These restaurants turn ordinary ingredients into something extraordinary and give you a chance to try something you’ve never had before.
Have you ever done a tasting menu before? It’s a chance to embrace your adventurous side by handing over control of your dinner to a seasoned pro. Think of it as a magical mystery tour – you never know what you’re going to get, and that’s half the fun. Because tasting menus turn dinner into a unique culinary experience – and if you haven’t done one yet, now is definitely the time.
The Man Behind the Curtain
Where else to start but the city’s only Michelin Star restaurant? The Man Behind The Curtain has won national acclaim for its intriguing menu, which makes use of fresh, and often unusual, ingredients. The tasting menu is constantly changing and evolving, so you can expect something different every time you visit, as Michael O’Hare cooks up 10 to 14 sequences with the likes of hot and sour sea urchins, veal sweetbread XO sliders and coconut roasted langoustine in Thai sauce. This is the ultimate tasting menu, fine dining at its most creative, which is why there’s a month-long waiting list. Prices range from £60 to £90 per person.
The Man Behind the Curtain, 68-78 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7JH.
Vice and Virtue
Luke Downing is one of the city’s most respected chefs and his flagship restaurant has really turned heads – Vice & Virtue is an intimate, art-deco inspired venue with a wonderful open kitchen where you can see him at work. They serve up a seven-course menu for £45 or a ten-course one for £60, with dishes like champagne shrimp with sea spaghetti and curried pea crème fraîche. Each dish is made with locally and ethically sourced ingredients – they even grow their own veg in their allotment.
Vice and Virtue, 68 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6NU.
The Swine That Dines
The Swine That Dines is now a permanent fixture on the city’s fine dining scene. Their ‘nose to tail, roots to shoots’ ethos makes the most of ingredients you wouldn’t normally use and it’s won them an army of fans. For three weekends of the month, it’s a carnivorous affair, so expect the likes of bone marrow with green pepper and horseradish, but the final weekend is dedicated to vegetarians. The menus change every month, so you’ll never have to have the same thing twice. They’re also designed to be shared between two and cost just £49.50 for the pair of you.
The Swine That Dines, 58 North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PN.
Salvo’s is best known for its classic Italian fare, but if you want to try contemporary Italian cooking, you should check out their Alter Ego offering. Head Chef Oliver Edwards has worked with owner Gip Dammone to create an 8-course tasting menu that will introduce you to new flavours inspired by their travels through Southern Italy. Their menu of small plates changes with the seasons – expect modern dishes, like salmone e radicchio treviso (salmon, radicchio and honey) or if you’re dining from the vegetarian menu, melenzane in saor (aubergine, pine nuts and raisins). The Alter Ego tasting menu is available on Fridays and Saturdays for £38 per person.
Salvo’s, 115 & 107 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3PX.
Nestled at the top of Trinity Leeds, Crafthouse is a sophisticated modern restaurant with a reputation for serving up a menu of creative dishes. But if you want to see Executive Head Chef Lee Murdoch at his very best, you have to try his tasting menu. You’ll get seven courses, each beautifully presented, for £65 – and they’re all surprisingly different, so you’ll move from roast pepper and tomato with olive oil caviar, basil and black olive to Atlantic halibut with cauliflower, curry and chicken oyster.
Crafthouse, Trinity Leeds, 70 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW.
Home is the city’s newest fine dining institution – but while the food may be fancy, the restaurant itself is surprisingly relaxed. It’s the work of two highly acclaimed chefs – Elizabeth Cottam was a semi-finalist on last year’s MasterChef and Mark Owens is the former Head Chef of The Box Tree and The Star at Harome, both Michelin-starred restaurants. Together, they’ve created a 10-course tasting menu that changes every month, so you can indulge in sublime creations like Black Forest duck with wild mushrooms, cherries, creme fraiche and sour pickles for £70 per person.
Home, 16/17 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6BY.
If you fancy something a little bit special, Shears Yard will serve you up a 5-course tasting menu for £35 per person Tuesday to Thursday or £45 on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s inspired by the seasons, so you could find yourself eating whipped Yorkshire blue cheese with beetroot, celeriac, sourdough crisps and apple or raspberry marshmallow with peanut butter soil, raspberry sorbet and toasted sesame. The Shears Yard tasting menu has to be booked in advance and the whole party has to have the same menu, although an alternative is available for vegetarians.
Shears Yard, 11-15 Wharf Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7EH.