SquareMeal Review of
The Raby Hunt Restaurant with Rooms
It may be no more than a dot on the map, but the hamlet of Summerhouse now boasts one of the north-east’s more ambitious and ‘evolving’ kitchens – plus a magnificent wine cellar to boot. Occupying a Grade II-listed former inn once frequented by the eponymous hunt, this reinvigorated restaurant-with-rooms is elegantly contemporary in style with proceedings now focused on just one über-sophisticated tasting menu from the cutting edge of modern British cuisine. Self-taught James Close is working wonders here and his cooking (now touting two Michelin stars) is exceptionally skilful – witness voguish nibbles ranging from crispy cod skin with aïoli or Lindisfarne oysters cooked at 62 degrees to dainty little servings of spring salad. The seasons also rule when it comes to plates of artichoke and offal, sea bream with smoked cod’s roe and spinach or raw beef with nasturtium and basil. After that, flavours collide as salted caramel meets yuzu or black olive and chocolate keep company with sheep’s yoghurt; also prepare yourself for the enigmatically titled ‘Skull and Buddha’. Service is top-drawer, and the magisterial wine list offers pedigree, class and value across the range.