Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Restaurant Review - Martha and Vincent, The Grove, Ilkley

Recently re-opened following turbulent times as "Tubby Wadlow's", this latest incarnation is the work of local millionaire Chris Stainton; (a frequent guest at Westwood Lodge in the past!). Having quashed rumours of opening as an oyster and champagne bar, Martha and Vincent is very similar in concept to half-a dozen other places in town - the best known (and longest established) of which is Farsyde. Looking out to the forlorn, closed "the grove" across the road shows how restaurants come and go quickly in Ilkley and just what a tough job MandV's will have to break in. Decor is typically modern and minimalist, but nowhere near as bleak or "faux leathered" as "the grove" was. One is left wondering though what was the matter with what they inherited? The lunchtime menu was simple, yet varied and interesting. The scallops on blinis was a superb starter and the artichoke salad passed muster. Sea bream main was OK, but being totally drenched in butter, the delicate fish was, I felt, overpowered. The salmon held up better with the bed of crushed peas voted a hit. Desserts were appealing with the creme brulee infused with lavender, the most curious - but it worked! The wine list was good with a selection available by the glass. Background music was just right for a lunchtime and service was efficient and courteous. The toilets could have done with a clean; the dust on the venetian blinds was obvious to all in the glistening sunshine. Typical 3-course lunch for two, with coffee and a glass of wine each - around £65 or £45 for 2-course . Quality 9/10, Service 9/10, Value 7/10, Wow factor 8/10.