the star generally only does roast beef and pork on a sunday as i used to kid my self we were only going to go and have a roast lunch and of course we'd get there and it would suddenly be foie gras and turbot ahoy!
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#57 food1

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 05:24 PM

:hmmm: This is going to be difficult to put into words, without sounding like a dig.
Visited the star the other night and I haven't a clue what the new look is supposed to be all about. There are now two very different looks and feel (one pub/ one ultra modern) under the same roof. It just doesn't gel. No one can say the new work isn't top draw BUT it just doesn't say this is the star anymore. It says we are a very swanky, cosmopolitan, up market west end RESTAURANT. The food does not fit the model. Wonder how long before the old tasting menu makes its debut. Does anybody know what has been the thinking behind the new 'London look'. Heard that the Perns have now purchased the other pub in the village, The Pheasent. Why I wonder? Really hope this is not the start of moving completely away from what has always made the star, an honest and unpretentious food led pub.

#58 Gary Marshall

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 10:59 AM

:hmmm: This is going to be difficult to put into words, without sounding like a dig.
Visited the star the other night and I haven't a clue what the new look is supposed to be all about. There are now two very different looks and feel (one pub/ one ultra modern) under the same roof. It just doesn't gel. No one can say the new work isn't top draw BUT it just doesn't say this is the star anymore. It says we are a very swanky, cosmopolitan, up market west end RESTAURANT. The food does not fit the model. Wonder how long before the old tasting menu makes its debut. Does anybody know what has been the thinking behind the new 'London look'. Heard that the Perns have now purchased the other pub in the village, The Pheasent. Why I wonder? Really hope this is not the start of moving completely away from what has always made the star, an honest and unpretentious food led pub.

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i understand the reasoning was it wouldn't be right in a new build extension to try and recreate, for want of a better term, the olde worlde nature of the star hence the ultra modernity, i think it works as it uses a lot of natural materials like the star but it is modern timber frames rather than old(e) oak, the only comparison i can make is the glass pyramids at the louvre , if you can't or feel it inappropriate to fake it you've got to use a different style, and it's bound to divide.

i think andrew's also done it as a push for 2* which they were unlikely to get in an obvious pub setting (though they also said they'd not get 1* unless they decided to be either a pub or a restaurant)

if you like the star as a country dining pub not much will change, you still use the original bar, there's a new bar in the new part to cope with the diners for there. I wouldn't worry too much about it losing it's character andrew is a pub man through and through, and a french 'auberge' feel is what they always aimed for with the star with the rooms and top notch but fairly casual dining.

i too hear they've bought the pheasant (nb it's not a pub, it's a hotel- and most weekends effectively just accomodation for star diners) that's no suprise, andrew told me years ago he kept trying to buy it but was turned down. why have they bought it? well my guess is as they are chocca with shooting parties every weekend during the season it will become a high end shooting lodge with it's own private dining, much like the piggery is at the moment.

what did you have to eat?

Edited by Gary Marshall, 04 February 2009 - 11:00 AM.

you don't win friends with salad

#59 food1

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 12:15 PM

I had a lango salad off the specials board. Nice lango's, salad ok. Moved on to the classic seared calves liver, which was just the job. Lovely seared pieces of liver, cut thickly. Is there anything worse than thin pieces of liver? Anyway it was cooked to a T. Misses had a platter of oysters, good and fresh. She moved onto halibut with a rarebit topping. Generous piece of fish but L said the rarebit topping got a wee bit too much and the fish was a little on the dry side. Halibut, as you know doesn't need to see a great deal of heat and quickly goes from perfect to over cooked. Never the less she enjoyed the dish, as we are not talking dry as a bone here!

My daughter had the wild mushroom risotto to start. I have to say, why does Andrew keep adding bloody cream to his risotto's. It does nothing for the dish, only making to dull the flavour. I've mentioned it to him before, so I don't feel Im being underhand. Just no blinking need to add cream, if your technique is right. Drives me mad, you get this in so many places. Its the French idea of whipping cream through the rice, but what do them lot know!!! Anyway, daughter then had the classic staple of pan fried rump of beef, thick chips etc. This was a great dish. Excellent piece of meat, which of course I had to try for egullet purposes! Its heartening to sample such a simple dish, done extremely well. This is what the star is all about in my opinion.

We all then shared a plate of desserts in miniture, which wasn't the best rendition of this dish I've ever had here. A bit dry and a little tired, unfortunately a bit boring to be honest.

The bread was excellent and they are now serving a very good (French!) butter to.

Overall, a very enjoyable bit of grub that will need further tweaking and attention, if two stars are the next target.

I'm wondering as to whether the new look will be carried through out the restaurant (pub!) once the pheasent is up and running. I could imagine some people feeling hard done by if they are dining in the 'pub' section and then see the swanky new addition, which I have to say again as been carried out to a fantastic spec. I do still feel it has to be one or the other.

Apparently, the new chef taking over the pheasent is Andy Burton, formerly of Swinton Park and now the black swan, helmsley. Can't see him wanting to be an 'overspill' kind of cook! Interesting!!!!

#60 Gary Marshall

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 01:35 AM

i'm not sure how they make the risotto at the star, i get the feeling it's not the traditional way with onions , stock and rice, do they cook the rice seperately and then add cream/cheese etc? i have risotto nearly every time i go !

interesting about andy burton, as i said i don't know the exact plans for the pheasant as i haven't been to the star since the purchase was news.

going for a little star - lite on friday at the pipe and glass.
you don't win friends with salad