A tapas restaurant that’s seen great success with its flagship restaurant in Ilkley, La Casita has now made itself at home in Horsforth…
The city’s tapas scene has blown up of late, with Ricci’s and Iberica both opening up in Leeds over recent months – and now we have another first rate restaurant to add to the mix, as award-winning Ilkley restaurant La Casita has opened a new venue on Town Street in Horsforth.
It all started two and a half years ago, when Simon Miller and Oliver Renton, both chefs, decided to start their own restaurant with business partner Ben Riley. They wanted to bring a modern take on traditional Andalusian tapas to the heart of Ilkley – and that’s exactly what they did, bringing together traditional recipes, authentic ingredients and Yorkshire produce to create something that little bit special. It’s a concept that’s proved to be incredibly successful, not just in Ilkley, but also in their second restaurant in Boston Spa.
“We’ve won awards but that’s not why we did it,” Owner and chef Simon Miller told us. “Tapas is the sharing of plates and this style of meal always creates a great atmosphere and that’s what we were after. La Casita is a warm and friendly place, and the varied dishes give me and the team the opportunity to show our skills in the kitchen and show the best produce off at its finest.”
So what can you expect from the menu? Well, like their existing restaurants, it will have a vast charcuterie section, bringing together the classics we’ve all come to know and love, like the soft, smooth and sweet Iberico chorizo and the peppery Iberico salchichón, with a few of the less familiar treats, like cured duck breast and ox salami.
That is, of course, accompanied by the tapas, for which they are most famous. Think Spanish meatballs in lightly spiced tomato sauce, roast sea scallops with vieiras asados, butternut squash purée and iberico chorizo, and blue cheese salad with toasted walnuts and pear jelly. It’s not an overwhelming menu, but it’s certainly going to be hard to choose between all the different options on offer, so we got a recommendation straight from the source.
“Try the braised Iberico pig cheek with PX sherry and celeriac puree and the truffle puree Manchego croquettes with roasted onion puree,” Miller told us, adding a few drinks for good measure. “The Carpess Crianza is a bold wine that has a strong aroma of red fruits and well balanced wood, it offers incredible value for money and acts as a great introduction to a new style Rioja. Alternatively, the Barinas Sauvignon is straw yellow in colour with an inviting nose and citrus background. On the palate it is smooth with balanced notes of passion fruit and pineapple.”
Which brings us neatly onto the drinks. Like the food, they’ve gone the extra mile. “We personally source all our wines and spirits, many tasting sessions have been had so we can bring the best of drinks to our customers,” Miller explained. “Our great suppliers import some of Spain’s best wines and cavas including Kripta which is the most premium cava from Spain. Our selections of gins are an integral part of our Horsforth bar, all garnished with different botanicals to enhance their flavour, one for every mood.”
The restaurant itself has a rustic vibe, in keeping with the food, bringing together handmade tables, bold colours and red brick tiles to give a little slice of Spain to Horsforth. It will also have a much bigger bar than their other La Casita restaurant, offering you somewhere for pre and post dinner drinks, as well as another place to add to your bar-hopping options.
It’s something that attracted Miller to the location, “We were looking for somewhere different to Ilkley and Boston Spa – both restaurants with a smaller bar area. Horsforth will have a much larger bar area and a greater focus on a wider drinks offering. Every area is different and we are very careful to do our research before opening a new venue.”
All in all, La Casita is a welcome addition to Horsforth, helping to diversify the area’s already lively food and drink scene, and making it even more of a destination. Check them out next time you’re in the area and let us know what you think.
La Casita, 8 Town Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 4RJ.