A recently re-vamped pub/restaurant with a nice gastro twist. Part of the Provenance Inns group, it offers up reliable, quality food with an honest approach to local ingredients and, yes, provenance. Find it from a new road off the A1 at Scotch Corner/Middleton Tyas where it’s signposted by the services.
From the outside, a low-slung whitewashed traditional pub in the village of Moulton, but inside a bit of a tardis. There’s the cosy old-school bar with traditional charm, but to the rear a huge light, airy conservatory that’s characterful and when we visited bustled with a frenzy of all-age happy families enjoying Sunday lunch. A comfy, airy and informal spot.
There’s an impressive, well-priced wine list – not to mention luscious, fruity pinot noir by the glass. Ale fans will drown in the pleasures of the best of local brews. Fizz Friday offers up 50 per cent off a bottle of Prosecco from 5pm.
Modern British food. Seasonal produce, good meat and fish. Daily specials, value early bird selections – basically everything you could wish for – from blow-out meals to satisfying snacks. There are plenty of special events here too – the gourmet seafood dinner planned for April 27th is worth checking out.
We dipped in to a la carte for starters – trying a cheeky couple of oysters to keep the hunger pangs at bay as we anticipated ‘main’ starters of a dish of chunky, sweet baked queen scallops (£9.95). These were bathed in punchy garlic butter with a crunchy gruyere crumb on top – indulgent and satisfying. Staying on a scallop theme, we also plundered a dish of deep and meaningful king scallops, (£11.95); huge things, delicately cooked to give a gentle caramelised edge and melty flesh within. We went traditioal with our Sunday lunch, powerless to resist the boldy-titled Grand Reserve sirloin 35-day aged prime Neasham Grange Farm Yorkshire beef (£14.95). Two decent, pink slices were delivered with gravy on the side (tick), good roasties and a big, blousy Yorkshire pud on the side worth of its name. What put the meal in a different league again, were the yummy vegetable alongside. Neat chunks of sweet, soft-roasted veg (carrot, squash, parsnip), a goodly serving of red cabbage and a bowls of greens (cabbage, beans, courgette and asparagus) – all served up in copper pans. The veg was as much a player as the meat, which is always satisfying. The above defeated the urge to contemplate what is a mighty dessert menu, but a bowl of assorted ice-cream – cinder toffee and peanut butter – was the perfect sweet ending with a couple of coffees. The Black Bull’s a great place for a long, lazy Sunday lunch – especially one shared with fine beer, robust red. Give it a go.