There is no doubting The Plough’s credentials – they are impeccable. It sits in the centre of Scalby on the outskirts of Scarborough and has been at the centre of village life since 1899.
It is owned by Scalby residents Nick and Sandra Thomas and in the past year The Plough underwent a major refurbishment.
It is the latest addition to the HQ Collection – a group of family-owned pubs/restaurants and rooms which include the Copper Horse and the Mayfield Hotel in Seamer.
The HQ Collection is part of the national company Qdos Entertainment Group, which is owned by Mr and Mrs Thomas.
As for the food at The Plough, it is over to Michelin-star chef James Mackenzie, who owns the Pipe and Glass at South Dalton.
He has created new lunch and dinner menus, inspired by Yorkshire ingredients.
Led by head chef Jon Smith, the aim is to use local and regional ingredients to produce British food with modern twists, from seasonal game, fresh fish and aged steaks to local cheeses and homemade desserts.
There is no doubting the uniqueness of the menu. Nibbles, all at £2, include roll mops and pork crackling.
Yorkshire tapas, all at £3.50, includes Yorkshire cured meats, Scarborough woof scampi, curried courgette fritters and black pudding and sage sausage roll.
Small plates, which can be chosen as mains, all sound appetising – Justin Staal’s East Yorkshire roast and cold smoked salmon, pickled cucumber, capers and lemon, £8, to pickled pear and Harrogate blue cheese salad, watercress and candied walnuts, £6.
On this occasion, though, my dining companion and I skipped the starter and went straight to the main course menu. I chose The Plough beefburger, topped with pickled cucumber, Harrogate blue cheese, slaw and fries, £12.
It was a close call between that and ale and anise slow- cooked pork belly black pudding sausage roll, green lentils, black cabbage and three little pigs salami, £ 16.
The beef burger was juicy and the cheese had a smoky flavour. The chips were chunky and crispy.
Shirley opted for lamb shank cottage pie accompamied by a pot of cumin carrots, £16. It was, she said, tasty and there was plenty of it.
Both dishes were served on a fashionable wooden platter with the accompaniments in white bowls.
We shared a dessert – a dark chocolate delice withhoneycomb ice cream and raspberries, £6. It was rich, sweet and delicious.
Altogether the bill, with wine – of which there is a good choice – came to under £44.
The ambience is unquestionably stylish and relaxed.
The Plough, all wooden tables and carefully chosen furnishings, has charm in spades.
The service from the young staff is friendly and warm – more than can be said for our table which, though the restaurant was empty, was a little away from the main eating area and nearest the door. The cold blasts every time the door opened took the edge off the evening a touch.
OVERALL RATING: 7