Sunday, 13 June 2010

Harvey Nichols - Wine And Dine

As much wine as you can drink during the meal is an unusual offer for a fine dining establishment. I can't imagine any other local restaurant with pretensions to serious food trying it, but several of my colleagues went last year and were impressed, so I joined them for another go.

We started at Whitelocks, where several pints of Ossett Silver King and Leeds Pale, and a bottle of wine, were sunk before we sauntered along to Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor cafe in time for our 6pm reservation.

An amuse bouche of Pea and Spinach veloute came first. It was half an espresso cupful; a tiny quantity but almost exactly the same amount as was served on my one and only visit to Anthony's on Boar Lane as the full first course of the three course lunch menu.

Between the seven of us we tried most of the dishes on the menu, so here are a few pictures:

I had the Salmon with Parsley Cream, which was a nice light fresh starter, then the Pork which was a complete mess of a presentation. The steak had been sliced but allowed to slide all over the plate. The rhubarb and apple accompaniment was just the right balance of sweetness and acidity, but it was small dice and did not help to make the pork look tidy. The lemon cheesecake was lovely. The coffee was too thin and weak. As advertised, the wine was plentiful. House red or white was proffered whenever a glass looked in need of a refill.

Total price £33 each. Would I go back? Yes. It's a light and comfortable restaurant with good views across the Leeds skyline, the service was excellent and the food very good, though not remarkable. One big difference from eating similar meals elsewhere - the amount of wine flowing on all tables made it a very noisy dining experience, but you really got the feeling everyone was having a good time.

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