THERE’S been a pub in the village of Bagby, near Thirsk, since the 1700s, but I think it’s far truthful to say it has never made a good deal of a name for itself.
In a past lifestyle, 30 or extra years ago, I spent 4 months residing in the village and in that time by no means darkened its doors. Nobody did. More currently, the Greyhound’s history has been somewhat chequered, together with intervals whilst it’s been closed. A name exchange to the Bagby Inn didn’t reverse its fortunes.
But 18 months in the past, it changed arms again. Fettah Alkoc and Laz Bilgin bought the freehold and set approximately the mom of all adjustments. The barely down-at-heel traditional pub indoors was become something that is simplest recognized as a pub. The squeaky-clean refurbishment has created the front bar where drinkers and diners are equally welcome and also an extra formal eating place to the rear.
The modish indoors will enhance with time. At the moment, it seems nearly a piece too new.
In a nod to its history, the new proprietors have restored the call. The Greyhound at Bagby is not any doubt how locals might select it to be, and it allows to differentiate it from the other Greyhounds jogging in North Yorkshire. But the maximum interesting element about the re-styled Greyhound is a menu plagued by Turkish dishes – which isn’t usually the sort of factor one stumbles across in rural North Yorkshire.
Having said there had been time perhaps ten years in the past while the White Horse Lodge simply a couple of miles away on the street to Sutton Bank switched to Turkish fare – a test which didn’t make final the path.
It was a pleasant marvel because we’re fanatics. My enthusiasm dates again to 1970s pupil lifestyles in London. I first tasted Turkish food in an imaginatively-named Formica-crowned-tabled hovel at the Fulham Road known as Wine and Kebab. A couple of quid delivered one as an awful lot meze as you can be squeezed directly to a desk or you can devour and a carafe of God-is aware of-what which after the third glass tasted just great. Happy days.
What makes Turkish meals so appealing is their simplicity, the freshness of the simple ingredients, and the charcoal grill. Had we now not wanted to devour Turkish, there are masses of conventional pub fare options to be had among the mains (fish pie, lamb shank, gammon, steaks, and so forth).
We started with the hot meze choice (there’s additionally a chilly choice) for £14.50. That’s seven small dishes which become extra than sufficient for 2 and possibly might have happy 3. The highlights have been the Sakuk – char-grilled spicy Turkish red meat sausage – Arnavut Cigeri ¬– cumin flavored lamb liver sautéed in butter with caramelized purple onion – and Sigara Boregi – deep-fried filo pastry parcels packed with spinach and feta cheese. The basket of pide bread became terrific too.
Sylvia’s principal direction desire changed into the essence of Turkish cooking – chargrilled marinated chicken skewers served with rice, salad, and a yogurt dip (£13.95). Chicken cooked, so it certainly doesn’t get greater succulent than this.
I’d opted for something that sounded very grand. Ali Nazik (£14.50) is known after the famous Ottoman chef who created it for Sultan Selim within the 16th century. I am certain you are very impressed by using my encyclopedic understanding of the records of Turkish cuisine. However, I’d best come clean and inform you that turned into gleaned from a substitute long menu description.
It didn’t pretty stay up to the grandiose billing. The char-grilled marinated lamb fillets had been now not as soft as I imagined they might be. Still, the smoked aubergine and yogurt sauce becomes an extraordinary mixture – the nice and cozy earthiness of the aubergine reduce properly by the smooth coolness of the yogurt.
The copious quantities of the meze starter dominated our cakes, so we sat a while and watched the region gradually replenish with a glam mix of drinkers and diners. Chef Fettah got here out from the kitchen to speak to the diners and assist his the front-of-residence commercial enterprise partner Laz who turned into outstanding in his most unmarried-passed potential to pour pints, take orders, deliver them to diners, clean tables and take the money.
Which in our case became £53.35. That covered a couple of half-pints of San Miguel, a 1/2 of an Italian lager called Poretti. A small glass of a Turkish white with tech was extensively better than the Fulham Road firewatof 40 years in the past.