Address: 1 Bridge Street, York
Price: £13-£22 for a standard main course, £10-£12 for a ‘Home Comforts’ main
*Exclusive Champagne Charlie Toilet Niceness Rating*: ***
As the Friday after-work-drinks set hit The Living Room in York, there is a distinctly 80s vibe. Un-northern sounding people called “Braad” and “Claave” are talking as loud as possible over each other, many of them with chins reaching far and beyond the delightful river view terrace. Others are slowly but surely shepherding women in tight dresses over to the bar, sliding their gliding arm further and further down their backs as they prepare to pounce after all those hours of tedious photocopy banter. Even the capitalization of “THE LIVING ROOM” makes you feel a bit like you’re being shouted at on a trading floor. Yes, the shoulder-pads and breeze block phones may be absent, but the yuppyness is 100% there.
Despite this, however, The Living Room (the one in York, anyway), turned out to be surprisingly good. Actual dinner tables are set reasonably far back from the bar, and the Mad Men-esque leather booths act as handy blinkers for when “Claaave” and “Saaaraaah” inevitably start bumping and grinding later on.
A sharing platter of cured meats, tomato hummus and charcuterie sounded a bit “meh” but was really very good. Highlights included little Spanish sausages, which despite looking a bit obscene were hot, spicy and tasty, and came with bread that was warm, fresh and light as a little fluffy cloud…ahhh…
Guinea fowl in a tarragon and cream sauce was equally delicious and well cooked, although de-deh-dehhhhh! it didn’t come with any sides! I hate that. I mean, I really haaaate that. When the waitress smilingly told me that it didn’t come with any vegetables, I had an overwhelming urge to burst into tears. Being told that you have to pay for some food, on top of your actual food, even though MOST restaurants just GIVE YOU ALL THE FOOD TO START OFF WITH. …Well, it’s like being slapped in the face isn’t it? Anyway, in the end I didn’t weep and I did order some buttery spinach which was pretty ok, just a bit tinged with the bitterness I felt at having to buy some bloody vegetables which I only eat because it’s the right thing to do anyway… Also the fondant potato which was included with the main was a bit duff I thought…. A further injustice…Puddings looked really good but I didn’t actually have one because I was too full. They could be poisoned for all I know, but I don’t think so.
In all, The Living Room is a very OK place. The settings are cosy, the river view is a nice plus, and the waitresses are polite, efficient, and all look the same, which is either confusing or pleasing depending on how you feel about these things. The food was very good, but then for how expensive it is (eesh, the monies!), it should be really. There is no “wow!” factor at The Living Room, no Heston-esque touches, earth-shattering flavour combinations or mid-dinner cabaret acts, but then there is a lot to be said for nice, classic food done really very well. It’s a good crowd pleaser I reckon, somewhere to take your racist Auntie, your new boss, your friend’s emo German exchange student etc. Just don’t forget to take your Rubix cube, your filofax, and your big 80s wodge of cash.
Here’s the link to The Living Room York’s website: http://www.thelivingroom.co.uk/food/york