There is always something happening at Melton’s Too. They run four fortnight-long festivals over the year – pies in January, Asparagus in May, Lobster in July, and Game in November. They also run wine tastings with a different theme each month.
It’s easy to fall into the trap or habit of abbreviating Melton’s Too to Melton’s. However MToo, as the restaurant staff call it, is a safer abbreviation. Melton’s is the original restaurant on the other side of town, where you’ll end up spending considerably more on your meal. MToo, which opened a few years after Melton’s is the relaxed bistro, while Melton’s is for fine dining. That’s not to say you won’t get a cracking meal at MToo too.
It was the end of “lobster week” when we went, and a list of lobster specials was read out to us as we sat down. We had both been to MToo before. Once I had been and just missed “game week”, and we had both been for breakfast. This time, we were both excited at the prospect of actually being able to try some of their themed dishes.
MToo’s menu reads more like an address book than a list of food. They don’t just use “Yorkshire” ingredients, or the even more generic “local” ingredients, they tell you *exactly *where everything you are eating has come from. I started with gnocchi, with “Braffords Goats Cheese from Lowna Dairy and Raywell Butternut Squash from Organic Pantry, Tadcaster”. My dining partner had Courgettes & Yorkshire Blue Croutes, with “Mild, creamy and soft cow’s milk blue cheese from the Shepherds Purse Dairy, Thirsk”. All that’s missing is a postcode. And if that wasn’t local enough for you, there is the option to order Pea & Mint Soup “mint from our own Herb Garden”.
The gnocchi was very unusual. Rather than the squidgy little oval forms it usually come in, this gnocchi came in irregular, angular pieces, that seemed to have been cut off a slab of the stuff. While the dish as a whole was very tasty, the subtle flavours of the squash, sage and cheese could have held their own without the gnocchi.
For the mains we decided to find out what lobster week was all about. My guest had seafood ravioli, while I had trout with summer vegetables and lobster. All of the ingredients tasted exceptionally fresh. The carrots amongst the vegetables we had (not something usually worth making much noise about) were remarkable. The ravioli was very rich and creamy. It always seems to be the way with ravioli, that you are presented with what appears to be a miniscule amount, which turns out to be plenty. The trout was perfectly cooked, and was very light and summery. As for the lobster week flair, the garnish of lobster meat atop the trout was delicious, but it seemed a little out of place with the rest of the dish. The two elements of the dish were both good in their own right, but weren’t necessarily designed to share a plate. However, everything was stunningly presented. If MToo is the more casual of the pair of restaurants, then I’d love to see what they do with the food at the original Melton’s. To finish, we shared sticky toffee pudding. My grandmother will disown me for putting it above her own sticky toffee, but I'm afraid MToo have got the edge.
MToo serves up good quality food in a relaxed environment, and you know exactly what you’re getting. Their menu changes all the time, and they do a fantastic brunch all year round. They run a lot of excellent value deals at MToo, with a £6.90 express lunch, two course lunch or dinner for £12.90, and two for one tapas dishes between 5pm - 8pm. For more information visit the Melton’s Too website.
**Reviewed by:** Emily Boyd