We’re delighted to introduce our readers to fellow blogging buddies Angie and Richard Aspinall, of travel blog Aspinall Ink, in their first contribution to Yorkshire Pudd. Enjoy!
Saturday night and day eight of trading at The Black Cat Bistro, and yet, on arrival we could immediately see that it was a serenity personified, with everything running like a well-oiled machine.
You might be forgiven for thinking that a restaurant that’s only been open a week might have a few teething problems, but nothing could have been further from the truth with this chic new eatery in Holmfirth.
This boutique bistro is small but perfectly formed and with only 16 covers, it means you’ll never be waiting an age to be served. Co-owner and local lass Sophie greeted us on arrival and showed us to our table (all tables are on the first floor) while her partner, Liam, and his team cooked up a storm in the kitchen downstairs.
The décor is simple and the ambience is calm and soothing: a great place to relax after a hectic week at work. While there is a printed wine list, for those of us who forgot our reading glasses (namely me!), there’s also a handy ‘living wine list’ on the wall above the stairs featuring actual bottles of wine on floating shelves, with prices written alongside.
I ordered a glass of the Malbec while Richard ordered a tall G&T. The wine was just the right temperature and was as nice and mellow as the music wafting up from downstairs.
The menu is displayed on the wall and as we perused it from our table, while enjoying the freshly made bread, a neighbouring diner couldn’t resist sharing her thoughts on the home-made brown toast topped with white crab meat and anchovies with a lemon and herb emulsion on a bed of rocket and tomato.
I was immediately drawn to the dish anyway and her enthusiasm won me over. (She said it was superb.) In the end, we both ordered it as a starter and were not disappointed. The presentation was exquisite and the fresh dill, with the crab and anchovy was delightful.
While tempted to order the trout and fennel ‘en papiette’, I had a last minute change of mind and instead plumped for the pork tenderloin. Although I say it myself, it was a great choice! The pork was tender and melted in the mouth and the creamy parmesan mash was delicious and the topping of crispy pancetta was inspired.
The dish was served with a creamy Dijon sauce, which complemented the locally sourced, fresh ingredients perfectly. I enjoyed a glass of crisp, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc to accompany the dish.
The provenance of the ingredients is really important to Liam and Sophie and you will see local produce, high-welfare meat and Fair Trade rice on the menu which also features imaginative and mouth-watering vegetarian and vegan dishes. Sophie tells me there are plans to have vegan/veggie nights as special events. Booking early is highly recommended as I think these will really take off.
Richard’s main course was Palourdes clams and mussels in a white wine and garlic sauce served with more of Liam’s delicious homemade bread. It was an instant hit. More diners arrived and the couple next to us were eagerly eyeing our choices. My dish must have impressed them because they both ordered the same!
Despite eating strawberries almost every night for three weeks (thanks to a glut from our allotment), we still opted for the strawberry-based dessert, which was a tasty trifle with all of the best bits and not too much custard (which is my least favourite part of a trifle).
With presentation so perfect and food of this quality, it’s safe to say that they’re just not charging enough for this spectacular fare So, if I were you, I’d book in soon before Sophie and Liam realise – or before someone tells them…
We’ll be back and we also can’t wait to try the lunchtime menu and pastries.
> The Black Cat Bistro, 5 Victoria Square, Holmfirth.
> Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheBlackCatBistroHolmfirth (website coming soon)
> Opening times:
Wednesday to Saturday: 11am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 10pm.
Sundays, open 12 noon to 7.30pm.
> In addition to catering well for vegetarians and vegans, there’s also a ‘The Black Kitten’ children’s menu – great value at £2 per starter and £5 per main.