I often complain about the fact that London (and Londoners) get the best deal when it comes to dining out. The range and quality of restaurants in the capital just isn't comparable to what one finds elsewhere (and if there is any corner of the country that I've maligned by that comment then I'm sorry, but please do let me know so I can come and eat there). But then you get a place like Van Zeller's that, apart from us, was stood empty for the entire lunchtime service and you begin to understand that perhaps there just isn't a market for it. Which is incredibly sad, but there you go. J Baker's couldn't survive in York, Anthony Flinn didn't make it work in Leeds; I would guess that there is money in all of these places but clearly not an appetite. Quite literally.
If you find yourself in Harrogate and fancy a fine dining experience then I would definitely commend Van Zeller's to your attention. There is something Roganish (that's a thing now) about his food in terms of both style and content and it comes as no surprise to discover that Tom van Zeller lists L'Enclume as one of his favourite restaurants.
It's very clever food too. There were a couple of dishes where the component parts didn't quite work on their own but put it all together and BOOM - perfectly balanced fireworks.
Our particular favourite was the lamb with lettuce, artichoke, mint and ricotta:...