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the pheasant harome

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Very pleasant afternoon out yesterday, the high point being lunch at the newly renovated pheasant hotel in harome, sister hotel to my old favourite the star inn.

Although there is obviously a link to the star the pheasant does appear to be running as a seperate entity with chef peter neville (ex star, ex hibiscus) also a shareholder and cooking his own food, it is not a diffusion of andrew pern's food.

Many of the star's defining characteristics are present though such as the 'posh rustic' decor and informal but spot on service.

We started in front of the large fire in the bar area with a decent pint of Golden Pippin, the menu is completely different to the star, in london stylee, it's listed under principal ingredient, plaice, sirloin, duck etc with a simple description alongside. On yesterday were 4 choices per course.

To start i had a chicken and foie gras terrine with quince puree, a very nice plate with micro herbs etc on it and a healthy amount of foie, a good start. Mrs M's mushroom ravioli though was the pick, one large plump ravioli with finely sliced radishes on the top, very good dish. A shelled moules marinere also looked good.

Mains were roast sirloin and yorkshire pudding with carrot puree for me, and plaice with butter cornichons and capers for the others. As expected beef was very good, with an almost smoked aftertaste, the fish came on the bone and was declared a success.

Moving onto desserts the carrott cake with earl grey ice cream was calling, and didn't disappoint, a very smooth ice cream and a nice iced carrott cake.

Menu was £27.50 for 3 courses.

There's two dining rooms, a conservatory and the dining room, we were in the dining room and that's my preferred space, a bit more formal and grown up with very comfortable arm chairs, it's a very relaxing experience.

Others have told me that it's a comparable experience to Frances Atkin's Yorke Arms and it's certainly in that vein, the chef certainly seems to have his own style and freedom to write his own menus so it certainly appears on first glimpse to stand alone, and up to the cooking of it's more established sibling round the corner.

We felt it would be rude not to pop up to the star after that for a pint ......

you don't win friends with salad

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We had Saturday lunch there a few weeks ago, really good meal, I had steak tartare and it was possibly the best I've had, even better than my own.....

Can't quite remember what Jo had right now, but I do remember not getting to try much of it as she enjoyed it so much.

Really pleased they're getting back to normal in the village now, we have another date there soon.

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  • 3 months later...

returned to the pheasant last night, i enjoyed my first meal, this one was killer, and i've done a lot of eating this year already!

the occasion was a joint birthday party between my wife and and my mate who runs my local pub (st vincents arms sutton on derwent). we had a table booked for 8.15 and had deliberated over staying the night too but seeing as we had a driver for the night we drove but got there early to enjoy the bar, as i mentioned before, given its provenance it has the star inn feel about it but without the bustle so it's a lovely spot to enjoy a pint and look at the menus. unfortunately there was no golden pippin on offer this time so we had black sheep instead.

menu wise there's a tasting menu comprised from the ALC, ALC, set menu and veggie menu. Interestingly the ALC doesn't offer seperate starters and mains, there are about 4 dishes that can be taken as a starter or main size, or can be linked to make a bespoke taster, a very good idea imho.

for us though the taster had all the dishes on i wanted to try with a few substitutions for the ladies.

on checking the wine list there is a matched wines option but after bad experiences with these as a procession of house wines i wasn't interested though i did notice that in this instance there were some very good wines offered in the matching so i wouldn't rule it out.

however this close perusal of the list did make it an expensive night out as tucked away at the bottom of the list was a Lafon meursault desiree 2004, as we were celebrating, it seemed rude not to, and to accompany it a jm boillot 1er cru volnay roncerets 2000, amd to celebrate our wine splurge a couple of glasses of billecart salmon champagne!

once at the table in the lovely dining room, which is rapidly becoming my favourite, we were offered bread and then our starter of lightly cured organic smoked salmon, marinated carrots , fig and caper puree. The salmon was first brought out in a bell chamber of smoke and the top lifted to give a waft of the smoke before being taken to be plated , nice touch.

on arrival it was clear this was very good salmon, really 'clean' and meaty, the carrots were sensational - how often do you here that? and the puree really good, artfully dotted on the plate.

next up the one we'd really wanted, steak tartare, poached duck egg yolk, pickled beetroot puree. the tartare was a small rectangle with the duck yolk sat atop, and 'by eck, it were good, as we say round here. the tartare was verging on warm and the duck egg yolk perfectly cooked, it was a 'when harry met sally moment'.

fish course next, poached halibut, perigord truffle gnocchi, sea vegetables , button mushroom puree. when this was presented there was a delicious aroma arising from the strips of gnocchi on top of the fish and the rest of it was sublime, i thought initially there'd been a touch too much salt in it but it appeared to be a 'dusting' rather than running through the dish so it faded quite quickly. a very very good dish.

meat course next, and credit to the restaurant manageress for a) taking the meursault off the ice before it got too cold, i nearly always have to do this myself and b) preparing the red so it was sat for a course before we needed it just as i was about to ask her to do exactly that! excellent service.

meat was a roast lamb saddle, curried parsnips, corriander, silverskins, sprouting beans, it looked very much like to me the meat had actually been near a hot oven and not a plastic poaching bag! like its preceding dishes what came through here was clarity of flavour in everything from the main item to the garnish. stunning stuff.

we caused a mild commotion as i think they were just about to serve desserts when we asked for our cheese first rather than after, but this was capably handled and the cheese trolley soon rolled out, they also managed to dig out some pasteurised cheese for my wife too which was much appreciated, the cheese service itself was excellently handled, reminding me of the glory days of the winteringham fields cheese chariot, the RM had excellent knowledge and knife skills to prepare our plates.

on the dessert front we swapped out an apple dish in favour of mille feuille, well i'll always have mille feuille if it's on offer and guess what this had salt caramel in it too so that was a no brainer, its official title is salt caramel and chestnut with white chocolate ice cream. second dessert was a rhubard and custard cheese cake with custard cream biscuit, this was the only weak point in the menu bit too much cream rather than cheese but still pleasant enough.

we retired to the lovely lounge for coffee and p4's , plus a swift digestif (no calvados on the list though!) and with much begging a pleading one last pint in the bar (a trip to the star being ruled out by the ladies as way to dangerous to them getting to bed before the early hours) before being dragged home.

A great place, it looks like the menu changes monthly so despite moving to london next week i'm alreading plotting monthly visits from now on. Prices are very reasonable too, you can have 3 courses for £30 on the set meal, our taster was £55 and most of the ALC dishes are well under £20. Open 7 days a week lunch and dinner, you really should go, and the star inn is next door, what's not to like?

you don't win friends with salad

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I've had that steak tartare about 5 times over the last couple of months, one perk of arranging a marriage at the Star is numerous visits to sort stuff out, and the Pheasant has become our favourite spot for lunch, We've never had a bad meal there I should write them up sooner or later.

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