Restaurant Pignut

British, Fusion·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Restaurant Pignut

Silver Award

There aren’t many neighbourhood restaurants in small northern villages that offer multi-course tasting menus and killer cocktails in chic Scandi-style surrounds, but the absence of anything in its image hasn’t stopped Pignut setting up shop on the outskirts of Helmsley. And perhaps it’s exactly this uniqueness that makes it a destination worth travelling to.

It’s a punchy offering from partners chef Tom Heywood and sommelier Laurissa Cook, especially given that this is their first solo restaurant. But some things are innate, and here that seems a knack for making people feel completely at home amongst their stylish interiors.

There’s a real tie to seasonality across the menu which goes beyond the usual lip service. Our visit is in the midst of autumn and we’re served a series of three warming soups in beautiful ceramic cups. They include an earthy beetroot one poured over horseradish ice cream and sourdough croutons (made using scraps from the kitchen that would otherwise be waste), a silken crab bisque and a pumpkin puree style serve hiding slow cooked hogget and tiny bits of pickled veg.

Everything is properly rich and highly seasoned, there’s no hesitancy with the butter and cream and the plates are joyful for it. Resounding favourites were soda bread served with blue cheese custard to dunk warm hunks into and brill stuffed with chopped mussels and set to sea in a classic beurre blanc style sauce.

While classics might be the solid blocks on which the menu is built up from, there are also fun, new things to try too for jaded foodies who can’t stomach another foam or gel. Instead, what about a mushroom mousse? This Willy Wonka-esque dessert is mellow and earthy, covered in a chocolate and coffee glaze so shiny you can see yourself in it.

We stopped by for lunch, but in the evening everything starts upstairs with snacks and drinks by candlelight before moving down to the cosy dining room for the full and unfaltering multi-course experience.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
British, Fusion
Cosy, Fine dining, Quiet conversation, Quirky, Romantic, Unique, Widely spaced tables
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Great views
Special Features
Chef’s table, Dog friendly, Gluten-free options, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Pignut is a fine-dining, modern European restaurant in Helmsley, Yorkshire, serving a seasonal, sustainable tasting menu run by former Rattle Owl chef Tom Heywood.

The quaint, quiet village of Helmsley is tucked right into the corner of Yorkshire’s beautiful Howardian Hills - you’ll find the restaurant on the main road that runs through the village, right by the bridge over the River Rye. Inside Pignut is a cosy, homely space - the restaurant itself has been built into one of Helmsley’s old stone terrace houses, which gives it a very charming vibe. The dining room is intimate, and Pignut takes its commitment to sustainability seriously, with table tops upcycled from an old pub, and a gorgeous natural wood bar taken from an old elm tree.

The menu also focuses heavily on eliminating wastage, with lots of the produce sourced sustainably from nearby producers like Shortstack Farm, Otterburn Mangalitza and Castle Howard, or foraged by Tom and the team. Dishes on the menu at the time of writing include Whitby crab with elderflower, wild brill, stuffed with mussel and seaweed tartare, served with crispy kohlrabi leaf and a mussel and cider sauce, and Castle Howard Aberdeen Angus beef with pignut, where Castle Howard ages its beef in salt chambers before sending on to the restaurant. You can expect the menu to change regularly with the seasons as ingredients - particularly wild and foraged produce - comes into season.

Meanwhile, wines are handled by Tom’s partner Laurissa Cook, who was previously restaurant manager and sommelier at the Rattle Owl in York. Laurissa’s carefully curated wine list includes organic, natural wines as well as local beers from Helmsley Brewing Co, just two doors down from the restaurant.


Can you book at the restaurant?

Yes, you can book the 4 course/8 course or Lounge menu through their website.

Helpful? 0

What is the menu like at the restaurant?

They offer a smaller tasting menu for £45pp and a larger one for £85pp, you can also sample some of their tasting menu dishes on the lounge menu.

Helpful? 0

Does the restaurant offer gluten-free options?

Yes, most of the dishes are gluten free so that isn't a problem.

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Does the restaurant have vegetarian options?

Vegetarian options are available dependent on the produce led menu.

Helpful? 0


12 Bridge Street, Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5DX

01439 770955 01439 770955


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri 12:30-15:00
Sat 12:30-15:00
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 18:00-21:00
Thu 18:00-21:00
Fri 18:00-21:00
Sat 18:00-21:00
Sun Closed


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1 Review 

Nigel C

19 May 2024   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 4
Value 5
Excellent food, super service

If you are searching for strong flavours and friendly attentive service, you've found it. 
Intimate space, local provenance, efficient and friendly service, great pairing menu with distinctive flavours and original wine pairings. 
what's not to like. 

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