There’s no peeking at the menu online before you dine at this boundary-pushing York bistro
There’s no menu online at Le Cochon Aveugle. In fact there’s no peeking at the menu when you get there either because there isn’t one. Instead, chef-patron Josh Overington serves a four- or eight-course ‘blind’ tasting menu (Cochon Aveugle is French for ‘blind pig’) with guests discovering what they are eating when the dishes arrive.
It’s a brave and slightly mischievous idea, which adds drama to the dining experience and allows the restaurant to adapt dishes to the seasons and which ingredients look good on a particular day.
Overington’s cooking is grounded in classical French technique informed by his training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. There are a few signatures: an egg dish called L’Arpege, in homage to Alain Passard; and black pudding macarons are likely to feature, but otherwise it’s a movable feast. Rose veal tartare with tonnato sauce and smoked bonito could be sent out from the open kitchen one day, but the next it could be Orkney scallop cooked ‘a la ficelle’ (strung up next to a fire) with sea urchin butter.
The food is backed by an impressive wine list curated by the chef’s wife Victoria, which focuses on organic and natural wines. There’s a good range by the glass and carafe, plus quirky choices from lesser known vineyards in the Jura, Corsica and even Luxembourg. These are expertly matched with each dish as part of a wine tasting flight chosen for the guest. If you’re going to eat blind, you may as well drink blind too.