I’m not going to lie, when I first booked to go and have dinner at The Park Restaurant by Adam Jackson in York, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Despite holding an incredible three AA rosettes, The Park restaurant seems to have a positive, but a notably quieter presence on social media in comparison to other fine-dining restaurants in the city. Chef-owner Adam Jackson had previously worked as the Head Chef at The Black Swan at Oldstead, and in 2012 helped The Black Swan to gain its first Michelin star. With Adam’s esteemed career as a Michelin starred chef, paired with the outstanding positivity surrounding his debut restaurant online, I was inspired to visit the restaurant and to try it for myself. It was a decision I certainly didn’t regret.
On arriving at the restaurant, my guest and I were greeted by a friendly and personable team that looked after us throughout the evening. The two front of house waitresses had an in-depth knowledge of Adam’s dishes and the wine list, and they were keen to engage and interact by actively asking for our feedback on how we found each course. The menu that we chose for the evening was Adam’s signature seven-course tasting menu which gave us a chance to try all of the dishes. The dining room had well-placed tables (sounds silly but very important!) and atmospheric lighting which was enhanced by a buzz of conversation from the other tables as the front restaurant where we sat was pleasantly full.
The seven-course tasting menu at The Park drew upon staple products such as pork, venison and cod. By using an extensive range of complex and interesting ingredients around the focal product of each dish, Adam’s menu cleverly appeals to almost anyone, from a regular fine diner to a celebratory dinner diner. Each course we ate was constructed of numerous elements, and the harmonious balance of flavours and textures really showcased the talent and skill of both Adam and his team. It was only after arriving back home after dinner and reflecting on the meal that I could appreciate how incredible the food really was.
After starting our meal with a tasty sushi-style fish amuse bouché, we were given our first course which was sea trout, hispi, ginger and wasabi. The intensity of the wasabi and the warmth of the ginger paired with the smoothness of the sea trout got my taste buds tingling. It was different, but a great different. The home-made bread that arrived next was accompanied by two different varieties of butter, and I thought the marmite butter was incredible. We loved it so much that after mentioning it to the waitress, Adam surprised us by kindly packaging some up for us to take home! The venison dish was a beautiful tartare that arrived with a delicate cracker of venison parfait on the side which was smooth, rich and moreish.
The next course that we ate was the cod with chervil and mushrooms. Each dish was presented beautifully and the cod (which we were told was a new dish) was no exception. The vibrant green foam, the soft and flaky cod and the rich Jus made this dish one of my favourites on the menu. The attention to detail was much admired and the beef dripping panko breadcrumbs added an extra melting crunch to the dish. The pork which followed was another complex dish with a number of different elements. It was an exceptionally well-balanced dish, and I have no idea what Adam had done to the artichoke…but it was mind-blowing! The pork was tasty and the whole dish was a light, salty and meaty plate of goodness that was so beautifully presented, it couldn’t help but make you smile.
One of the spectacles of the evening was the beautifully sweet but refreshing lemon iced tea that accompanied the pre-dessert. A tray of lemon thyme and other herbs arrived at the table, and after liquid nitrogen was poured over the dish, the herbs released a beautiful lemon aroma and dry steam that floated across the table as I sipped on my iced lemon tea. I’m not sure why such a (probably deceptively) simple dish on the menu was one of my favourites, but the lemon tea blew me away. I loved the ingenuity of Adam creating and paring a small drink alongside our pre-dessert that both refreshed the palette and was an element of the dish in itself. We finished the meal with a mango and tonka bean dessert that was creamy and flavoursome. I found the chocolate delice personally a little heavy in contrast with the mango as it was very rich, but overall it was a great dessert to end a lovely meal.
Wow. To try and comment on all of the dishes and share all of my opinions is a near impossible task… BUT, what a meal. The flavours were well balanced, the dishes were exciting and innovative, and the overall experience was truly quite special. My dinner at The Park was one that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon, and for a very reasonable price, it oozed quality and craftsmanship that should not be missed. The unassuming confidence of Adam and his team at The Park creates a not only a restaurant that is at the forefront of the fine-dining scene in York, but one that leaves you dreaming of marmite butter and lemon iced tea until you have no option but to return for more.
If you want to find out more, why not visit their website https://www.marmadukestownhousehotelyork.com/the-park/