Arnold’s is a new restaurant at the Merrion Centre where you can tuck into quality classic British cuisine.
Arnold’s comes from famed local restauranteurs Steve and Carol Ridealgh, the husband and wife team who spent over 20 years running Brasserie Forty 4 on The Calls. They’ve put together a menu of refined British cuisine that you can enjoy in a relaxed but luxurious venue in the unit formerly occupied by Marco’s Italian.
This is truly a family affair – Steve is General Manager, Carol is Head Chef, and their son Dave is Restaurant Manager. “We’re fiercely proud to be known as a ‘British’ restaurant as we believe the UK food & drink scene is the best in the world right now,” Steve told us. The result is a small but carefully curated menu full of quality multi-cultural British cooking and fresh local produce.
To start, you could have anything from Pear & Walnut Salad to Smoked Haddock Gratin, Chicken Liver Parfait or Oxtail Risotto. Afterwards, they have nine classic mains for you to choose from. You could have Lamb Rump with spinach, roasted vine tomatoes, shallots and lamb gravy or treat yourself to Holme Farmed Venison Haunch with red cabbage, blackberries and red wine. If you’d rather go meat-free, they do a lovely Vegetable and Goat’s Cheese Envelope, with roast butternut squash, spinach, rocket leaves, pine nuts and tomato sauce.
“My favourite dish is the Confit Leg of Duck,” Head Chef Carol told us. “It’s the only meat we source from abroad as I haven’t yet been able to find anyone UK based that can rival our French supplier for size and quality. Delivered fresh, never frozen, the cooking process sees me home cure, then slow roast the bird in duck fat for 6-7 hours and ensures guests enjoy a crispy skin that gives way to meat that falls of the bone.”
And to save you time looking at the menu, Steve has the perfect wine to go with it, “I’d recommend the Antiguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Cousino-Macul, Chile, which is one of our House Selections. It’s a weightier red with hints of blackberry that goes well with the flavours of the duck and its port sauce.”
But this isn’t just a restaurant. Over in the bar, you can relax with a drink and one of their small plates. They’re just £5 each, or 3 for £12.50, and the menu changes daily, depending on the produce they can source. They’ve got beers from Leeds Brewery and an extensive selection of spirits for their menu of classic cocktails, but wine is the speciality here. There are 150 for you to choose from, with New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs alongside French Chateauneuf du Pape, and house bottles starting from £21.50.
This is a welcomed return from a Leeds favourite and we can’t wait to see what they do with the place as they begin to settle in.
Arnold’s Restaurant and Bar, Wade Lane, Merrion Centre, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NJ. The bar is open 12pm to 11pm and the kitchen is open from 12pm to 2.30pm for lunch and 5pm to 9.30pm for dinner every day.