Further to my previous food review post, The Box Tree in Ilkley has been on my ‘must visit’ list of restaurants for a while. Even more so, since the number of times we’ve passed it, driving through Ilkley! We were lucky enough to visit this long acclaimed Michelin star restaurant a few weeks ago. We were quite fortunate in making a reservation at short notice.The staff were able to accommodate us that evening, a little to my surprise. I’d heard very positive things from people that had been before, so I you can imagine how much I was looking forward to it!
The Box Tree restaurant has been established since the 1960’s and has held it’s Michelin star rating since 2005, amongst many other awards and recognition’s. It even held two Michelin stars for a period of time, in the 1970’s. They serve modern french cuisine, which is one my preferred choices when it comes to dining. The beautifully kept garden gives a welcoming feel as you approach the restaurant. Inside there is a classical but elegant feel to the restaurant.
We were shown to our table and given the wine list to peruse, whilst we were brought a selection of canapes. I’d only been in the restaurant a little while, but I could already tell, it was going to be a great experience. The canapes were an excellent way to start, I particularly liked the hot but sweet pink pepercorn macarone. The home made bread was absolutely perfect, served warm and fresh. The rose flower shaped butter was impressive, I’d love to find out how they shaped it like this. We opted for the a la carte menu, which was £65 per person.
To follow the canapes, we were served pea puree amuse-bouche, which was flavoured with Parmesan and mint. What a delight it was. It had a very light and foamy texture with a delicious pea flavour, with a a subtle hit of mint. The tiny teaspoons it came with meant you could slowly savour the taste.
After we’d had the scrumptious Amuse-bouche, we had a short, but perfectly timed break whilst we waited for the starters to arrive. There is a very nice feel within the resturant and the service the staff provide is exceptional. Each dish is described to you in detail, which to me, shows they’re very passionate about their menu. Their knowledge of the wine list is also impressive and are able to recommend a wine that pairs with your selected dish.
For starter, I opted for the smoked oxe tongue and oxtail terrine which came accompanied with horseradish cream and baby pickled onion, together with a slice of toasted sour dough. Sam chose the Ballotine & tartare of Scottish salmon which came garnished with caper mayoniase and radishes. My first impressions were that both were presented immaculately and you could tell a lot of thought had been put into into the dish and it’s presentation. The taste was unbelievably good and the way the flavours worked together. I was having the smallest mouthfuls to make it last as long as possible.
After we’d finished our delicious starters, our plates were cleared and we asked the head waiter if he could recommend a wine to go with the main course we had chosen. We’d both opted for the Loin of Venison which was served with Box Tree black pudding, Jerusalem Ratte potatoes, carrot and ginger. I didn’t think much could beat the starter I had, but the venison was cooked to perfection, being deliciously pink and tender in the middle. Each piece of Venison quite literally melted in your mouth.
For dessert I chose the dark and coconut delice with chocolate aero and coconut ice-cream. Sam couldn’t say no to the selection of fine artisan cheeses. The texture of the delice was delicate and velvety and the rich dark chocolatey taste was just incredible. Apparently, the selection of cheeses was impressive too!
To finish the evening we retreated to the bar to finish the evening with a coffee and sit in the vintage arm chair. To go with our Irish coffee and cappuccino, we were offered a selection of fine hand made chocolates, who would be able to resist?
Overall, it was a fantastic evening. The food was outstanding, the drinks, high quality and service second to none. It’s not just the food that’s special but the overall experience you get at The Box Tree, which to me, justifies the price. Any true Foodie would not be disappointed by a visit here! I really would recommend this restaurant to anyone who has as taste for fine dining. If you would like more information about The Box Tree check out their page here. I’d love to hear any comments you may have about this review or your experiences.