Posted 14 February 2004 - 09:18 AM
I'll post more information, such as opening date (due to be March this year) prices, menu and contact information when I can.
Posted 14 February 2004 - 10:22 AM
"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP
Posted 15 February 2004 - 02:48 AM
I liked the way you explained luxury to the Leeds residents. Was that in case they didn't know what it meant
The chef I believe has worked 6 months in el Bulli and 6 months with John Campbell at The Vineyard and is now planning to bring the modern style to Yorkshire in luxury surroundings, for example wine will be served in Riedel glasses, there will be linen and fine crockery and cutlery.
Posted 15 February 2004 - 03:04 AM
Posted 16 February 2004 - 02:51 AM
I will of course give it a full and fair review when it opens, thinking about it, it might do well, the fashionable seems to triumph over the competent in leeds restaurants at the moment. It's been a long trek for no3 to finally establish itself.
(and if observer food monthly readers are to be belived the best restaurant in leeds for £20+ is the living room, let me tell you, it 'aint!)
Posted 16 February 2004 - 01:56 PM
Posted 27 February 2004 - 07:50 AM
According to the caterer, they will not be going for the full on el-bulli take at the start, which i think is a good plan as high end dining in leeds remains a conservative affair.
i will of course report back....
for bookings 0113 245 5922, trevelyn sq, boar lane, leeds. (opposite square's , behind greggs, a most salubrious location!)
Posted 03 March 2004 - 08:19 AM
the calibre and professionalism of the staff is unmistakable, they have staff from el bulli, vineyard at stockcross and the black pig and as a largely family owned and run affair i hope they will get the customers the cooking deserves.
having not been to el bulli and the fat duck not being my favourite place in the world, from my terms of reference i would place the cooking in the sketch/tom aikens/hibiscus mold ie adventurous but not outlandish.
i'll give the meal full justice later but as a taster, the amuses of a 'pink lady' deconstructed cocktail and starter of risotto of white onion, espresso and parmesan air were excellent.
Posted 04 March 2004 - 07:20 AM
Posted 04 March 2004 - 07:52 AM
So when news of a new ‘fine dining’ restaurant reached me through the grapevine, I was interested. The plot thickened when I heard the chef Tony had spent time at El Bulli. The thought of el Bulli/Fat Duckness in Leeds didn’t overly excite me but I was certainly going to give it a go.
Which saw me wander through the door yesterday as customer number one. The restaurant is on the site of an old bar, so on street level there is a bar with a range of comfortable traditional leather sofas at the end for pre/post dinner drinks/fags, with the dining room in the basement.
Reception is handled by Tony’s sister Holly who was eager to help and explain the background of the staff and the philosophy of the restaurant. Opening day niggles expressed themselves in the form of no proper menus & wine lists yet, for which they were very apologetic but it mattered not.
As well as the expected bar selection there is also an interesting range of beers that have been chosen to match the food. An interesting idea and not the gimmick you may think from reading this. One looked especially interesting, ‘deus’ a belgian beer brewed in belgium then shipped to champagne and treated exactly like champagne. Presented in a Dom Perignon looky-like bottle with champagne style glasses to match (indeed they have a glass for every bottle, or should I say a matching glass?), it was £19.
I had a quick look at the wine list which looked interesting. Many restaurants in the region do have common bottles but this list, although ticking off the usual areas looked different and was especially strong in spain.
Olga, Tony’s partner and maitress d’ joined us and further explained the restaurant. The pedigree immediately became apparent. Olga worked at El Bulli for several years where she met Tony. Now I’m sure there are many chefs with a stage at el bulli on their CV but Tony’s is different. He was the first Englishman to be offered a job there and worked 2 seasons as a full time member of the team. Apparently Adria prefers French/Spanish chefs for his team and only Tony and a Japanese chef were not from there.
When el Bulli shut for winter, Tony came back to the UK and worked with John Campbell at Lords of the Manor/Vineyard at Stockcross along with Nathan Outlaw. Nathan has also seconded a young chef from the Black Pig to help out and learn from Tony whilst it’s a quiet time in Cornwall. They also have a helpful German girl from The Vineyard assisting with front of house and the Spanish theme on the wine list became understandable when I was told a sommelier from el Bulli had helped them with it, along with input from their connections at the Vineyard.
So the collective CV reads very well, what about the menu?
I was offered a 3 course/ 3 choice set lunch and ALC (a degustation is planned). I went ALC and chose risotto of white onion, espresso, parmesan air (5.95) followed by pan fried salt cod, canelloni of pork belly, sauce grabiche (15.95) and a reconstructed apple tatin, vanilla parfait (5.95).
I was shown to the dining room downstairs. The room is modern and minimal with well spaced tables, and unusual floral arrangements. It was a bit cold due to heating problems and could probably do with a bit of art to warm it up a little, however might be completely different full of punters rather than just me sat there!
A fresh small loaf of bread was brought to the table with very good plain and parmesan butter.
First amuse was a deconstructed, I think pink lady, a small bowl with lemon powder on one side with grapefruit on the other and then mixed together with a vodka/cointreau soup poured at the table. It was, as you’d expect, very fresh and palette cleansing and a similar preparation to a consomme I’d enjoyed at Sketch.
Second amuse was a slice of dried fried artichoke with pumpkin seeds, well seasoned. These would be the ultimate bar snack, I could have eaten a lot of them. Also offered were what was described as ‘jacketless potatoes’ which were sealed potato ‘bubbles’ filled with creamed potato and vanilla. It was one of those dishes that you can’t quite work out how it was made and needless to say bloody good. I was rapidly deciding I quite liked molecular gastronomy!
The starter then came out in a square bowl, a very good risotto with a cloud of parmesan air on top. This was a very, very light foam with hint of parmesan, very interesting. The coffee was in the bottom of the dish and although it shouldn’t have, it all worked together seamlessly.
Main course came on a rectangular plate and the plating and style reminded me of Tom Aikens. A not overly large piece of salt cod with a crunchy top perfectly cooked, parallel to it the canelloni with a fine white sauce and the gribiche in reduced form on the plate. There was obvious skill in the prep of these, the pork belly in the cannelloni cut to precise mirepoix, with other elements too that I couldn’t identify.
Pre–dessert was a roasted rhubarb panna cotta, very nice, and main desert was another interesting one, it looked like a perfect square of shredded apple marmalade and tasted exactly like tarte tatin. I was a bit disappointed that they’d reconstructed the pastry away but that’s just because I’m greedy. The ice cream was sandwiched between two triangular, ‘sweet crispy things’ whose name escapes me. The taste was certainly there but I had eaten it all in about 30 seconds. It can’t be ruled out though that I am a greedy git and nothing to with portion sizes, I was pleasantly full on departing.
I had a brief look at the kitchen to say hello and as usual was impressed with the quality of food turned out in such a simple kitchen, it was certainly no lab and Tony seem to be content with a small flat top stove as his main tool. He personally cooks everything, no executive cheffing going on here.
To complete the family theme Tony’s dad was there and so we chewed the fat for a while before I headed off.
I really hope this place is a success, the cooking is already at 1 star calibre and given Tony’s only 24 and spent more time in the last six months with a paintbrush than a knife the omens are very good. The pricing seems right and the service friendly and spot-on. I didn’t really have the opportunity to do the wine list justice but I will return to do so. I just hope the good people of Leeds recognise quality when they see it and give them the custom they deserve.
So is leeds the new ludlow? , not really but With No3 down the road leeds now has two restaurants that can stand equally amongst some of the best restaurants in the UK, which is good news for me if nothing else!
Roast langoustines, fennel tea consomme 7.49
Anjou squab, jabugo ham, pink grapefruit drops 9.25
Dressed salad of crab, green pumpkin seed praline 7.49
Risotto as above
The salt cod
Suckling pig, jersey royals, mango flavoured jus 21.95
Line caught sea bass, scallop raviolis, smoked oil 16.95
Roast duck breast olive oil chocolate bon bons 17.95
Coffee timabale, yoghurt mousse marshmallows 5.95
Warm chocolate fondant, black sesame seed ice cream 5.95
Coffee & petit 4’s 2.95
19 boar lane leeds ls1 6ea, 0113 245 5922, email@example.com
Edited by Andy Lynes, 04 March 2004 - 10:43 AM.
Posted 04 March 2004 - 10:53 AM
I think Tony is going to have to do a fine balancing act between being interesting enough to stand out from the crowd and attract interested diners from afar and being accessible enough to develop the loyal local following that will pay his bills. Read in the context of eGullet, the menu sounds perfectly approachable, but I wonder what the good people of Leeds will make of it as they stop in Boar Lane to give it the once over.
Posted 04 March 2004 - 12:19 PM
Now the bugger's right - for food, at any rate!
"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP
Posted 05 March 2004 - 01:05 AM
the lunch menu
roast scallop, salad of pigs cheek
veloute of butternut squash. confit duck tortellini, pine tree oil
pan fried salmon, potato consomme, braised lettuce
roast suckling pig, sobrasada risotto
panna cotta, caramelised rhubarb, vanilla ice cream
selection of local cheeses
coffee and p4's
2 courses 18.95
3 courses 22.95
Posted 05 March 2004 - 02:49 AM
I must say the place sounds fantastic, and like you i just hope it gets the punters it deserves. Judging by the success of York Place et al i don't doubt it will be a success, especially with the reviews of Gary making it sound so appealing!!
I'll hopefully be adding my own reviews soon!
Posted 05 March 2004 - 04:07 AM
In a similar vein, I was reading my GFG on the way in this morning and noticed that there is a place in Ripon (North Yorks- for you Southerners ) called Restaurant Twenty Seven. It’s the domain of a chap called John Lyons whose food is likened to that of Heston Blumenthal's and Paul Kitchin's at Juniper (Altrincham). I must admit I haven't heard much about this place and as I say, I was surprised to notice it for the first time in the Guide. The food looks very interesting though- Bresse pigeon, with langoustine, cauliflower and iced valrhona ! Have you, or anyone you know been there Gary?
Posted 05 March 2004 - 04:11 AM
may have to have a look though, you go past ripon on the way to the yorke arms at ramsgill. might be a good place to stop off on the way.
Posted 05 March 2004 - 08:01 AM
I thought I’d try the set lunch this time to see what was on offer there. As I couldn’t decide between the dishes I asked that Tony cook whatever he thought best and left it at that.
Bread was good again, butter this time was a choice of salted and jambugo ham, this was very good, I wolfed down the delicate slivers of ham that topped the small quenelle and then realised the true flavour in the butter, like the finest refined bacon fat unctousness. Mmmm bits of pig.
First up today was a little trial dish, a cocktail of guinness, chocolate and raspberry in a little glass. This worked well all the flavours were distinct, yet complementary, a good start. Apparently the ‘upside down beer ‘hadn’t quite worked but Iooking forward to that another day.
The amuse was a veloute of butternut squash with pine tree oil with a langoustines and piece of mango skewered above it on japanese bamboo (talk about attention to detail, they’d sourced 3 different types from the internet to find the right one!). The veloute was excellent, a real ‘f’ing hell that’s good’ moment, great depth of flavour and the langoustine & mango accompanied by a purple cress leaf that was highly flavoured.
Starter was the roast scallop, salad of pigs cheek. One large scallop on a bed of the above mentioned cress, with the same spicy leaves and shreds of pigs cheek, more piggy goodness and very good quality scallop, with a herb dressing. All good.
Pan Salmon, potato consomme & braised lettuce was the next up, a neat rectangle of salmon in that hard to achieve state, crispy and caramelised atop and sides but rare in the middle, it came away in nice flakes easily. It was sat upon the braised lettuce, which again was good and well seasoned, this is not a kitchen that daintily seasons, and it works, with a slice of lovely buttery potato fondant then the salmon. The consomme came in a small cup on the rectangular plate again another lovely dish. It was very smoky, I thought there was more jabugo at work here again but no, it was charcoal oil which gives the flavour. Also in the soup were peas at the bottom and a very precisely cut tomato dice.
Whilst tony is still experimenting the omens are very good, I think the food here is definately of a standard that foodies will travel to sample and not be disappointed. The delicate flavours and detail suggest to me a full tasting menu will be a real treat, I will of course put thoughts of my ever expanding waistline, poor liver & depleting wallet to one side in order to sample this and report back soon.
Edited by Gary Marshall, 05 March 2004 - 08:03 AM.
Posted 05 March 2004 - 08:13 AM
I could have placed good money on you venturing back there today.
Posted 05 March 2004 - 08:23 AM
You're making this place sound too good!! Working next door to 3 York Place is bad enough but having this up the road is going to cost me alot, i can tell!
I can't wait to go here, it sounds fantastic!
Posted 05 March 2004 - 09:32 AM
Working next door to 3 York Place is bad enough
not a lap dancer are you?
i too used to work on york place (aintree house) unfortunately before the restaurant and other 'amenities' were established.
Posted 05 March 2004 - 09:54 AM
Er, yeah. What's a gralefrit?
And creme pot... pot rouge?
Portugaise. Tomato soup.
I'll have the gralefrit.
Posted 05 March 2004 - 11:06 AM
(How do you make a consomme of potato for heaven's sake? Or are we talking consomme with some potato in it?)
Posted 08 March 2004 - 01:08 AM
yes a dark but clear consomme, main taste was of the smoky charcoal oil rather than potato though, assume the potato adds a bit of body to it all.
official opening night on tuesday so i will go and see what's going on then...
Posted 22 March 2004 - 06:07 AM
'Is anthony's the most interesting, innovative and challenging restaurant to have opened in leeds-in yorkshire- in the past 20 years?'
'it is just 20 years (!) ago since this column began and a dinner last week was amongst the six best i've had in that time'
'these are early days. One thing is sure: this wandering lad from wakefield has followed his star. one may now follow him.'
not just me then!
review might be on www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/restaurants but it's not working at the mo.
Posted 23 March 2004 - 12:36 PM
Posted 24 March 2004 - 12:55 AM
Robert Cockcroft is to restaurant reviewing what Eddie the Eagle was to our chances of winning a gold medal at ski jumping. Pleeese.
I couldn't care less about your view of robert cockcroft's credentials, but if his article manages to publicise, and go someway to ensuring the success of one of the most interesting restaurants to open in the uk then that is good surely?
don't take my word, or his for it, go and try it. I doubt you'll be disappointed.
Posted 28 March 2004 - 08:28 AM
I really hope this place is a success, the cooking is already at 1 star calibre and given Tony’s only 24 and spent more time in the last six months with a paintbrush than a knife the omens are very good.
They used to say that you knew you were getting old when the policemen looked young. Now it's the chefs :-)
"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"
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