I love Italian food especially pizza! Perfect fodder after a lazy sun-kissed day. And probably no other dish epitomizes Italian cooking and it is universally recognised. It began it’s culinary life as a basic food for the poor and quickly became a staple dietary requirement.
In a charming East Yorkshire Georgian market town a new enterprise is taking pizza creation to another level serving homely Italian pizza that are much better than you get abroad. PEEL and ASH is a welcome addition to Howden’s blossoming gastro scene. In the shadow of the glorious minster down a heavily cobbled alleyway. Immensely popular with the locals – that’s always a good sign- with cuisine to please even the toughest food critic. Handcrafted pizza made with care and attention and it shows.
The secret of a great restaurant is to keep it simple but keep it interesting too. And this family run business does this spectacularly well -with gusto!
When we arrived the place was pleasantly buzzing. Not too overcrowded for a Saturday night though the World Cup was on TV. Outside the Sun still shone but inside P and A were providing a little taste of sunshine all of their own. A friendly welcome as warm as the food being served. Happy chatter and clearly a fun place to be. Rich aromas permeate the air. Relaxed and informal. No pretence here- just honestly cooked food , well presented fare in attractive surroundings.
The menu is exciting. I felt like a mosquito in a nudist colony- I didn’t know where to begin. Diverse flavours and tasty concoctions on offer. Something for all palettes and all occasions. Brie and Pear pizza anyone?. No well there at least another 10 more to try. How about Choice Cuts?- braised beef in red wine , pepperoni, chicken and bacon. Or maybe Doreen’s Black Pudding? .Fiery Nduja Sausage?. Tandoori Chicken- marinated chicken in tandoori spices and yoghurt and onions and coriander. Sounds good. IT IS! I think the trendy term is an Italian and English fusion menu. All pizzas are a gargantuan 12″ as large as car wheels. Diabetics don’t forget your tablets!
It is all about the dough and P and A have got it spot on. Colourful and unique flavours. Taste buds rejoice as a party in the mouth begins.
The starters and sides don’t disappoint either. Garlic bread – fresh parsley and garlic and English butter- arrives again as a 12″ circle of loveliness. House made coleslaw and skin on chips( with bacon salt WOW) were welcome table additions too. I tried the Goat’s cheese bonbons served with a dip of fresh raspberry sherbet. Different yes, delicious? -need you ask? Salads galore if you are extra hungry. Lemon and Tomato. Spinach and Feta. Too rich? Opt for the House salad instead- all things green soaked in a honey and mustard dressing. And as you would expect here in a taste of Little Italy there are olives galore.
The Sweet pizza ring- sweet ricotta cheese banana and Nutella served with vanilla ice cream was a meal in itself. Easily large enough for you to need mobility assistance if you eat and keep it to youself. The Lemon Curd Yorvale ice cream set the taste buds dancing once again. As did the Mango Sorbet and Praline Pecan. We ordered a 3 scoop to share expecting it to arrive in one( big) dish. It came in 3 individual dishes attractively presented on a heart shaped wooden board. A nice touch.
PEEL and ASH. Why the name? Yorkshire people are known to call a spade a spade but here the pizza are taken in and out of the open stone oven not with a spade. No it is called a peel. And the ash? – it’s in the oven!
Eating out especially with loved ones is always a treat and more so when the food is this good. We enjoyed our visit and will be back -OFTEN. PEEL and ASH do everything so well and fully deserve their success. A strong contender for my restaurant of the year.
Stencilled on the wall ” No pizza for 7 days makes one weak”. So true .