Bill's Restaurant, York
Graham Clark, Features Writer
You might have noticed Bill's restaurant in York, on Coney Street. If you have sauntered along this busy street you might have even visited, but you probably did not know that this was the first restaurant in the chain to open in Yorkshire.
The chain was founded in 2000 by Bill Collison when he opened a small greengrocery in Lewes in East Sussex, after a flood a cafe was added to the shop and now the chain has reached the sunny delights of the north.
The building used to house a fashion store, the interior now could not be any different: it is shabby chic style with wooden tables, the chairs have come from what looks like a church with holders in the back of the chairs for hymn books - or maybe it is to place your menu at the restaurant?!
The chandeliers and candelabra on some tables reminded me of being back in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. There are also Chesterfield style sofas and cosy booths which add a more homely touch.
The music playing is not too loud so you can have a conversation, which might mean you will stay longer than if the music was loud and brash - like it tends to be in a lot of restaurants these days.
The staff are friendly and helpful which seems to be across the board for everyone who was there during our visit. I got the feeling that a lot of diners were coming in on spec, probably enticed by the shelves containing Bill's fresh produce from jams to Pink Lemonade which can be bought to take home - all top quality stuff.
For starters I chose the Mini Cumberland Sausage served with honey and whole grain mustard. With a sweet coating they needed the mustard to compliment the taste. My partner decided upon the Devilled Chicken Skewers, priced at £6.50 they were said to be meaty and tasty.
My main of 14 oz rib eye steak served with fries and pea shoots was cooked to my liking (well done). Chargrilled it lost some of the succulent taste but I did ask for it to be cooked well done. A good cut of meat though with no fat.
My partner went for the sea bass. Plentiful and delicious, it was served with Herb Rosti, though having a Swiss hereditary she thought that the Rosti was not a traditional Swiss version but more like a potato patty with herbs in it.
Desserts of Eton Mess for my partner and my Melting Chocolate Bomb rounded off a good meal.
It feels different to a lot of the other chains - if you are after good service, reasonably priced tasty food you should give it a try.
Bills, 12 Coney Street, York YO1 9NA
Telephone 01904 623548
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Bill's Restaurant, York, 7th June 2018, 7:53 AM