Denison Arms, East Ayton
After a particularly busy day at work, the thought of cooking a meal was the last thing I wanted to do, so a visit was in order to the newly opened Denison Arms at East Ayton for a mid-week treat.
After a long period of closure, the pub has been brought into the 21st century with an impressive refurbishment to challenge that of any other good pub in the area.
Everything is nice and fresh with a plush yet comfortable decor, bright cheerful staff and a new chef at the helm.
There is a spacious dining area and ample seating outdoors, which would have been great had it not threatened to rain. In the end we chose to sit in the bar as it felt a little more relaxed.
We had visited before on a busy Saturday evening, and even for a week night there was a steady stream of holidaymakers and locals in need of sustenance.
Perusing the menu, it had all the traditional pub classics which we love (I am partial to a good homemade pie and the Denison goes that bit further and offers a homemade pie of the day), plus hot baguettes, burgers and steaks, and dishes to share such as nachos and Messy Chips with lots of different toppings to choose from.
My partner ordered garlic dough balls to start, I didn’t choose a starter as I usually feel full quite quickly, so I helped myself to some of his. What a delight! The little balls of piping hot pizza dough oozed rich garlic butter upon biting into them and were accompanied by a salsa dip and salad, it was an appetising first course.
For my main I opted for a complete change from a classic dish and went for the Chicken New Yorker. It was a plump breast wrapped in strips of bacon and drizzled with a barbeque sauce topped with cheese. It was served with chips and a side of coleslaw. The chicken was lovely and moist, the bacon was crisp and tasty and there was just enough barbeque sauce for it to complement not overpower the dish.
My partner jumped at the chance to try the 8oz sirloin steak cooked medium with chips, peas, a grilled whole tomato, two impressive onion rings, and a jug of peppercorn sauce. The steak was a thick cut of meat and although there was no steak knife to hand, it sliced perfectly well without one. It was tender and juicy. The peppercorn sauce was fiery, probably the hottest peppercorn sauce he had tasted but he liked the extra kick.
For dessert we chose a lemon cheesecake with miniature pot of cream, topped off with a fresh strawberry and wafer garnish. The sharp, refreshing taste of the lemon cleared our palettes, and cut through the dollop of rich cream. A lovely dessert to round off a tasty meal.
We really enjoyed the food at the Denison Arms, and it was good value for money. We will definitely be paying another visit.