There’s a new pizzeria and cocktail bar in Leeds – find out what you can expect.
Dough House is the newest addition to the LIVIN’Italy family and you’ll find it slap bang in the middle of Leeds, right next door to the Corn Exchange. It’s taken the pizzas and cocktails that are often overlooked at the original, and put them front and centre to showcase quality Italian ingredients in a vibrant, rustic eatery.
The Dough House story doesn’t begin on Cloth Hall Street or even on Granary Wharf, it goes all the way back to the 1980s when Mattia Boldetti’s parents owned their own restaurant in Milan. They passed their passion for classic Italian cuisine on to their son and he went on to open LIVIN’Italy in 2012. It’s now a popular city centre restaurant, specialising in classic Italian food and wine.
But now Boldetti and his team want to give their pizza and cocktails a bigger platform, “With our restaurant already being so busy, we could not give our doughs the centre stage they deserved. Hence why we thought it was time for a new project, that would help us share our passion for this artisan product, made from the hands of our millers, and developed by the hands of our Pizzaioli, to create something that really has no comparison to what we have seen in Leeds so far. It’s a true representation of Italy, from field to fork.”
The main focus of the menu is on their pizza and these bad boys are massive – we’re talking 20 inches, and unless you’re feeling brave, bring a friend or two along because they’re for 2 to 3 people to share. You have two bases to choose from, each made using Molino Quaglia flour, which uses less yeast and makes the pizza easier to digest, as well as giving it that trademark crispness. You can go for the Tradizionale, a mix of three different flours including unrefined and organic spelt, or the Integrale which uses 100% Italian wheat grain and is packed full of protein, minerals and vitamins.
Once you’ve picked your base, it’s time to choose your toppings. They’ve got likes the Margherita and Parmigiana, but the majority of their 20 options are their own creations. Take the Stracotta, for example. It comes with slow cooked rib of beef in red wine and smoked Scarmorza cheese. Prefer seafood? Try the Livornese, which is topped with Tuscan slow-cooked fish stew, fresh mussels and sautéed potatoes. And if you can’t make your mind up, you can split the pizza 50/50 and get two different toppings to share or choose one each.
You don’t always have to share, though – you can try their 10” Calzoni Fritti instead. This deep-fried folded pizza is filled with everything from ‘nduja to belly pork. And if that isn’t your cup of tea, there’s always the Ligurian Focaccia, a thin disc of focaccia with a choice of four different toppings. They even do four of their regular pizzas by-the-slice each day and if you’re coeliac, you can try any of their toppings on a 12” gluten-free pizza, all to yourself.
And if you need somewhere to start, Mattia has a top tip, “Try the Gratinata pizza on an Integrale dough, because it’s the perfect combination of flavours and textures. With fresh salmon, which we cure in house under salt, sugar and citrus, it just takes on a different form, aroma and consistency after curing, combined with braised courgettes which give moisture and taste, finished with herbs and breadcrumbs which make it truly delicious, giving it yet another layer of texture. Watercress tops it off with that fresh finish. It’s such a work of art! The Integrale dough is perfect as it can carry all those flavours perfectly, and being a little crispier, it complements the toppings.”
Pizza isn’t all they’re good at, either. You can get five different types of bruchetta, as well as salads and Italian street food. Just make sure you save space for dessert, because their artisan gelato from an Italian lady in London who uses an age-old family recipe. There are eight different flavours to choose from, including the classic Limone Sorbet and the rather unusual Peanutella.
You can also, and this is just as exciting as the food, make the most of a curated wine list, a hand-picked selection of craft beer and a vast array of cocktails. They’ve taken Italian favourites and put their own playful spin on them, with unusual creations like the Limoncello Spritz, which will transport you to the Amalfi Coast with Absolut Vodka, Limoncello, fresh lime, Prosecco, basil and Limoncello foam.
They’ve also got a host of Amaro-based cocktails. These traditional bittersweet tipples are made using the Italian liqueur – try the Averna Old Fashioned, which brings together bourbon, Averna, chocolate bitters, homemade grenadine and a chocolate cigar. You can even get boozy version of their Shakes and Smoothies, like the Tiramisú, which adds Havana 7-year rum to a glass of vanilla ice cream, coffee and Nutella.
Dough House is a laid-back venue that feels like the cool, younger version of LIVIN’Italy. It’s tasty, it’s playful and most importantly, it’s an exciting new addition to Leeds’ food and drink scene.
Dough House, Cloth Hall Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2HD. It’s open 12pm to 3pm and 5pm to 12am from Monday to Thursday, 12pm to 1am on Friday and Saturday and 12pm to 11pm on Sunday.