Since the start of April guests to Bill’s restaurants have been able to enjoy a new Dinner Set Menu (Sunday – Thursday) that includes a selection of five starters, five mains and four desserts for the less than wallet-busting price of £16.50 for two courses and £19.50 for three courses. Eager to find out whether the offer did indeed represent good value, we headed down to the chain’s site in York (there are also Yorkshire-based Bill’s restaurants in Sheffield and Leeds, which has just been relaunched).
Located close to the river on the picturesque Coney Street, we passed through the doors to find the restaurant was both impressively modern in style and reassuringly busy for a Thursday evening (always a good sign!). Having been cheerily welcomed in and shown to our table, we began to carefully consider the menu and the tasty-sounding options it promised…
After lengthy deliberations, we decided to kick off proceedings in a doubly-crunchy manner by opting for the delicately battered and succulent Crispy Calamari, ably assisted by piquant red chilli and lime aioli; and meaty Crispy Fried Cauliflower, adorned with a riot of finely balanced flavours including kimchi, pickled red onions and red pepper dressing. A most satisfying start to the evening.
Buoyed by the quality of our light starters, when it came to the mains we chose to ramp things up a bit with the Chargrilled Minute Steak proving irresistible. Served with fries, pea shoots and roasted garlic butter, the steak was perfectly medium-rare (as ordered) with the chargrilling helping provide a real depth of flavour. The fries continued the night’s crispy theme nicely, while the pea shoots helped to soak up the garlic buttery deliciousness.
While the other main offerings included a strong and varied selection, for our second choice we decided to give the dinner special of the day a try: Chicken Milanese, which came topped with a light and invigorating mix of watermelon, cherry tomatoes, olives and mint. All very fresh, all very tasty.
Throughout our courses we were accompanied by a recommended bottle of Santa Rita Merlot, a delightfully smooth Chilean. Its intense red fruitiness lent itself particularly well to our steak.
Rounding off a most enjoyable evening of fine food, for our desserts we went for the uber chocolatey Warm Triple Chocolate Brownie – the chocolate sauce perfectly complementing rich vanilla ice-cream with a flake thrown in for good measure, and three delicious scoops ofBill’s Sorbet.
With our generous desserts bringing our evening to a conclusion, in summary, as set dinner menus go, you could do a lot worse than Bill’s, especially at this price considering how high in quality each course was. The chain already enjoys a reputation for being a great weekend destination but when the value’s this good there’s every reason to pop in during the week now too. Top rate.