Legacy at The Grand, York – tasting menu review

GREAT in name, great in my nature.

York’s only five-star hotel lives up to its name, as it’s housed in one of the city’s finest buildings: the former station headquarters on Station Rise.

Since opening in 2010, The Grand has built a reputation for its luxurious interiors and top-notch service.

The newest jewel in its crown is Legacy, a small, intimate restaurant serving a tasting menu aimed at avid foodies.

With the eight-course menu priced at £120 (and matching wine pairings from £60 pp), that’s serious money for serious cooking.

Opened just a few weeks ago, The Press was invited by chef Ahmed Abdalla to taste the experience.

Our table for two was reserved for 7:00 p.m. but we were asked to come at 6:45 p.m. for an aperitif.

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It was actually a glass of English sparkling wine, served by restaurant manager and vintage sommelier Derek Scaife, who told us about his weakness for the drink and how it could easily rival champagne. for the demanding dinner.

It was a good start – the wine was delicious; full of flavor and not too dry. It was a perfect pairing with our amuse-bouche, or rather amuse-bouche, as we were presented with a trio of flawless mini amuse-bouche that set the standard for the rest of the evening: a seaweed-glazed oyster and a tart tart vinaigrette; a super-thin cone filled with smoked cod roe and, my favourite, a tiny pork knuckle and pea tartlet.

Chef Ahmed Abdalla at Legacy at the Grand York with his team

At that point Ahmed appeared at our table – and we were able to convey our thanks for the invitation and our praise for the cooking show so far.

Legacy was designed with the restaurant at its heart: seating just 26 in a beautiful wood-panelled room where all the tables are arranged around a central room where Derek tends to his impressive wine store. It’s both a great place for people-watching, but also for having a romantic one-on-one.

It was full when we visited, on a Wednesday evening.

My catering partner had chosen the vegetarian menu, which only varied three times from the main menu.

And so the evening passed. The eight courses were actually 11, considering the appetizers and petit fours that were served with my mint tea as well as a “surprise” cheese plate. Dishes arrive at a relaxed pace, allowing plenty of time to savor the wine Derek pours to accompany each.

The velouté was the fanciest potato soup I have ever had, thick and creamy and flavored with oak smoked cheddar. We were encouraged to clean our bowls with the brioche-like Parkerhouse bun, accompanied by a more indulgent chive-dill goat’s butter.

As the evening progressed, any fear of not managing the whole menu faded as we saw the portion sizes. Most only offered about three bites – just enough to really concentrate and enjoy the flavors and textures of the dish and marvel at the work of the kitchen team.

From the barbecued langoustine, served in three small segments as well as inside a single ravioli, to the finger of celeriac in salt elevated to the rank of heaven by the addition of black garlic, truffle and hazelnut, nothing disappointed.

Next comes a nice piece of halibut in a rich mousseline sauce with crunchy little bits of cauliflower as a contrasting note. To follow came a Yorkshire lamb dish, locally sourced meat in line with many of the restaurant’s ingredients.

And so on for the puddings. At this point, it was past 9:30 p.m.; my catering partner had reluctantly left as she had a train to catch and had missed the rest of the meal.

We hadn’t expected our date at Legacy to be this long, but if I tell you that I actually left home at 10:30 p.m., take note!

Don’t expect gourmet chocolate puddings here. Ahmed told us he likes to serve something light to finish. And it’s a wise decision after so many rich dishes.

And so I had a small bowl of strawberries, soft and mushy from having been bathed in a frothy syrup enlivened by chamomile and lavender.

‘Grand Honey’ came next – panna cotta dumplings with honey and ice cream. The honey, Derek informed, came from the hotel’s own rooftop hives. You can’t get more local than that.

And just when I thought it was all over, Derek emerged with a ‘surprise’ – a cheese plate with homemade crackers and a ceremonially cut piece of honeycomb in front of me with fantastic cheeses including the Lincolnshire Blue Cote Hill and Britain’s own Brie, Baron Bigod. The honeycomb and brie is a nod to the famous restaurant York Skosh (where Ahmed once worked) and where this combination is also served.

It was a fantastic final fanfare – or so I thought! After ordering a peppermint tea to aid digestion, it came with a trio of mini delights, including a fruity jelly, a piece of fudge and a warm madeleine.

I tweaked everything, sorry for my friend who missed the grand finale of this unique dining experience and unforgettable night.

Find out more at thegrandyork.co.uk/legacy

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