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Star Inn The City: restaurant review | Jay Rayner

Annoying wordplay and stupid conceits make York’s Star Inn The City an intensely irritating place to eat

Museum Street, York (01904 619208). Meal for two, including drinks and service: £120

We all of us have stupid ideas from time to time. We all of us get it wrong. What matters is whether we spot the mistake and make amends. Which is what I told the judge, not that he seemed convinced. Where’s mercy when you need it, eh? Happily, I am less ruthless. I’m quick to give credit where it’s due. I note, for example, that a restaurant I once reviewed (I say reviewed – I mean butchered, skewered and turned slowly on a spit over guttering flames) has stopped putting peanut butter in with the chicken livers and Marmite in with the potatoes. They have seen the error of their ways. Or at least some of them. Good for them.

Not so, I’m afraid, the Star Inn The City, the £60-a-head York spin-off of chef Andrew Pern’s much-lauded Star Inn at Harome in North Yorkshire. When it opened a year ago, so-called rivals in the restaurant-reviewing lark mentioned things about the place that made me flinch and rock to and fro with my eyes closed while calling for Nursie. Knowing I already had negative thoughts without having even been there, I concluded it was better not to review. But then a year passed and I found myself in York with an evening to spare. I feel I should apologise to the restaurant for their bad luck in this regard.

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