A well-known London staple, The Ivy have recently opened up several new restaurants in the north, including York. Me and my friends awaited the opening excitedly and decided to book for a Saturday night in January.
When we arrived, we were greeted by a friendly front of house team who took our coats before showing us into the restaurant. Warm and romantic, the restaurant has low lighting and a pretty, botanical theme. Tables are intimate and not too close together, giving you plenty of room to enjoy your own corner of the restaurant.
We were shown to our seats and promptly offered some water for the table which was a really nice touch as one of my party had a cold, and really appreciated being offered a drink so quickly. A few moments later we were asked if we’d like any cocktails (which we did). I ordered the Ivy Royale which was a wonderful combination of hibiscus gin, sloe and Cremant. It was so refreshing, the perfect aperitif.
Next up we ordered the courgette fries and sourdough bread to share as a starter, while my other friend ordered the scallops which came with truffle and sweet potato crisps. I didn’t get a sample but this was later described as ‘the best starter I’ve ever had’.
The courgette fries were shoe-string style, served in a large basket with a yoghurt and chilli dipping sauce. They were really nice, beautifully crispy and nicely salty, but really needed a wedge of lemon to cut through and add a bit of sharpness to an otherwise quite creamy, fried dish. The bread was really good, basically a whole loaf cut into four pieces, but had an incredibly salty crust which ruined it a bit.
Next up was the mains. I ordered the slow roasted lamb shoulder, which had a wholegrain mustard and herb crust and came with creamed potato and a rosemary sauce with glazed vegetables. The sauce was more like a gravy if I’m honest, it didn’t have a lot of rosemary taste, and as the waiter poured over the meat on serving, it kind of ruined the ‘crust’ness of the lamb. It was still really delicious with the lamb falling apart on the plate. My friend had the chicken salad, and my other friend had the special which was a game pie. Overall the mains we agreed were ‘only OK’ in comparison to the excellent starters.
For pudding we shared the chocolate bomb which I managed not to get any pictures of, but it was a melting chocolate mousse bomb with salted caramel sauce. A real showstopper, it was absolutely delicious.
Overall eating at The Ivy was a really pleasant experience, it’s definitely a great place for date night or a special occasion. I just wish the mains had been a little bit better, but the fantastic starters and puddings really did make up for it. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a fancy meal out in York.