Last week I was invited to come and try out the new offshoot of Baltzersens, a dining and restaurant concept called Nord in Harrogate.
Understanding that Nord would have a similar style to Baltzersens, taking Nordic inspiration and creating dishes using local Yorkshire produce it was made clear to us that Nord would be constantly evolving and developing.
Using fresh produce and embracing techniques like curing and pickling they will have a series of 10 seasonal tasting plates available at any time (see their 'working' menu here).
I was invited as an honest taster to give feedback so that they could get the menu at its best for their launch on Friday 4th April. With 10 people, including myself, we were seated at a long dining table and given a series of dishes and wines to match and then asked for our feedback and opinions by Paul who owns Baltzersens and Nord and head chef Murray Wilson.
First up was the salad which was beautifully presented, vibrant in colour and full of various different ingredients and tastes. It was very refreshing and an exploration into fine dining which I have not experienced before.
Next up was a lamb dish with leeks, brassicas, barley and wild garlic. Unfortunately I cannot stomach lamb... a pet hate of mine so I did not sample this dish. However, everyone else said it was very good and one of the favourites from that evening.
I was very kindly brought out a different dish as I couldn't eat the lamb option and was given a plate of pork belly, herring, cucumber, celeriac and pickle. Again, beautifully presented and a nice combination of flavours and tastes. The herring was raw and could possibly be quite a challenge for some people to eat but it gave the dish a nice variety of textures.
Finally we were given a sweet dish to sample. Rhubarb with gin, tonka, yoghurt, oatmeal, lavender, bay, verbana and a kale sponge.
This was a real test for me as I found the lavender way too overpowering. The beauty of these sessions though is to provide this feedback to the chefs so that they can tweak and perfect the dish prior to opening. At a taster session later on in the week this dish re-emerged without the lavender and the feedback was significantly better.
I am extremely excited to see Nord in full swing when it opens on the 4th April. I hope to make a visit towards the end of the month to see how things have shaped out and to watch the restaurant evolve.