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York
Ask Italian Re-opens In York
Lauren Masterman, York Correspondent
Following a 4-month, £400,000 refurbishment, Ask Italian in York City Centre has re-opened and is ready for the Christmas crowds with its new winter warmer seasonal Italian menu.

The historic Assembly Rooms has long been home to the Italian chain, offering an elegant setting for an authentic meal. However, time had taken its toll and the restaurant was closed to restore this impressive Georgian building back to its original grandeur.

Working alongside York Conservation Trust, the restaurant group carried out repairs to the ceiling, the magnificent intricate coving and now showcases 11 huge glass chandeliers that hang above a warm and welcoming dining room.

As part of the launch, a new menu has been designed to make the most of seasonal produce and warm up diners as the nights get colder.

A UK first, and an ingredient they are very proud of, is Purple Basil Pesto which has been grown exclusively for Ask Italian on a family run farm in Verona. This unusual ingredient had me intrigued, and so, I couldn't resist sampling it on the Garlic Bread Speciale as well as the Genovese Pasta; fresh and loaded with flavour, it is definitely worth the hype.

Looking out for anything highlighted with a 'NEW' I also tried the pumpkin arancini, served with a spicy tomato dip which created a good bit of heat and the Spinach and Ricotta Girasole; these neat green parcels were packed with a surprisingly light spinach filling.

Despite being fit to burst, when a dessert is described like this: 'Hot toffee sauce is poured over the dark chocolate cup at your table, revealing a hidden scoop of vanilla gelato on top of a heavenly hot chocolate fondant' try telling me you could resist it!

Arancini
Chocolate Etna is apparently a favourite of Ask Italian customers and I can taste why; smooth chocolate, rich toffee, creamy vanilla. What more could you want?!

As a couple, we enjoyed both the food and the setting. However, this is a 450-seater restaurant, so is also perfect for families and groups. With Christmas around the corner, the chef has produced a festive feast Italian style, with not a prawn cocktail, turkey or fruit cake in sight.

Buon appetito!

Ask Italian Re-opens In York, 8th November 2017, 10:53 AM