The Ivy, Harrogate
Graham Clark, Features Writer
When it was announced that The Ivy, the famous London restaurant was to open in Harrogate it seemed such a natural fit.
With just one unit separating The Ivy from its famous neighbour, Betty's it has certainly stirred up some competition in the town.
The reputation that The Ivy has for service, attention to detail and beautifully prepared food served in a warm atmosphere is legendary.
The original London restaurant opened in 1917 with the new Harrogate restaurant being the 17th with York opening mid December and a Leeds restaurant planned to open in May 2018.
The restaurant was busy on our Tuesday early evening visit. On a cold autumn night it was welcoming to find the restaurant was warm and inviting. As you might expect at this level, your coats are taken at the door.
The main menu is extensive though the Lunch and Early Evening Menu served between 11.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday has two courses for £16.50 or two courses for £21.00.
The lighting in the restaurant tends to be quite dim and I did notice both young and older diners using their torchlight on their mobiles to read the menu. This was not just at one table.
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As well as the main menu there are daily specials which your waitress will inform you about. An extensive wine list with cocktails is very tempting.
We went for the salt-crusted Sour dough bread from the main menu. I was expecting a few slices of bread and was surprised when a whole freshly cooked loaf arrived, priced at £3.95 which was keenly priced. Crusty and hot the butter melted on the bread for a scrumptious start to the evening.
My Apple and Harrogate Blue Salad appeared like a work of art when it arrived; the combination of soft Harrogate blue cheese with apple, Belgian endive and caramelised hazelnuts complimented each other, whilst my partner's Raw Market Salad was one of the freshest she had eaten.
After our table was cleared for any crumbs the main dishes arrived.
My partner went for the Sea bass which was one of the Specials of the day. Served intact, only the head was missing. Described as "cooked to perfection" it lived up to the reputation The Ivy has for good food.
My main of the Ivy Shepherd's Pie was meaty with a strong flavour. The slow braised lamb shoulder with beef and Coverdale cheese potato mash was excellent.
The dessert of Apple Tart Fine served with ice cream and Calvados flambé tasted like it had just come from a patisserie in Normandy.
My partner's Cherry Ice Cream Sundae had copious amounts of ice cream, meringue, pistachio and warm cherry sauce. It must have been good as the dish was empty which is seldom seen when dessert is eaten.
The experienced staff have an air of expertise servicing the tables efficiently, effectively and unobtrusively. It felt like you had eaten at a first class establishment and justifiably so.
With an outdoor dining area too for warmer days it looks like The Ivy has found its natural home in Harrogate.
The Ivy, 7-9 Parliament Street, Harrogate HG1 2QU
Telephone 01423 787100
The Ivy, Harrogate, 7th December 2017, 20:06 PM