Fabulous Food In Little Stonegate - Kennedy's Bar, York

22 Jan 2020

It's a bit of a rarity that I post a review of a restaurant that's outside of Teesside, but today, I'm bucking the trend! A couple of weeks ago, I headed down to York to visit the Van Gogh Immersive Experience and I decided that I wanted to try out somewhere new for lunch. With my sister living in York, we visit the city quite often and we get quite samey with where we grab food. With so many choices of places to eat, I wanted to go against the usual grain and do a bit of research into some other spots!

After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, and about a million tabs open on Tripadvisor and blog reviews, I settled on Kennedy's Bar - a spot described on Google as a 'stylish, modern venue serving light lunches, sharing plates, burgers and global comfort food'. It sounded totally up our street and after looking at the menu, there was something that would be perfect to suit absolutely anyone's tastes. I also really loved the fact that the bar tries to use local produce in its food where it can. I'm all about supporting the local area! It also helped that the bar was a short walk from the event at St' Mary's Contemporary Art Space, so we set our hearts on Kennedy's!

There's absolutely nothing quite like meandering through the cobbled streets of York on a crisp January day. I love that the city retains it's history through the architecture - from the beautiful Minster that stands tall and proud among the winding streets, and the world famous Shambles, that inspired the magical, bustling Diagon Alley. Tucked down a little side street off Stonegate, just opposite The Botanist, you'll find Kennedy's Bar, a gorgeous red brick building with maroon paintwork. You can't miss it!
As soon as we walked through the door, we were transported somewhere else. There was a certain warmth in the dark wood and exposed brick interior, and, when paired with the low lighting and candles, gave the impression that no matter what time it was outside, you were always on a plush evening dinner date. We picked ourselves a little table at the back with a sofa set and a selection of cushions, and it truly felt like we were about to settle down to an evening dinner rather than a quick lunch. It was a beautiful spot interiors-wise, but how was the food?

As I say, we were only there for lunch and were quite keen to get back out to explore the city a little more, so we didn't waste time in ordering our food. As I'd looked at the menu earlier, I knew that there was a decent selection of dishes on offer, from fish and chips to signature sandwiches, and from grazing boards to burgers, but I still struggled to pick something - it all sounded so good!

My friend was completely craving a burger, especially after seeing the dishes that were being brought out to the other tables around us. With this in mind, they were tossing up between the Fried Buttermilk Chicken Burger or the Cock & Bull Burger... so many decisions to make! In the end, they opted for the Fried Buttermilk Chicken Burger with a cheeky side of Pulled Pork Fries. If you take a look at the image above, you can see that this was stacks of delicious fried chicken with chipotle sauce in a seeded bun, plus  a mountain of skin-on fries and BBQ pulled pork. Basically, it was a match made in heaven.

The chicken inside the burger had quite possibly been double fried because there was absolutely no oil residue whatsoever, but the pieces were so crispy and the insides were so tender. They were also seasoned beautifully, which matched up perfectly to the chipotle sauce. Despite the thick covering of sauce, there was no sliding and the burger managed to hold the shape. In fact, it was so good, they didn't even notice the tomato slice that they would usually ceremoniously throw away. As for the fries, these were the best part, in their words. Being a big fan of BBQ flavours, the pulled pork went down a treat and the sauce had a lovely, smokey tomato taste to it. None of the skin-on fries went dry, thanks to the brilliant covering of pulled pork, but they also weren't soggy. This was definitely a winning dish!
As for me, I went for the Steak Frites, which was served up medium rare, just the way I like it. I expected a piece of meat to arrive, but instead, the plate turned up with a little bucket of fries, a side salad and a pretty curve of steak slices around the edge. It was certainly a different presentation to what I was expecting, but I was sure that it would still taste stunning.

And I wasn't wrong! The steak was just divine, especially the pieces that were on the outer edges of the curve. The meat was pink and super juicy, which is exactly what I want in a steak. It wasn't chewy in any way - it just sort of melted on my tongue. The outside of the meat was coated in the most delicious seasoning and exploded with garlic, rosemary and spring onion flavours in my mouth. The only thing that was a teeny tiny let down was that the pinkness of the meat wasn't consistent throughout the whole steak. The pieces towards the centre were slightly more cooked through and less juicy, so that would be the only thing that I would improve. As with my friend's meal, the fries were scrumptious with a lovely crisp outside and a fluffy potato inside. They did a great job of mopping up the steak juice!
Overall, the pair of us loved our food, despite having to wait a little while for it to arrive. The bar hadn't been particularly busy when we arrived, but we did have a good half an hour or so wait for our meals to arrive. However, this does show that the food is cooked up fresh and to order, so it's a bit of give and take. We were also pretty hungry, so the wait probably felt even longer for us, so again, give and take.

We were both stuffed from our food, but not so much that we were uncomfortable. We were able to go about the rest of our afternoon without any bloated feeling, and the pair of us didn't feel like eating again until after 9PM, so we definitely have no complaints about the portion sizes. It was the perfect amount of food for the both of us.

Despite Kennedy's Bar being a bit of a drive away from Teesside, I would happily visit again next time I'm in York. There's so many other bits and bobs on the menu that I'd love to try, so I'm glad that it's on my radar. I definitely recommend you take a peek on your next visit to the historic city!

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