on December 29, 2012
Near to our holiday cottages in the country village of Ebberston in North Yorkshire it was just a short stroll along the busy Scarborough Road to the local pub. As our party had already drunk too much to sensibly cook dinner, we thought it would be a good idea to see if we could dine there. Fortunately we came across a very friendly and accommodating place who set up our table for 12 without a blink of an eye. Helpfully for all involved they popped our party in an adjoining room to ourselves; this meant the two mothers in our party were more relaxed about their running screaming offspring than they otherwise would have been. The pub itself is styled more as a restaurant than a bar these days with stone flagged flooring and old wooden tables and modern padded dining chairs for comfort. The pub is rather understated and styled with dried grasses in pots and the like. I think I might have liked a bit more informal seating in a corner for drinkers only as sitting at these tables just felt like we were awaiting dinner. Sadly, the beer choice is a little lacking for those who enjoy a pint or two of real ale, with an uninspired choice of Greene King IPA or Tetley's. I had a pint of rather vile Becks Vier lager before moving onto a better choice; red wine, although the house Merlot was off the menu.The food thankfully was much better. For starters we just had three starters between five; rather simple bread, olives and oil and then a scrummy chicken pate with toast. It kind of set the meal up well and was ample for a bit of a snack. For mains, I chose a lamb steak on a bed of mash and a lovely red wine and mint gravy which was beautiful. The meal arrived with vegetables. At almost £15 for the dish, it was enough, but I enjoyed it immensely. My beloved had steak and ale pie which she also enjoyed, although she did find the crust of the pie a little solid. The chicken wrapped in bacon served with tomato sauce was also very nice looking. The menu was fairly small and traditional in style; there wasn't really anything unusual for those fancying a change but there was a solid choice for one off diners. I think I might get bored fairly quickly if I were a regular. The sweets were just a tad under whelming and looked a little like the standard offering from a pre-prepared catering company catalogue, rather than their premium range as I might have expected. As there was no cheese and biscuits we passed on the dish and were pleased we hadn't bothered with the calories or the £5 expense. To sum up, The Grapes offers reasonable food and nice wine in pleasant surroundings. While it wasn't my favourite place we visited in the area it was certainly adequate and we appreciated the extra care and attention they gave our large mixed group of adults and children.
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