The name translates as ‘the blind pig’, and the team at this intimate bistro are continuing to wow York’s foodies with their ‘blind’ tasting menus (four or six courses with appropriate wine pairings). Their mastery of seasonal flavours and locally sourced ingredients combined with outstanding service have put this place firmly on the map - although less can be said of the cheap-and-cheerful rustic-chic decor.
Wisely, the focus is on food and drink, as you’ll discover when a hand-picked glass of wine arrives with your stunning L’Arpege egg amuse-bouche. In fact, we loved everything the chef put in front of us, from the tomato pâté de fruit with pecorino to the hand-dived scallop with sea-urchin butter, although nothing could have prepared us for the bread. So simple, yet utterly perfect, the homemade sourdough with cultured butter, beurre noisette and sea salt was pure alchemy. But then, so was the strawberry sofrito with buttermilk polenta that managed to be salty, creamy and tangy, blurring the line between a savoury dish and dessert. The final flourish? A Sauternes egg to mirror the opening amuse. Genius.
For those who want to witness the magic happen, counter dining is available at no extra cost, and there’s a private room on the first floor. The price of the ‘menu aveugle’ is genuinely modest, so it’s worth splashing out on the wine list, which includes an unusual selection of ‘orange and skin-contact wines’. Tables are few, and you’ll need to book well in advance - like right now.