Smith and Baker Dining Room, Sheffield
It might be 70-odd miles from the coast, but this Sheffield restaurant serves up some of the best fish in Yorkshire. Run by established chefs Richard Smith and Hack Baker, the dishes here aren’t cheap, but it’s good stuff. Service is charming, informal, and most importantly informed and if you go before 7pm Monday to Thursday you can score three courses for £20.
0114 266 5541, smithandbaker.co.uk
The Fish and Chip Kitchen, Hull
The pattie is Hull’s signature dish and finally this year the city got a restaurant dedicated to its single greatest contribution to the culinary world. The latest venture from restaurateur Alonzo Goulbourne has turned an old off-licence into a shrine to fish and chips. As for the patties – made from mashed potato and chopped sage, battered and deep fried– they were a triumph. Utterly glorious.
01482 440440, thefishandhchipkitchen.co.uk
The Masons Arms, Hopperton
In between York and Harrogate and just off the A59, this imposing pub has seen owners come and go. The latest incumbents, Iain Wilkinson and Kim Gillespie, took over this year and brought with them a passion for food, excellent service, real ales and real fires and the menu manages a neat balance between creativity and pub classics. This is definitely a place to watch,
01423 330442, masonshopperton.co.uk
The Man Behind the Curtain, Leeds
This was definitely Michael O’Hare’s year. Just a year after opening his slightly eccentric Leeds restaurant he won a Michelin star and legions of fans on Great British Menu. The £65 tasting menu really is something to behold made up of dishes like Exhibit A: Electric Daisyland. Exceptional food served with an absurdist sense of theatre.
0113 243 2376, themanbehindthecurtain.co.uk
The Park Restaurant by Adam Jackson, York
Chefs take note, this is how tasting menus should be done. Adam Jackson, previously of the Black Swan at Oldstead and The Park Restaurant in Sutton-on-the Forest, is now operating out of Marmadukes Hotel and his menu is a journey through flavours, textures and techniques. From the fish course to the desserts, his class remains.
01904 540903, theparkrestaurant.co.uk
The Blue Bell, Weaverthorpe
It might be a little off the beaten track, but this is one place worth going the extra mile for. Nestled in a Wolds village, halfway between Malton and Brid, the food is solid, delicious home cooking made with flair, care and imagination. It’s a joy from tip to toe.
01944 738204, bluebellweaverthorpe.com
Buck Inn, Maunby
The pub might be on a dead end road in the gentle North Yorkshire backwaters between the A1 and the A19, but head chef Matthew Roath and his partner Sammy Clark ensure diners keep coming back, and the Buck has built a growing reputation on the back of its good food. Potted shrimps, seared wood pigeon and 28-day hung steak and competitive prices, this is one pub that deserves to thrive. More power to their elbows.
01845 587777, thebuckinnmaunby.co.uk
Charlie Bretts, Leeds
It was a Mecca for fish and chip lovers, but Charlie Bretts had a makeover this year. The new owners, Richard Gibson and his daughter Fiona, have brought in wood floors, oak tables and white leather chairs, but they also have a healthy respect for the place’s heritage. Fish and chips are also still on the menu, but they are joined by risotto, asparagus and smoked salmon, steak and chips and kangaroo fillet and in so doing the restaurant now looks like it has a bright future.
0113 232 3344, charliebretts.co.uk
The Inn at Hawnby
It’s set in a village of mellow sandstone houses and is proof that you don’t need Farrow & Ball to make a good gastropub. The menu, with pigeon and black pudding, haslet terrine, crispy smoked paprika whitebait and roast pork chop, was a pleasure to browse, but who’d have thought the standout dish would turn out to be goat’s cheese and carrot? In the hands of head chef Jason Reeves the place is in very safe hands.
01439 798202, innathawnby.co.uk
Crathorne Arms, Crathorne
Two years ago Crathorne’s village pub was closed. These days the place fills up fast and that’s thanks to Eugene McCoy. He’s lost none of his verve and crucially he also knows what sells. You might wish for a leftfield surprise, but won’t go far wrong.
01642 961402, thecrathornearms.co.uk