From the outside, The Rythre Arms, in Ryther, looks just like any other quaint country pub.
The Georgian windows spill light into the darkness of the rural village on the evening we attended, seeming to offer warmth, comfort and a friendly welcome. This is no usual country pub though. This restaurant and watering hole offers something for every carnivore.
It is a mecca for meat lovers, and from driving into the “cow park” (yes, that’s what the sign said), everything about the place screams steak!
The restaurant has been at the top of its game across Yorkshire for nearly 35 years. It is situated in a traditional, centuries old, building, nestled between Tadcaster and Selby - just 20 minutes from Leeds, and serves the best locally sourced beef available.
Their steaks are matured and butchered on the premises and range in size from the modest six ounce fillet to the Rythre Monster that comes in at an awe-inspiring 78 ounces. Yes, you read that right. However, the 2.2kg of prime beef will set you back £56.95.
Renowned head chef, Andrew Bennett, cooks all the dishes fresh to order which ensures that you can not only get the best steak possible, but also exceptionally fresh seafood, lamb, pork and chicken. During our visit we decided to swerve the Rythre Monster and opted for meals more suiting our ability.
It is 6pm on a cold Tuesday night when we arrive and we are promptly seated by a friendly member of staff into the cosy, warm dining area. Drinks orders were taken immediately, delicious mouthwatering onion bread was already waiting on the table for us, and we were handed the menus to browse.
I started with the homemade soup of the day, which was tomato and chilli, and priced at a very reasonable £5.45. It was served very quickly, with the offer of more bread, and was just what was needed. Hot, tasty, with a little kick coming with each mouthful. The bowlful was soon devoured.
My dining partner had chosen to avoid eating a starter, having already taken a look at the dessert menu and deciding to try and save some space for one of the tempting sweets on offer. And so to the piece de resistance, the mains.
Although there was a fabulous choice, including roast duck, lamb chops, salmon, and hot ribs, when in Rome do as the Romans, so it could only be steaks that we went for.
One thing I was very impressed with was the detailed description of what each cut of meat was, and ideally how it should be served. A night out and an education at the same time. What’s not to like?
I decided to try the 6oz fillet steak with the addition of some peppercorn sauce, while my friend opted for the 8oz sirloin, both priced at £22.95 and served with chips, coleslaw, and a vegetable medley of mange tout, broccoli, carrots and mushrooms.
I’m not sure I know enough superlatives to describe my meat.
It was without doubt the finest piece of steak I have ever had.
It was a beautiful cut and cooked to absolute perfection - which can often not be the case for me, a very, very, fussy steak eater who will not eat it if it’s in the slightest bit different from ‘medium’.
It simply melted in the mouth. Just divine.
The accompaniments were just right, complementing the dish perfectly, and were served at the right temperature.
My partner literally vacuumed her sirloin up and she said the chef got the cooking of it just right - again, a diner who will not eat it if it’s not just so.
I struggled to finish mine, but was determined to do so as it was so lovely, so I had no chance of tackling anything from the dessert menu.
Laying off the starter had paid off for my guest though as she perused the offerings once again and plumped for the lemon cheesecake and vanilla ice cream (£6.95).
I managed to squeeze in two mouthfuls from her plate and I’m glad I did, what a taste sensation.
The cheesecake was the perfect palate cleanser and the two scoops of ice cream were creamy and sweet without being sickly.
The evening was rounded off with an Americano coffee for me which had a wonderful aroma and was one of the nicest coffees I’ve had for a while, I even commented on it to the waitress. This was served with some chocolate mints. A perfect end to a most enjoyable night.
The entire meal, including a soft drink, came to £64.80. I think money very well spent.
For anyone considering a visit it is worth noting that if a la carte isn’t your thing then The Rythre Arms also offers an early bird steak dinner which is served Monday to Thursday between 6-7pm in The Stable Bar.
There is a selection available ranging from an 8oz rump and chips for £10.95 to a 32oz for £24.95 with side orders of mushrooms, side salad and onion rings available.
THE RYTHRE ARMS, TADCASTER
Address: Main St, Ryther, Tadcaster, LS24 9EE
Phone: 01757 268372O
Opening times: Monday-Friday 6pm-11.30pm; Saturday 6pm-midnight; Sunday 2pm-11pm