“WOW, I feel like I’m in London,” said Trish as she stepped into the newly-opened Neaversons restaurant, having just arrived on the train from the capital.
The Grade II 1930’s interior has been refurbished by the new owners and exudes understated sophistication.
Trademark wooden shelving has been restored by an artisan joiner and now provides the backdrop for antique glass artefacts. Lighting is low key; dimmed candelabras allow candles flickering on the dark wooden tables to suffuse the dining room with a charming atmosphere.
We were warmly welcomed and shown to a large, comfortable leather sofa on the mezzanine floor.
“Is it a special occasion?” we were asked. I racked my brains to think of one, but sadly could not, as I believe a glass of something sparkly on the house would have been the response.
A moment or two later a jug of water and two glasses arrived along with dish of delicious homemade pre-appetisers. An excellent start.
We skipped the aperitifs and ordered a bottle of Argentinian Viognier at £19. The wine list isn’t huge, but it’s well thought-out, with prices starting at £13.50.
The menu combines fresh ingredients, sourced locally where possible, combined with the best of modern British cooking, where experimental fare lines up alongside more familiar dishes.
Joint owners Lee Adlerman and wife Eimear took over in May. Each has a pedigree in one of the two elements essential for a successful restaurant: good food and business sense.
Lee is a successful Huddersfield businessman and owner of Zephyr bar in King Street.
Eimear (pronounced Eema) learned her craft as manager at two North Yorkshire Michelin-starred restaurants: The Yorke Arms at Ramsgill and The Star at Harome.
The 26-year-old, who describes herself as “young, passionate and full of energy” has recruited another young female aficionado to the cause – Nat Tallents, former head chef at Hepworth’s Butchers Arms, who’s now at the helm of the Neaverson kitchen.
Their aim is to bring the quality and professionalism of a Michelin star restaurant to Huddersfield town centre.
With starters ranging from £7 to £11, we selected tian of white Whitby crab and hand-dived North Sea king scallops with apple, black pudding, truffle oil and pea shoots. Both were beautifully prepared and presented with fresh, delicate flavours.
One of the more unusual appetisers caught our eye; savoury crème brulée with fig, Jervaulx cheese, pickled walnut and Neaversons pesto.
For mains Trish ordered a hake risotto from the daily specials board, the rich tomato risotto proving the perfect counterbalance for the light, succulent fish which was cooked to perfection.
My loin of venison from Barnsley’s Roundgreen Farm (£19) was outstanding and on a par with a memorable venison enjoyed at the Isle of Skye’s famous Three Chimneys many years ago.
The combined flavours of the rich pink meat enhanced by a liquorice jus hit the tastebuds. Pate, celeriac and red onion marmalade provided a range of exciting tastes which blended to produce another memorable venison dish.
The accompanying puff pastry, like the cheese straw pre-appetisers, was exquisitely light and flaky.
One of the highlights of the evening was the service by our waitress Helen. It was without doubt the best I’ve ever enjoyed in Huddersfield and our tip reflected that.
The staff here are not filling in, they are all professionals and that is reflected in their standards and attention to detail.
Espresso coffee came with exquisite chocolates handmade by Longwood’s Catherine Bracegirdle of Deco Chocolates.
It was hard to find fault with Neaversons. Perhaps the seafood could have had a slightly deeper flavour, but I’m nit-picking.
And the atmosphere is quiet and refined, probably not a place for a night out with a big group – unless you book a private function.
VERDICT: Top notch service and good food. Highly recommended.
4 Byram Street Huddersfield HD1 1BX
Tel: 01484 420222
Website : www.neaversons.com
Restaurant opening hours : Thursday, Friday and Saturday 6pm to 9pm. Drinks to midnight.
Children : Of course
Disabled access : Yes for restaurant but no disabled toilet
The bill : £79 for two people, two courses, wine and coffee
Would you go back? 100% yes