The Pipe and Glass is in a 17th century building, a former coaching inn, on the edge of the Dalton Park Estate around a fifteen-minute drive from Beverley. Chef James Mackenzie and his wife, who is in charge of the front of house service, have run it since March 2006. Mr Mackenzie was formerly head chef of The Star Inn but was not present this evening. The restaurant has two bedrooms available for diners, but bear in mind that these book up very quickly, as I discovered. The restaurant gained a Michelin star in the 2010 guide, which it has retained ever since.
There is a bar area, separate dining room and conservatory, plus a private dining room upstairs, in total seating 80 diners at any one time. This is very much a pub rather than a restaurant, and some people in the bar were clearly just here for a pint. Starters ranged in price from £7.95 to £11.95, main courses £10.95 to £19.95, vegetables £3.50 to £3.95, desserts £5.95 to £12.95. The wine list was excellent. Otago Kura Pinot Noir 2010 was £24.95 for a wine that you can find in the high street for £14, Domain Road Pinot Noir 2010 was £42 compared to a shop price of £22, and Serafin Chambolle Musigny 2006 was a very fair £91 for a wine that retails at £86.
As we looked at the menu a couple of nibbles appeared. Chicken liver parfait tartlet with gooseberry chutney was excellent, the parfait having strong liver flavour, the chutney providing balancing acidity (16/20). A blue cheese beignet was an interesting idea but although enjoyable it was not quite cooked through to the centre (13/20). Bread was made from scratch in the kitchen and was a choice of spelt slices and ale bread. Both were excellent, with nice crust and supple texture, the ale bread slightly the better of the two (17/20).
A base of white crab meat was topped with pickled carrots, pickled cucumber, coriander and sea salt crisps. The crab was fresh and had excellent flavour, the pickled vegetables providing an enjoyable balance (16/20). Terrine of guinea fowl and ham hock came with a scampi fritter, pease pudding, pea shoots and air-dried ham. The terrine was slightly coarse in texture but had very good flavour, the pea flavour working well. The scampi fritter fine but was not an obviously good pairing with the terrine (15/20).
For main course, fish pie had a variety of seafood including smoked haddock and salmon with a potato crust with cheese and breadcrumbs, and a salad of prawns, leaves, dill, croutons and fennel. There was a creamy sauce inside the pie to accompany the fish, and the balance of the dish was good, the fish having plenty of flavour, seasoning spot on. There was also an excellent Parmesan tuile that was not the most delicate I have tasted but was bursting with cheese flavour (16/20).
My duck was cooked pink and had breast and leg of duck, crispy duck hearts and boulangere potatoes, celeriac purée and stewed cherries, along with an enjoyably rich reduction of the cooking juices. The boulangere potatoes had nice texture, there was unusually good spinach, and the duck had lovely flavour (16/20). The only misstep was a side dish of red cabbage, which although properly cooked lacked enough vinegar (13/20).
For dessert, warm pistachio and raspberry Bakewell tart was very enjoyable, served with a raspberry sorbet that had really intense fruit flavour. The texture of the tart was very good, with thin pastry and a pistachio sponge of high quality (16/20). Creme brûlée with stewed rhubarb was accompanied by a spiced shortbread ("Yorkshire cakes") from an old local recipe. The local rhubarb was excellent, not too sharp, and the brûlée was very well made, with a thin and crisp caramelised top and comforting custard, but the shortbreads were very dense. While it is interesting to examine old recipes, sometimes it may also be time to move on and realise that in some cases modern ones are simply better (15/20 if I ignore the shortbreads). There was a wide tea and coffee selection.
The bill came to £108 per person, but that was with more good wine than we could finish. If you shared a modest bottle of wine and had three courses then a typical bill would come to around £60 a head, a bargain given the quality of the cooking here. Service was very capable, and dishes arrived at a steady pace. Overall this was a lovely experience, and if this was within reach of London I would be back in a heartbeat. If you are in the area then I recommend that you give it a try.