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The Ellington Leeds

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The Ellington hotel and restaurant opened a couple of months ago making much of its connections (read consultancy) with le gavroche both kitchen and foh, naturally over the years many a decent name has been put next to a pile of tosh in the interests of the bank balance over the food, so it wasn't particularly high on any list to visit, especially bearing in mind i'd have to walk past long time favourite no3 york place to do so.

Local restaurateur chat suggested the service was excellent but food nothing to write home about - reasonable brasserie fare, but Jay's piece below suggested there may well be something warranting further investigation.


as it 'appens a colleague was celebrating a birthday and had booked the ellington anyway so i was quite interested to see how it fared.

first impression on entering the bar/reception were of a typical boutique hotel, too open plan for my liking, i prefer a bar to be something to stand at rather than a seat and be served affair, but that's maybe just my pub heritage no-one else minded and staff were very efficient serving my beer.

wandering downstairs to the table the consultancy made sense, it is very gavroche like, nice thick carpets and probably the most comfortable banquette i've had the pleasure of parking my posterior on a great spot to settle in and hold forth for an afternoon, which i did.

As we were a reasonable sized group we had a choice of reduced ALC or set lunch, most went for the set lunch, i of course had ALC, which did unfortunately omit some of the classier dishes from the menu.

so for me it was pretty much a classic brasserie affair, gratineed onion soup, rib eye with bearnaise and tart tatin.

the soup was fine, with a good base stock , the steak however was a peculiar beast, i ordered it medium rare, and at first cut it looked v rare but had a nice char so not a problem. problem was it was tough as old church's and quite sinewy i had perform above average levels of dissection to get to a decent bit of edible protein, i can't remember a steak before that was simultaneously rare and chewy! The bearnaise was excellent and the chips thankfully didn't stray into chunky territory, i wouldn't go as far as to say they were cooked in duck fat, but they had an extra dimension of fattiness to them that i approved of. There was also watercress.

tarte tatin with salt caramel ice cream was perfunctory rather than revelatory, a slice from a bigger tart rather than an individual cake meant not too much of the crust, which is of course the best bit, ice cream ok, but not sure i'd identify it as salt caramel in a line up.

wine list is comprehensive and usual corporate mark up as to be expected, as we were a group i didn't have the opportunity to go to town and had a serviceable italian chardonnay for £25 -ish and a parker station pinot noir for similar £ which was ok, i warmed to it, post meal we had a barrossa valley merlot that was a very pleasant drop for £28, probably a bit too much as a 'food' wine but ok for post meal supping.

so although it didn't blow my socks off the ambiance was excellent, the staff were very well trained and knew how to do it properly, it's an ideal winter afternoon hideaway so i think i'd certainly give it another go, almost certainly to try the quenelles de brochet if nothing else.

you don't win friends with salad

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  • 2 months later...

the ellington and the rest of the group look to be no-more....

from the business desk.com

THE Albert Roux restaurant at Yorkshire's newest luxury hotel has been closed after its owner went into administration.

The company that owns The Ellington hotel in Leeds went into administration earlier this week and administrators have now closed the 56-seater restaurant and also the 500-capacity Cuban-themed Floridita nightclub and restaurant on Lower Briggate which, like the hotel was also operated by Pantin Hotels.

Business recovery firm MCR was appointed this week as administrator to a number of companies which owned the bar and luxury Leeds boutique hotel, The Ellington, which opened in September last year.

A statement from MCR said David Whitehouse and Steven Muncaster had been appointed joint administrators of The Ellington on Monday.

Also placed into administration is City Retreats Commercial, the operator of the Floridita Nightclub, a 500 capacity venue with a 120 cover restaurant on the corner of Briggate and The Calls.

Another company City Retreats Management Ltd has also been placed into administration.

MCR said this was the "vehicle for head office support and the staff employer for The Ellington itself".

The administrators are currently reviewing the financial position of the hotel with a view to continuing to trade whilst marketing the business for sale as a going concern.

An MCR spokesman added: "The Ellington is a high quality boutique concept which has been impacted by the credit crunch but we are confident of finding a buyer as the product is strong."

A spokeswoman for Pantin Hotels said: "Pantin Hotels, as the hotel's operating company, does not have any equity in the building and is not itself in financial difficulties. Pantin Hotels is working with the administrators to try and find a buyer for the property."

The Ellington is one of only six properties in Britain to be a member of The Leading Small Hotels of the World and the first in England outside London.

Published rates start from £190 for a classic double bedroom.

you don't win friends with salad

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