The Black Swan Inn,

The Scarborough News - - FOOD -

Pick­er­ing

Af­ter hear­ing good things about the food at the Black Swan Inn at Pick­er­ing I couldn’t wait to give it a try. I had eaten there many moons ago be­fore it un­der­went a ma­jor trans­for­ma­tion and I can hon­estly say I was pleas­antly sur­prised. On en­ter­ing the main bar area I no­ticed what a fresh, mod­ern feel it had, yet taste­fully in keep­ing with the pe­riod of the build­ing. The sprawl­ing bar has been lov­ingly up­dated from drab to fab, with shiny new craft ale pumps and am­bi­ent light­ing.

The Black Swan also boasts its own brew-house and cock­tail bar, Whistlers. Both have proved to be pop­u­lar ad­di­tions to this 18th cen­tury coach­ing inn.

A pleas­ant mem­ber of staff showed us to our ta­ble in the din­ing area, and brought over our menus and a mini spe­cials board. The at­mos­phere was very re­laxed, with jazz tin­kling away in the back­ground, blended with the soft chit chat from other din­ers.

Sat sip­ping our drinks we read the menu - a mix of tra­di­tional and in­ter­na­tional cui­sine. I should point out that the Black Swan also has a pizza menu, which looked very tempt­ing, but hav­ing eaten pizza the night be­fore, we de­cided to give it a miss.

To start we shared the Mini Cajun Chicken Slid­ers; I had no idea what a chicken slider was so thought we’d give them a try. They were lovely. A minia­ture trio of lightly-fried chicken pieces in warm Cajun spices, del­i­cately lay­ered with a slice of fresh tomato, a leaf of ice­berg let­tuce and all sand­wiched to­gether in a tiny white bun. It was just enough as an ap­pe­tizer, as we’d both or­dered a heav­ier main meal.

My part­ner plumped for the 100% ba­con burger off the spe­cials board, served with chips and salad he added cheese and onion rings for an ex­tra £2. He asked if the chips could be sub­sti­tuted for sweet potato fries. The fries came as an ad­di­tional por­tion to his chips but we weren’t charged for them. The ba­con burger was huge and tasted like a piece of prime gam­mon. It was loaded with ooz­ing cheese and three gi­ant onion rings were stacked on top.

I or­dered the home-made in­di­vid­ual pie of the week which was steak and ale, ac­com­pa­nied by crispy chips, a side of fresh veg­eta­bles and a pot of meaty thick, rich gravy. The short crust pas­try was lovely and golden, and the steak was ten­der. I lath­ered it in gravy, of which there was plenty. We were pretty much stuffed but found room to round off our meal with a dessert to share. We took the plunge and or­dered the Deluxe Choco­late Sun­dae. This con­sisted of choco­late and vanilla ice cream, choco­late chips, fresh whipped cream, choco­late sauce and a home-made choco­late crisp. The choco­late crisp was an im­pres­sive spear of dark choco­late wedged into the cen­tre of the dessert, which we snapped in two and shared. The lay­ers of vel­vety choco­late sauce, crunchy choco­late chips and smooth ice-cream all worked well to­gether. What’s not to love?! To top off our din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence we were looked af­ter by two very ef­fi­cient and at­ten­tive mem­bers of staff who man­aged a fully-booked and busy din­ing area be­tween them, and all with a smile.

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