On our first night in York, it poured down. A Google search revealed one of the nearest restaurants to our hotel was “Rustique”:https://www.rustiquerestaurants.co.uk/, a French bistro. Having checked out the website and found they offered a two-course set “menu”:https://www.rustiquerestaurants.co.uk/menu/lendal/SetMenu.pdf for £15.95 (3 for £18.95), I rang to book a table.
We found a small quiet area on the ground floor, but we were led downstairs to a much larger room which, at 7.30pm, was already pretty lively. We were immediately presented with a bottle of chilled water and decided to start with glasses of prosecco (excellent value at £4.95) whilst looking at the menu.
From the “wine list”:https://www.rustiquerestaurants.co.uk/menu/lendal/Rustique-wine.pdf, we ordered a bottle of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and the waiter suggested an organic New Zealand alternative. When I said I assumed it was more expensive, he said it was, by £5, but if I tasted the two, he was confident we’d choose the NZ version at £22.95. Two bottles were brought, and he was right: the NZ SB had a wonderful smell and even better taste. As he’d had to open the bottle of NZ wine which they didn’t sell by the glass, I guess he was pretty confident.
There was lots of choice on the set menu and also chalkboard specials and it was difficult to choose. We eventually settled for French onion soup and garlic mushrooms to start with. The soup was topped with a huge crouton and lots of stringy melted cheese which was hard to eat, but wonderful to taste. The mushrooms served in a cream sauce were accompanied by a generous slice of French baguette with a dish of butter sprinkled with sea salt: it was ideal for soaking up the garlicy sauce.
For mains Roy chose an unusual pork shank, slow braised in cider with coarse grain mustard mash and a cider and apple sauce. Having been told it was huge, we didn’t go with the suggested side of braised red cabbage. The meat literally fell of the bone and was delicious and a plate was helpfully brought for the bone. My tarte paysanne with smoked bacon, blush tomatoes and mushrooms was typically French and served with a dressed salad and thin, crisp chips. We were both happy with our choices.
We were too full for puddings and having sat and finished our wine, decided to stay for coffee and night caps. Our bill came to £77 without service.
Fortunately, by the time we left, the rain had stopped which was just as well as we were able to walk off our meal.
There are two branches of the restaurant in York on Lendal and at 28 Castlegate. There is also a branch in Richmond.