The Ivy, St Helens Square, York
Graham Clark, Features Writer
Just like the plant, Ivy the restaurant of the same name is spreading. The original site is still in London but with the Harrogate restaurant opened last autumn, the York restaurant opening before Christmas and with one planned for Leeds this spring, there will be 3 Ivy restaurants in Yorkshire eventually.
The York restaurant is in St Helens Square and just like the Harrogate restaurant it is only doors away from a famous Yorkshire tea room.
First impressions when entering the restaurant were very good: our coats were taken and the ambiance seemed warm and friendly. Thankfully they have got the lighting issue sorted out at the York restaurant, as when we visited the Harrogate restaurant the lighting was far too dim and customers were reading the menu with the torch light on their phones.
The restaurant is decorated in their trademark art-deco style with abstract pieces of art mixed in with photographs of York. It is smaller than the Harrogate restaurant and might be a little crammed for some if it gets too busy at peak times.
The service though is exemplary, you can tell that this is a 'proper' restaurant. We were both asked if we had any food allergies and of course you are addressed as Sir or Madam. Some of the staff it seems trained at the Harrogate restaurant.
My starter of Apple and Harrogate blue salad was indeed very cheesy whilst the Salt-crusted sourdough bread was actually a whole loaf served warm.
For my main I went for the Fish and Chips priced at £14.50, which was Whitby Cod served in a crisp, light batter with proper thick cut chips, mashed peas, which had a zing about them, served with tartare sauce.
My partner went for the Rib-eye 12oz steak priced at £27.95 it was cooked to her preference and the plate was clear at the end of the meal.
For pudding my Chocolate Bombe was pure indulgence. I delighted upon seeing the waitress pour on the hot caramel sauce. It didn't disappoint. My partner chose the Cherry ice cream sundae which was sweet, tasty and another guilty pleasure.
Coffee rounded off an excellent dining experience, they even brought a biscuit each to go with the coffee, when I requested something to go with the coffee.
From Monday to Friday 11.30am - 6.30pm they offer a lunch and early evening menu for £16.50 for two courses or £21.00 for three courses.
Sat next to us was a party of four straight talking Yorkshire Pensioners. I asked one of them what they thought about the place, "the food and service is excellent and we've enjoyed it, we've come from Malton to see if it's any good and we'd come back again, it is a right real treat" - he wasn't far wrong.
The Ivy, 2 St Helens Square, York YO1 8QP
Telephone: 01904 403888
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The Ivy, St Helens Square, York, 19th February 2018, 20:33 PM