#CocoFood: Arras Restaurant York

The beautiful historic city of York was the destination for a dream #TeamCoco dinner at the contemporary restaurant Arras.

We arrived into a calm oasis at Arras from the busy streets of York. The restaurant is opposite the Foss River and is nestled just inside the famous York City Walls, a great location for both city dwellers and visitors.

The welcome we received was warm and genuine, and we were guided to our table in the corner of the restaurant with a view of an outside small courtyard with plenty of tables and chairs to enjoy the Yorkshire sunshine.

We ordered a local lager, and a fabulous #TeamCoco-style summer cocktail while we perused the menu. After asking for recommendations we opted for the 3-course menu, and no sooner had we ordered than an array of canapés arrived, all beautifully presented – we instantly knew this meal was going to be a good one. The mini baked Camembert with pea-sized cranberry sauce was everything you could possibly want in a canapé.

Looking around at the artwork, we were drawn into the designs by Nicholas Dixon, a Leeds artist who uses vivid colours and biomorphic shapes to produce contemporary and distinctive pieces of art. The white sterile walls became a backdrop for this unique projection of colour and style, which in turn made the restaurant come alive.

Our starters arrived, and the neck of lamb, mint jelly, carrots, broccoli and lamb fat was simply melt-in-the-mouth delectable. The Nicoise style red mullet, octopus, squid ink potatoes, and spiced tomato broth was a colourful work of art, where the red mullet was cooked to perfection and the broth was packed with a divine tomato punch and simple mild spices.

 

The chef sent each table an amuse-bouche of the day, which was beautifully presented. The centrepiece of the amuse-bouche was a delicately seasoned Jersey Royal smashed potato, surrounded by a beautiful smooth green pea soup, which was gently poured around the potato bringing these sensational flavours together.

Between the amuse-bouche and main course we spoke with one of the owners, Lovaine Humphrey who introduced herself to us and talked us through the restaurant’s background from Australia to York.

The York Arras restaurant is a result of Head Chef Adam Humphrey and his wife Lovaine Humphrey’s hit restaurant Arras in Sydney Australia, which they opened in 2011. After a number of successful years in Australia they decided to move back to the UK, and open Arras in Yorkshire. The York restaurant has been open since 2017 and has a reputation for excellence, which #TeamCoco can wholeheartedly agree with, as the food we experienced was truly outstanding.

This contemporary British modern restaurant had some treats in store for our main courses too. From the wonderful taste sensation that was the hake, cauliflower cheese, roast onion cream and braised oxtail, to the beef sirloin, celeriac and mushroom terrine, bone marrow agnollotti, stem salad and beef tea these dishes were exquisite. The standout flavours came from the roast onion cream, which worked unbelievably well with the delicate hake and the rich braised oxtail, and the celeriac and mushroom terrine, which gave something unique to the beef. The most unusual aspect of the dish was the cup of beef tea, which was served as a separate element, and we felt that this particular dish was perfect without the beef tea.

 

Desserts involved the magnificent cheese table, which Head Chef Adam Lovaine took time to talk us through, introducing each cheese with its history and a detailed overview of consistency and flavour. The cheeses were served with homemade chutney, homemade fat rascal and homemade Eccles cake, plus plenty of wafer thin breads. We also opted for the ‘Michele Ferrero – An Homage’, which was a hazelnut sable, praline cream and nougatine, with a hazelnut mousse and frangelico sauce. This dessert was extremely rich, yet each element brought the dish together and it culminated in a deep feeling of satisfaction.

 

After one of the best coffees we have ever tasted, by Square Mile coffee roasters, it was time to head off into the York sunset with a take-home box of beautifully presented Arras petit fours.

If you are visiting York then you must experience the ultra modern Arras restaurant on Peasholme Green with its unique flavours, perfect presentation, and fantastic staff.

The 3-course dinner was priced at £49 per person, with an extra £7 for the cheese plus an extra £7 for the Petit Fours, and drinks were charged on top. All Arras restaurant guests receive complimentary canapés, homemade bread (replenished if required), and an amuse-bouche from the Head Chef Adam Humphrey.

We would like to thank Adam and Lovaine for taking the time to invite #TeamCoco to experience and enjoy their unique restaurant.

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Rachel McAlley

Rachel is currently a UK travel writer and beauty writer for House of Coco, she spends most of the week locked away in her country garden studio watching the world whizz by, and most of the weekend whizzing around the UK!

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