Tim Lichfield tries out an eight-course tasting menu in the heart of York
Legacy is York’s newest luxury dining experience, set within York’s only 5-star hotel, The Grand
As soon as you arrive, you are greeted by knowledgeable and friendly staff who escort you to your table. Then you can take in the expertly designed interior of the restaurant, which pays homage to the pioneering spirit of the inspiring engineers and architects of York’s history, including George Hudson and Joseph Rowntree.
Restaurant manager Derek Scaife, who is also an accredited sommelier, takes you through the eight-course tasting menu and the accompanying wine list which has been meticulously chosen to harmonise with the British and Yorkshire-inspired food.
After an initial taste of a British sparkling wine whets your appetite, head chef Ahmed Abdalla greets you with a hors d’oeuvres of three ‘snacks’ consisting of a chilled Lindisfarne oyster with a vinaigrette dressing, accompanied with a sushi-ginger, apple and cucumber salsa; a smoked cods roe cone and a ham hock tartlet with piccalilli, mustard mayonnaise and fresh garden peas. A pure delight.
The second (or really the first) course consisted of what Ahmed refers to as a ‘posh soup’; a Jersey Royal Velouté with oak-smoked cheddar and a chicken skin topping, which in itself is art. This is accompanied by a Parker House roll, which you smother in the moreish cultured butter or goats herb butter.
There is no rush as you soak in the atmosphere of the wood-panelled decoration and politely smile at your fellow diners, all of which are as enthralled as yourself.
Next up was the BBQ langoustine ravioli which simply melts in your mouth, followed by a salt-baked celeriac which is lifted by black garlic and truffle. A taste that I had never experienced, but would highly recommend.
By this point, you may have thought the cost of your evening had already been fulfilled; However, there is more to come.
A perfectly cooked halibut with cauliflower and mussels are presented with a mousseline sauce finely poured over, after which a trio of Yorkshire lamb with turnip and courgette are just enough to take you into a taste explosion.
With all of these savoury dishes devoured, it’s time to move onto the sweeter things in life.
First up, you are treated with ‘Annabel’s Strawberry’; a dish that consists of fresh, sweet strawberries and a puree underneath a foamy chamomile and lavender syrup that seemed to dance on your tastebuds.
The Grand, as you may know, houses its own bee hive on the roof of the Grade II listed building, so Ahmed is proud to incorporate their honey into the next dish, simply called ‘Grand Honey’. Soft panna cotta and ice cream quenelles are infused with the local bee delicacy as well as yuzu and elderflower topped with a thin honeycomb crisp. Truly delicious and cleanses the palate.
Once you’ve sipped on the accompanying dessert wine, you feel like you’re ready to lay down and reminisce about all the delights you’ve experienced. But it isn’t over yet…
A ‘surprise’ cheese board arrives with home-baked crackers and more honey that is cut in front of you from the resident bees upstairs. Then you are treated to a trio of mini delights of some fudge, a fruit jelly and a madeleine biscuit and your stomach can rest.
Like its namesake, my experience of the evening will be a Legacy within my mind.
Of course, as the seasons change, so will the menu. This gives me a great excuse to return and indulge once again.
- The Legacy eight course tasting menu is £120 per person; find out more on the website