Just out of the centre of Whitby is the highly acclaimed Ditto Restaurant, which serves only 20 covers on the five nights it is open. Your table is yours for the evening, which means you don't feel at all rushed. The restaurant has a relaxed and opulent feel to it, with all tables having ample space between them. There is a well-stocked bar and an impressive range of wine on offer too. The menu is seasonal and is a set price for two or three courses (£25 and £30 respectively). No extras, your vegetables and sides are all included. The menu is not vast but has a good range of dishes to suit all palettes.
Complimentary fresh bread with salted butter and home-made houmous was a nice start to the meal. We opted for the main/dessert option, so which one of the tempting main courses do you go for? The choices were beef, belly pork, pan-fried gnocchi, a shallot tartin and the two we eventually plumped for the fish of the day and the chicken thigh in a truffle cream sauce. Both dishes were outstanding, so full of flavour, the Coley was beautifully cooked, with a crisp skin on a fricassee of peas, broad beans and prawns, with pea mayonnaise and fabulously crispy chips; every mouthful was an absolute marvel! My wife had the equally impressive, chicken thigh with a crispy skin, dauphinoise potatoes, salted celeriac and strips of apple in a rich creamy truffle sauce. All accompanied with side orders of new potatoes, carrots, swede, as well as broccoli and mange tout with toasted pine nuts. The best two main courses we have had for a long time! The local Black Sheep Ale was a perfect accompaniment to the dish too, earthy and sweet.
The desserts were a choice of four, but one stood out over all the others, a dark chocolate parfait, dusted with honeycomb and a nut praline, accompanied by a refreshingly strong passion fruit ice cream on a crushed biscuit base. Too often, after a stunning main course, desserts fade quickly from the memory. However, this was as impressive as the mains; all the flavours complimented each other perfectly, to give a wonderful end to a fantastic meal.
Would we come again? In a heartbeat! Outstanding food in classy surroundings, great service and the sultry sounds of Lana Del Rey punctuating the air, it doesn't get much better.
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The soft and yielding pigeon breast on crisply fried smooth black pudding exploded into sweet dark matter in my mouth. And I did moan.
The luciously rich duck danced a fruity sexual tango with the cherry and Marsala sauce on my tongue. And I did groan.
The perfectly ripe raspberries dissolved into a piquant jam atop the quivering chocolate cheescake and smeared my palate with pupil engorging delight. And I did very nearly re-enact that scene from When Harry Met Sally.
May I also point out that at this point the rather loosely fitted dress I was wearing slipped off both my shoulders and fully exposed the entirety of my chest. And I did not care. In fact, it was entirely apt......I had been UNDRESSED BY FOOD.
A tiny little restaurant serving only 20 covers a night in the heart of Whitby's Old Town. Book there. Go there. With someone you love. And look into their eyes all night as you share perfect food, perfect wine, perfect service and perfect romance.