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Top Food Destinations for a Celebration

Top Food Destinations for a Celebration

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Chapter 81
The Reliance

If neighbourhood vibes and high quality, locally-sourced food ticks all the boxes for you, then The Reliance is absolutely the place to pick for your celebration! Located on North Street (about a ten minute walk from Briggate), this restaurant is a Leeds institution. From simple pub fare (like Erdinger-battered haddock and chips) to really exciting and unusual options, from ‘Wood pigeon, beetroot, port, black garlic’ to ‘Purple sprouting broccoli, romesco, smoked almonds’ to ‘Herb & ricotta agnolotti, roast pepper’, The Reliance provides bistro/pub-style food - cooked with finesse and fun. Their wines are sourced from Wayward, so the menu is full of skin-contact, natural and organic options, and there are plenty of great beers on tap too. One for a relaxed, informal treat.

Shears Yard is a gorgeous space of exposed brick, Edison bulbs and concrete floors. Their fine dining menu consists of dishes like ‘Butter roasted cod loin, red wine and pancetta risotto, pickled black cabbage’, ‘Onion seed falafel, harissa roast carrot, carrot puree, cucumber & apple salad’ or ‘Roast guinea fowl breast, truffle bread sauce, confit garlic black pudding, wild mushrooms, kale, cep salt’. And these exciting options are matched with a great bar. Their cocktail menu has a seasonal emphasis, with a list of cocktails using homemade liquors and great spirits. In the summer months, you can take your drink onto the beautiful terrace outside, too. Win win.

Liz Cottam and Mark Owens’ joint venture brings Leeds city centre a monthly-changing tasting menu of delicious plates perfect for a celebratory meal. The Season is an in-depth exploration of seasonal flavours, and costs £75 per person, whilst the shorter The Selection menu offers a smaller menu at £55 per person (but isn’t available Friday or Saturday nights). This month’s The Season menu consists of around ten courses, ranging from ‘Blood orange, Duck, Lavender’ to ‘Truffle, Barolo, Thyme’ to ‘Rabbit, Parsnip, Black Garlic’. By way of a wine flight (choose from the signature £55 or the premium £95 flight, to match The Season’s courses), this is the perfect route to a celebratory meal for any passionate foodie.

Set atop the Trinity Leeds shopping centre, Crafthouse gives a beautiful vantage over the city whether the lights of the city are twinkling at night or the sun is bouncing off the surrounding roofs and buildings in the day. Take advantage of the inhouse Josper grill, choosing from the steaks, pork and chicken cooked over this grill/oven hybrid. The rest of the menu is great too, featuring special dishes and classics alike, from ‘fish & chips with sauce gribiche and peas’, to ‘butter-roasted turbot with salsify, oyster emulsion, champagne & caviar sauce’, and ‘pork cheek braised in porter, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin seed crumble and mashed potato’.
Man Behind The Curtain

Leeds’ only Michelin starred establishment, a visit to Man Behind the Curtain is an investment in a night of theatre as well as in mind-blowing new tastes. The evening tasting menu offers ten courses (which can be stretched to 14 if you have more time), for £75-£100 per person. The menu changes frequently, and remains a mysterious, unknown quantity until it arrives on the table (try to work out how a ‘Fois Gras Donut’, ‘Emancipation’, ‘Crispy Dhal’ or ‘Sea Urchin, Hot & Sour, Finger Lime’ will taste, if you will). Both drinks and food are pricey - but think of this as a whole evening out. The presentation as well as the mind-blowing tastes make this much more exciting theatre than many performances you could be taking in, after a slap-up dinner.
The Swine that Dines

For food that shines but a much more relaxed, informal ambiance, head for The Swine that Dines on North Street. A menu designed for two to share (but which can be available in increments up from that), food is resourcefully and excitingly prepared to make the most of the seasons and of local produce. This small restaurant quickly takes over the buzz of a few happy tables, so is a great environment for a celebration. Bringing your Own Booze for only a £5 per menu corkage fee makes the whole evening a much cheaper way to enjoy topnotch food, too. The current menu offers seven courses for £55 between two (that’s an amazing £27.50 each!) and courses include ‘Cod’s Roe, Leek, Lemon, Pickles’, ‘Beets, Apple, Chicory, Chestnut’ and ‘Chicken Livers, Radish, Miso, Celeriac’.


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