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Sharing Delights Amongst Gin, Ham and Oddities

Brand new for 2016, located at 71 Low Petergate, is Andrew Pern (Mr P)’s stylish new venture – Mr P’s Curious Tavern.

Andrew Pern, AKA Mr P, is the Executive Chef/Director, Chef/Owner of the Michelin-starred Star Inn at Harome and Executive Chef/Director, The Star Inn the City, York.

Specialising in small plates, Mr P’s Curious Tavern is ideal for sharing – offering Yorkshire style tapas with flavour inspiration from around the world. 

Mr P's Curious Tavern York

As a gin lover I was very excited to see there were over 50 gins available at Mr P’s; from house gin, flavoured gins, British gins and gins from even further afield – averaging at around £4.20 per measure (25ml). There is also an extensive wine list too.

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 The small plates available at this quirky new restaurant range from £3-£14 so could work out to be quite pricey depending on what you order! 

 Our party ate for around £30 a head including drinks, which at first we thought was a little expensive, but when looking at the quality of the ingredients, consideration of flavours and effort that went into the dishes as well as presentation, we decided that it was actually quite good value.

 All of the dishes we ate were packed with amazing ingredients and wonderful flavours, and the service we received was from helpful, friendly and knowledgeable staff. 

Mr P’s Curious Tavern offers a cosy atmosphere, curiously decorated with knick-knacks and “oddities” that Andrew has collected from car boot sales over the years alongside huge charcuterie joints. The atmosphere is warm, bustling and inviting, with jazz music buzzing through the (allegedly haunted) grade II listed building.

 “Put together your own meal as your appetite, humour and curiosity allow.”

 Mr P’s Curious Tavern is open Monday-Saturday 11am-9:30pm (Closed Sunday’s) 

Introduction and images by Liz Cage

The Small Plate Revolution

Small plate dining is popular at the moment. There’s a few places in York offering it with Mr P’s and Skosh leading the way. As someone who often finds main courses too filling, I like it. All too often there seems to be more thought put into starters which are more beautiful and flavouful thanks to their humble proportions, and I resent not being able to enjoy one in fear of the main to follow.

You do feel that every dish has that same level of care put into it at Mr P’s. The problem is you can’t help by calculate the price of each bite. £9 for three tortellini, that’s £3 for each piece of pasta. I felt quite aware of that when eating and probably could have ordered a few more dishes to be honest but held off. I think £50 would have got you a nice meal here including drinks and a desert.

They do have a pretty good value set menu for £45 between two if you’re happy with their choices. It’s easy to feel like you want the freedom to choose yourself though with the range on offer.

These dishes aren’t always easy to share either. A couple can quite happily share them but they are very small, and things such as a soft-boiled egg with a small spoon are tricky to navigate between two.

Soft Boiled Duck Egg, Toasted Crab Sandwich, Melting Potted Shrimps
Soft Boiled Duck Egg, Toasted Crab Sandwich, Melting Potted Shrimps

I have to admit with each and every dish I was left wanting more, reluctantly handing half over to my husband. Not usually adverse to sharing, I put this down to the quality of the dishes offered up.

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 A few little improvements could be made to the overall experience. Some dishes did take longer than others – at the end of the meal quite a while after we’d enjoyed everything else our truffled mash arrived which seemed quite lost on its own.

Table clearing was also somewhat lacking and plates quickly built up. You can’t help but think that these “small plates” should be just that as room on the tables quickly became limited. We were served three tortellini in a huge bowl that the server tried awkwardly to fit on a table filled with empty glasses.

Mr P's tortellini
Tortellini of Roast Pumpkin with Sage ‘n’ Onion, Black Olives & Crushed Hazelnuts – one of the nicest pastas I’ve ever had.

These are all quite minor issues though which are more than made up for by the flavours of the food and the cosy, friendly atmosphere.

Overall it’s a pleasurable experience, in a unique building with helpful staff and delicious food. We’ll definitely be returning.

Read more about Mr P’s Curious Tavern here.

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