The Butchers is striving to strike that difficult balance between gastropub and village pub. On the village side, there’s a comfy looking bar set aside for drinking but the larger room is entirely focussed on food. Clearly making a play for a gastro tag by association – that is associating with the country’s well known high level restaurants by displaying framed copies of menus. Unfortunately the quality of the food doesn’t hit the mark of those pubs which gain Michelin stars. But, don’t get me wrong, it is trying.
There’s a good looking carte with significant use of Yorkshire produce – a starter of wood pigeon with black pudding and quails egg or a main of local venison loin. But it was the two course, fifteen quid set menu of the day that caught our eye. Another couple of quid will get you a third course and there’s around 5 choices at each course.
Starters were very much assembly jobs. But very enjoyable assembly jobs. And very generous assembly jobs –almost a meal in themselves. One plate with a selection of smoked and marinated seafood – salmon, both hot and cold smoked, herring, prawns and some delightful vinegared anchovies very much in the Spanish tapas style. There was a handful of rocket and dish of Marie Rose. The other plate, a doorstep slab of goose liver pate, some salad leaves, homemade piccalilli (tangy with mustard & vinegar) and, to my mind, a perfect match on the carbs front with toasted brioche.
“Pie of the day” was steak & kidney. Excellent flavour of tender meat with a goodly amount of kidney, topped with a spot-on shortcrust lid. Chips and peas to accompany – well, of course, it was chips and peas to accompany. Roast beef didn’t quite hit the mark on the other side of the table. An absolutely cracking Yorkshire pudding, good gravy, nice veg but the meat, although quite well flavoured, was overly chewy.
We passed on dessert, needing a good lie down to recover from the amount of food we’d eaten. Perhaps not a place to go much out of the way for, but pleasant enough if you’re around Holmfirth, maybe on the “Last of the Summer Wine” trail.
(The Butchers was recommended to me ages back by this board's contributor, Mr Gimlet. Thanks, mate. Good call)