Admittedly before writing this post I had never been to Rare before. It has been at the top of my hit-list for some time. The reason I haven't been? It's one of those meals that needs to be saved for a special occasion. Why? For me, if I'm honest it's the price. The average meal at Rare will set you back £65-100 for two people, if you're steady on the booze.
Rare invited me to try their new bar menu, a more affordable option (that means you can visit them more than once a month), without scrimping on the quality and in a more informal casual setting (not that they're a fine dining restaurant but a bar menu is much more relaxed than sat eating a three course meal).
For those (like me) who haven't been to Rare let me give you some background:
Rare is so called not because it serves its meat rare but because of the rare breed animals it chooses to use in its restaurant. Rare have close relationships with local and rare breed farmers/suppliers, they get to know the people and form a fantastic bond, be assured you're getting the best cuts. Rare don't pride themselves on being a fine dining restaurant, as mentioned before they're not, but they are more than just a steak house too. Quality is the main focus and it really does shine through.
They also do a bloody good cocktail.
We offered a sample of some of the dishes on the bar menu, which I will attempt to describe although forgive me if I'm not completely correct in my descriptions!
1. Crazy sized pork scratchings from rare breed pigs (Mangalista), served with cider apple purée.
2. Bread served with salted butter and cod roe butter
3. Longhorn beef served on sour dough with capers
4. Beef burger served in a freshly baked bun
5. Mangalitsa hot dog (Mangalista are a rare breed pig that sort of looks a bit like a sheep, and taste pretty amazing).
6. Pizza with minced beef, topped with shavings of Parmesan and rocket
7. Baked potato served with cod roe (which we thought tasted better with the salted butter that came with the bread)
8. Salted caramel ice cream covered with cherry flavoured candy floss served in a delicate sugar cone.
9. Coffee and donut balls
The bar snacks cost from £3 to £5, making it a very affordable after work drink snack (or dinner), not sure what to do for dinner option, ladies who lunch choice etc etc.
D and I were stuffed to the rafters after sharing the above, we debated over our favourites and up there was definitely the sliders and the pizza.
One of my favourite moments of the night was when we were brought dessert. The ice cream with a difference. In my peripheral vision I could see the chef stood behind D at the table next to us eyeing us as we pondered over the marvel of what had been laid before us. Then I saw his face fall as D picked his up and his big man hands, shattered the delicate morsel to pieces and the ice cream landing in the cocoa beans in the pot... I was literally crying with laughter, I looked like the emoji people use when they're not actually crying with laughter, except I really was, and it kept tickling me over and over again. I must have looked like a mad woman.
I will DEFINITELY be going back for bar snacks, and you should too. I will definitely be saving my pennies for a blow out meal (maybe on the other side of Christmas) and I will report back with my findings, if they do mind exploding snacks who knows what the main courses hold!
163 Lower Briggate