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By Katie Wilson

This independent York restaurant had only just opened when lockdown hit, but they are still going strong three years later. In fact, they are doing so well, they’ve just been named in the Michelin Guide.

Fish & Forest on Micklegate, just inside York City Walls, is the brainchild of self-taught chef Stephen Andrews. Although he admits he never set out to be a chef, he’s doing a pretty good job of it.

As the name of the restaurant suggests, it focuses heavily on fish, but you won’t find anything on the menu here that isn’t wild, native, ethically-farmed or sustainable caught.

Fish & Forest chef Stephen Andrews
Chef-owner Stephen Andrews. Credit: Fish & Forest

Scallops are hand-dived and crab comes direct from fishermen in Whitby. Game (hence the Forest part of the name) is sourced from local farms and estates who run smaller shoots to maintain the balance of population control. While wild vegetables and herbs are foraged from local countryside.

It is this commitment to sustainable gastronomy that recently caught the attention of the Michelin Guide, who praised their constantly evolving menu that uses all parts of ingredients and leaves little waste.

Instead of paper menus, guests are invited to order from a handful of starters and main courses written on a black board, making it easier to choose. Menus change weekly, so there is always something new to try.

Fish & Forest restaurant food
One of the dishes on the weekly changing menu. Credit: Fish & Forest

When I visit on a Thursday night, the restaurant is candle lit and there are a handful of couples, as well as solo diners sat in the window, which was nice to see. Staff are passionate and knowledgable and eager to explain each dish.

You won’t order anything bad here, but the Pulled Mallard and Stonebass went down a treat for starters. This was followed by the Coley and Skate Wing, the latter of which was a personal favourite of mine. The menu works great for sharers too and veggies and vegans can be catered for, so don’t let the fish and game focus put you off.

If you haven’t visited yet, Fish & Forest is a hidden gem and already loved amongst locals. Let’s hope it continues its success and stays open for many years to come.

Best for: Michelin Guide food, seafood, date nights, great spot for solo dining

Fish & Forest is at 110, Micklegate, York, Y01 6JX and is open Wednesday to Saturday evenings from 5.30pm to 9.30pm

The menu changes regularly, but prices start from around £9 for a starter and £18 for a main course

Book a table at Fish & Forest here

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