IMG 1588
Places to Eat |

Restaurant review: Pearly Cow, York


Pearly Cow is a new luxe dining experience in York, and their Ice and Flame menu shows off some of the best locally sourced ingredients.

Pearly Cow opened in March, and after seeing their menu online I was keen to visit asap. I’d heard about this new restaurant opening from @yorkonafork on Instagram, make sure you give Ben a follow to keep up to date with the best places to eat in York.

The restaurant is just a short walk away from the city centre, within the No.1 Guesthouse boutique hotel. We took the train from Leeds and it was a quick 10 minute walk from the station.

Pearly Cow has a luxury aesthetic and a cool vibe, with neutral and earthy tones, and soft lighting. Quality ingredients are one of their key focuses, and this has been thought about in the decor as well as the menu, as they have dry-ageing fridges in the restaurant where you can see the cuts of meat maturing.

When we arrived we were greeted by a member of staff who took our coats, showed us to the table, and offered us some water initially whilst we had a look through the drinks menu.

We were both looking for alcohol free options, and there's a low/no alcohol section on their drinks menu. I’ve not been drinking alcohol since my cancer diagnosis last summer, and it’s great that more and more restaurants are adding some interesting alcohol free drinks and cocktails to their menu, rather than just the usual boring soft drinks. We both went for a Breezy John Collins which was very nice, but a little pricey for alcohol free at £9 each!

IMG 4124

Pearly Cow Menu

My recommendations

  1. To Start 🐟

    Salt Cod Tacos, parsley mayo & preserved lemon

    Chalk stream trout tartare, smoked trout roe, celeriac remoulade, pear

  2. For Mains 🥩

    Sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce

    Side - beef fat chips with dijonnaise

  3. To Finish 🍨

    Chocolate tart with salted peanut and malted milk ice cream

Their menu is a celebration of the best quality locally sourced ingredients from the land and the sea, as they say… ‘on the menu, there’s raw and light and smoky and deep. We keep it simple to put nature first’.

Their ‘ice’ menu offers raw dishes for the purest taste of the wild, and their ‘fire’ menu is all about flavour and the smoky depths of caramelisation, with the fire menu items being cooked over charcoal.

IMG 4126

We were both keen to order the salt cod tacos from the nibbles menu, but unfortunately they weren’t available, so to start I went for the chalk stream trout from the Ice menu. This was so fresh and delicious, I loved the creaminess of the remoulade with the diced trout.

IMG 1574

Nick ordered Whitby crab with grapefruit, avocado and charred sourdough. He’s dairy and gluten free, and was pleased that they were able to sub the sourdough with some gluten free bread. It’s worth pointing out here that the staff were very helpful with explaining which items on the menu could be made suitable for a gluten and dairy free diet.

For mains we went with steak, sirloin for me and fillet for Nick. Both were cooked as requested, and my sirloin was one of the most delicious steaks I’ve ever had. The flavour was incredible. The steaks came with the option of peppercorn or Béarnaise sauce, and a glazed Roscoff onion. And we both ordered the beef fat chips as a side.

IMG 4129

We were both quite full at this point, and also a bit tight on time to get back for our train (not because of slow service, just more my bad planning with train times) so we had a quick dessert of sorbet for Nick and ice cream for me. If we go back I would definitely try the chocolate tart.

We really enjoyed the meal, but were quite surprised that it came to just over £150 for both of us, especially as we didn’t order any alcohol. It certainly feels as though eating out has become a lot more expensive in recent months, and I understand the reasons for this with the cost of high quality ingredients, staffing costs, utilities etc. And although I couldn’t fault the quality and flavour of the food it did feel to be slightly overpriced. As an example, my sirloin steak was £32 and we had to order sides separately which started from £5 each.

IMG 4130

My only other little gripe was with the chips… I’d seen a picture of beef fat chips on their Instagram which looked incredible (image below) but we were served just plain thick cut chips. The chips we ordered were so tasty though, crunchy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside, but weren’t what they had advertised on their instagram, and again felt expensive at £8 each.

I don’t want to end this on a negative note because we did really enjoy the meal, and I would recommend a visit to Pearly Cow. But be prepared for an expensive meal, and make sure you order a steak!

IMG 1588

Is Pearly Cow gluten free friendly?

They definitely are, there are plenty of gluten free options to choose from on all sections on their menu. They also have gluten free bread available.

Is Pearly Cow vegetarian / vegan friendly?

There are both vegetarian and vegan options, but a lot more choices on their nibbles menu if you're vegetarian. There is only one starter that is vegan, and a choice of two mains that are plant based, both of which sound amazing - wild mushroom and tofu wellington, or coal roasted aubergine with sweet & sour peppers. Much more interesting than a lot of the vegan options you see on restaurant menus.