The Biltmore Bar and Grill,29 Swinegate

The newly opened Biltmore restaurant is situated on fashionable Swinegate. Arriving through heavily glassed doors, the slick modern architecture gives an exceptional first impression. The former Elim Pentecostal church has been transformed into York’s most stylish bar and grill restaurant. The extensive modern interior has a ground floor restaurant serving a cheaper bistro menu, and a mezzanine floor which runs the perimeter of the building serving a classic style menu for vintage dinning.

Having chosen the luxury menu for the restaurant upstairs, we were escorted to a comfortable table overlooking the busy downstairs bar. The restaurant has a church-architectural style with exposed beams in a classic yet modern environment. There are also eye-catching features throughout the restaurant: upstairs is a walled glass wine rack, boasting a vast selection of wines and champagnes. We ordered the ‘parfait of chicken liver and foie gras’ at £6.95 and ‘escabeche of red mullet’, £6.50, to start, followed by ‘pan-fried fillet of cod’, £14.50, and ‘confit of duck leg’ at £14.95. The parfait was beautifully smooth and complimented the accompanying sweet red onion marmalade well. We found out that all of the Biltmore’s ingredients are bought from the Yorkshire area, excluding the fish, and the vegetables are all organic. Shortly after we finished our starters our main courses arrived. The duck had a crispy skin with tender flaking meat, which was well flavoured with a sweet caramelised carrot puree and the cod was so tender it melted easily in your mouth.

For dessert, we chose a sticky toffee pudding with vanilla crème fraiche and a chocolate fondant with banana ice cream. Both were delicious and priced at £4.50. The service was warm, but on reflection it took over a quarter of an hour to have a food order taken. Even with the disappointing service at the start of the evening, the Biltmore is certainly a place worth revisiting.

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