North Yorkshire restaurant guide - Brace Restaurant & Grill, Raithwaite Hall, Whitby
PUBLISHED: 14:08 26 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:58 20 February 2013
Newly opened Raithwaite Hall, near Whitby, specialises in fabulous cuts of meat and exceptional service as Tony Greenway discovers
Its only been open since last October but word is obviously spreading. Friday night at the Brace Restaurant and Grill in magnificent Raithwaite Hall and the tables are already filling up.
This 19th century mansion, the former home of a shipping magnate, is in Sandsend on the edge of the North York Moors and a stones throw from the sea. After a 30million makeover (from the people who designed the interiors for the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, among others) it has become a fabulous 45-bedroom hotel, furnished with excellent contemporary taste.
We were here, though, for taste of another kind. Wed heard good things about the menu, created by executive chef Darren Iddon, a former sous chef at the renowned Capella Hotel and resort in Singapore. His spectacular food didnt disappoint.
The Brace specialises in steaks but dont confuse it with a steakhouse. All the meat and produce served here has been reared and grown by Yorkshire farmers with much of it coming from within a 15-mile radius of the hotel. (Beef, pork, poultry and game comes from Ryan Atkinson at Waterford House Farms and fish comes from Matthew Asquith of Whitby Sea Fish.) The beef is 45 days aged, grilled and served on the bone and cooked over an open grill to maximise flavour.
I thought I should sample a fish starter, though, so began with the rock shrimp cake, served on a bed of creamed spinach and with a crustacean sauce. The sweet spinach and the texture of the meaty shrimp made a fabulous combination. My wife, meanwhile, had the English lettuces with Wold blue cheese dressing, walnuts, apple and poached hens egg, chosen from the Braces three course dinner choice menu. This was a big dish lovingly prepared and a refreshing twist on the classic Waldorf salad.
For main course, I plumped for a 300g Limousin rib eye, cooked medium rare on the bone with bordelaise sauce served on the side. The steak was marbled, juicy and smoky and, with triple cooked chips and winter vegetables, totally lived up to its promise.
Outstanding. My wifes Ryan Atkinsons Waterford Farm grilled steak served with truffle potato mash, saut green beans and truffle sauce was simple and simply exquisite. For her, though, the highlight of the meal was dessert, an orange crme brle with warm and chewy ginger madelines. Divine, she enthused.
Its not just the food thats excellent. The staff at Raithwaite are a cut above, too. Our waiter, Saber, from Tunisia, offered friendly, chatty but discreet service and was a font of knowledge and advice about the menu. He also gave me a fabulous sounding recipe for chicken breast, pasta and blue cheese which Im dying to try out.
Saber obviously loves his job. For example, his delight at choosing cheeses for my cheeseboard (good Stilton, Mrs Bells Bluemin White, Monks Folly and Swaledale) was obvious. Enthusiasm like his cant be faked. If only all restaurant service in the UK was delivered at this level.
Impeccable service, exceptional food. Pretty soon, everyone is going to know about the Brace Restaurant at Raithwaite Hall.
Brace Restaurant & Grill
Raithwaite Hall, Sandsend Road
Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 3ST