We arrived early from a day out in Scarborough with our 10 year old grand-daughter and I, for one, was pleased of a quiet rest before negotiating the high curb, one small & one large step into the front room of Castlegate Taberna. There were two more steps into the back room (where the main restaurant was), through a yard, up a slope and further step into the only WC and further steps up into the garden. The yard was a little scruffy and the WC more so. There were no hand drying facilities in the WC although, on mentioning this, a towel was promised.
We decided to remain in the front room which was a pleasant room with a good selection of art and artefacts. For once the background muzak was acceptable, and suitable, this is after all a tapas bar/restaurant.
The service was informal, obviously and, as it was so early, mainly handled by the chef. He had no problems with my wheat allergy, and was not only happy for me to use my own bread but he served it as well. Dishes came out in waves, as they were prepared, which might not suit some but was fine by us.
A good selection of tapas, some of them quite unusual. A lentil stew was excellent, as were the broad beans in a lightly lemony sauce dressed with minced jamon serrano. Confit of duck with chorizo and butter beans were good but it wouldn't have harmed the duck to be cooked a little more (there were still remnants of fat under the skin). Meat balls in tomato sauce were much appreciated (a second portion was ordered), a sautée of mushrooms and Spanish sausage (not chorizo) was good but not spectacular, marinated olives were excellent, boquerones (marinated anchovies) as always, the platter of mixed meats was a little disappointing (only two slices of jamon serrano between three of us) and the bread was standard baguette, not an artisanal Spanish style. Portions were generally quite large for tapas, I might have preferred to be able to try more dishes if they were smaller.
A nice selection of wines but not many by the glass; the house white and red were pleasant. Only filter coffee, but it was good.
At just under £65 with only two glasses of wine it might seem a little pricey for tapas but all thee of us were full to bursting and we couldn't finish everything.
A good place to eat, plenty of choice with some unusual selections. It was quiet, and the chef had time to chat and show a ten year old all of the different pictures around the place. Shame they don't open lunchtimes in the week and that accessibility is so poor. No credit or debit cards accepted.