Thursday, 30 December 2010

Piazza by Anthony, Leeds

I have visited the Piazza several times in the past, but have also been turned away due to a lack of tables a few times. A had never been, and after a couple of glasses of Prosecco in Veritas, we decided to make our way down to the Corn Exchange and give it a whirl for a late lunch.

We were asked if we had a reservation when we arrived. It was a Wednesday lunch and we had only just decided to eat there, so a definite no was the answer. The waiter looked a little alarmed, and then said she would set a table up for us. Thirty seconds later, another waiter turned up and said he would take us straight to a table. Eh? So we followed him and were quickly seated.

The menu is fairly long and varied. It looked like it had changed since my last visit so I gave it my full attention. We decided to share the charcuterie platter to start, followed by lamb cutlets. I ordered a glass of my favourite white Pinot Grigio, and settled in for a pleasant lunch.

The charcuterie platter was a mix of meats, cheese, olives, coleslaw and bread – a good combination.

For main, the lamb cutlets came with a crushed potato and pea mix – my favourite part of the meal, in fact. The cutlets were served pink, although A commented that one of his definitely had a raw element to it.

I had asked for another glass of Pinot when the starter was cleared away, but it didn’t appear. Mains were served and still no wine. So I asked a passing waiter if it was on its way. It wasn’t. Then it was but it was a glass of blush. So that went away and then the white Pinot arrived. I don’t mind the odd service error in a restaurant – it is not life and death. No one is removing a kidney or landing a plane. But I have to say I have noticed a bit of a shambolic feature to the service in the Piazza before. At the end of our meal, it was a long time before our plates were cleared away and partly for this reason, we couldn’t be bothered with a pudding. In fact, we didn’t even wait for the bill and went to the till to pay, as we felt we had been left way too long.

Despite this, it was nice to get out and about after the Christmas break. Apart from the Pinot incident, I would recommend Piazza for a pleasant environment and good food at reasonable prices. Although the lamb was slightly too pink, I have had great meals here before.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

New Mason's Arms, Oulton

As it was my sister’s birthday and as the whole family were on holiday / not at school / retired, we were taken out to the New Mason’s Arms pub today in Oulton. (With the exception of A, who is none of the above!).

This is a nice traditional pub that provides a good bar food menu. Mum and Dad had booked, so we arrived to a table set up with Christmas crackers and festive napkins. Some fabulous looking prawn cocktails kept whizzing past to other diners, but we decided to stick with a main course only. (I am in the habit of falling asleep if I eat too much at lunch).

I ordered lasagne which came with a side salad and chips. The lasagne was good, clearly home made with generous beef mince and a just-right cheesy sauce. The chips were the star of this meal, however. Chunky and home fried. Wonderful.

The rest of the family ordered a variety of traditional pub lunches. A hearty plateful was duly delivered and we were all very full by the end of it. R had treacle pudding with custard for pudding which again, was a generous portion.

The place was busy for Tuesday lunchtime in the suburbs, but as holiday season had started, it seemed that everyone was treating themselves to a hot pub lunch in a traditional and pleasant environment.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Roundhay Fox, Roundhay, Leeds

We visited the Roundhay Fox today for Sunday lunch. A sign greeted us at the bar to say they were low on choice of beer due to the weather. I am guessing they haven’t been able to take deliveries because they had run out of white Pinot Grigio too, so I ordered a rose and A had the only beer on offer – Tetleys.

We have had Sunday lunch here before, and it was very good. They have an extensive menu and the place is packed out. Lots of families seem to dine here – I am guessing following a brisk walk around the park. We missed out on the walk bit, however, dumped the car outside and went straight in.

For starters, we ordered tempura chicken with a sesame dip to share. It was great – a lovely crisp batter and the dip was just the right level of sweetness.

For main, we both had the Roast Beef. We had to wait a while for it, the service was rather slow, perhaps due to the number of diners. When it arrived, we were offered a range of sauces and A chose some horseradish. I just like it with gravy (and the Fox gravy is high quality!)

The roast potatoes and vegetables were great. The parsnips appeared to have been slightly battered and fried, also good if you are into parsnips (it’s the one vegetable I have never got on with). The Yorkshire pudding was ok. The beef, sadly, was tough and gristly – I left a fair bit of it. This is a real shame as the last time I had the Sunday roast it was great. Perhaps just an off day and a lack of deliveries affected the quality.

The total bill came to just over £30. Fair price for what we had.

The Roundhay Fox has a nice outdoor area, which is great in the summer. It is all currently covered in a thick layer of snow (like everything else in Leeds!) Today, they had a log fire burning in the pub, which is great with the current temperatures and I should imagine a welcoming sight for the hardy walkers of Roundhay Park.