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Young ‘Bishy’ Road entrepreneurs cook up a quality venue

By Timothy Wynn-Werninck Restaurant Critic of the People.

Opened in 2016 by William Pearce and Rebecca Toppin the café is at the centre of Bishopthorpe Road‘s expanding set of eateries. The success of the trendy local high street – just outside the city walls – is helping York become the gourmet centre of the North.

Don’t take my word for it. Giles Coren, restaurant critic of The Times newspaper, was disillusioned with London prices and did a write up of Roots Restaurant in Marygate.

So at the top end of the market York is well served. So much so that even The Ivy has decided to come to the poor North.

But I was put off the famous place when trying to find a venue for my cousin’s family from Australia and was surprised at the attitude of the staff. My response was: “So you do not want a party of twenty next Wednesday.” After much deliberation we went to friendly, reliable Lucia’s in Swinegate.

In the same way you do not want to feel short changed and given small portions, or be under pressure to eat up and move on sharpish.

Butcher’s choice

Recommended by my sister’s butchers on what locals call ‘Bishy’ Road, I decided to chance it and was pleasantly surprised by the comfort of a rainy winter’s day. You did not have to book and this meant that you were not pressured to fit other appointments around your day. Had the weather been better there was also a choice of sitting outside in a true continental style.

The place sold wholesome food with soda bread that was made from a bakery in Haxby. I had this with a thick vegetable soup with fresh carrots and peas soup. I then went onto spicy Mexican eggs which had tortilla chips in a rich tomato sauce. All food and service was served up on blue earthenware plates cup and saucers.

My sister and brother-in-law had started with granola compote and then went on to croque madame, a upmarket egg sandwich with crispy green lettuce. Casting my critical eye on other tables customers seemed delighted with the choices they made. Portion sizes were good and more visits would soon add weight, like some other well-known critics.

There was a good choice of beverages – tea from English breakfast to Earl Grey, coffees including Americanos and lattes. There was also a range of beers and liquors and elderflower cordials.

Later I was pleased when the Bill came to £51.00 for the three of us. It was then I realised that I would not have to do the washing up.

So as a person with some Yorkshire ancestry would be glad to recommend it. A break from the norm. Service was friendly and good. Altogether a great experience. York is lucky to have a place like this.