Slow cooked comfort food, cheese and doughnuts – it’s that time of year

That’s it, the clocks have gone back and the nights are darker, so it’s officially time to get cosy with slow cooked stews, carbohydrates and double pudding. 

Here are five dishes our writers you recommend are worth poking your nose out of the door for.

2018 19 10 La Taberna Beef Stew

Beef stew special – La Taberna (£5.95)

La Taberna is definitely one of Leeds’ best-kept secrets. With a small yet perfectly formed menu and an ever-rotating specials board, it boasts some of the most flavourful tapas in the city. Hearty, warming and full of a richness that somehow managed to be delicate too, this beef stew had it all; chunks of melt-in-the-mouth beef, tender vegetables, a juicy sauce, and a sprinkling of crunchy cassava flakes to give it a little twist. Perfect. Kate Ryrie

La Taberna, Britannia House, 16 York Place, LS1 2EU

2018 11 05 White Pizza District Deli

The White One – District Deli (£8.95)

I know it seems like we've got eyes shaped like big wheels of dough. If you sliced us open we'd bleed tomato sauce; our penchant for pizza is as insatiable as it is predictable. We're meant to be connoisseurs, but all we want is the five food groups loaded onto a triangular vessel, to be eaten with our own hands. If, like me, pizza is your noose food, then head up to Oakwood where the team behind Hessian have turned District Deli into a Pizzeria and Rotisserie, open evenings Tuesday to Sunday. The White One (£8.95) is worth hanging for; pinenuts, shaved courgette, spinach, fior di latte mozzarella, truffle oil and cloud-like blobs of ricotta to float on in the afterlife. Sarah Cotterill

District Deli, 484 Roundhay Road, Leeds LS8 2HU

2018 11 05 Best Dishes Reliance

Chargrilled halloumi, carrot, apple and sesame, tahini dressing – The Reliance (£7.50)

Much like Kate Winslet clinging to that door in Titanic, so I am grasping desperately at the last flavours of summer. A delicious dressing of tahini, lemon juice and oil is poured generously over a heap of sliced halloumi. The cheese is coated in black and white sesame seeds, and sits atop a stack of thinly sliced apple and carrot. A little micro coriander to garnish and you've got yourself a perfect light lunch. The dish is a wonderful meeting of sweet, savoury and sour, and the texture of the halloumi is pleasantly meaty. This is on the lunch menu, and is also on the small plates section of the evening menu (which encourages sharing, something I am usually happy to do, but will not be doing with this dish). I plan to eat it at least once a week to remind me of warmer times and dining al fresco. Anja Madhvani

The Reliance  76-78 North St, Leeds LS2 7PN

301018 Broadleys Pork Belly

Crispy pork belly, black pudding fritter, apple and cider puree, smoked pancetta jus – Broadley’s Bistro (£7.95)

Broadley’s is in Ilkley’s Moors shopping centre, next to the Edinburgh Woollen Mill. It’s a relaxed place with a café-type feel that reflects its family values. To start, I have a superb piece of pork belly with a surprisingly light breaded black pudding, sweet apple sauce and a perfect strip of salty crackling. It’s not ground-breaking in any way, but it’s really well done. Simon Richardson 

Broadley's Bistro, 1 The Moors Centre, South Hawksworth Street, Ilkley, LS29 9LB

2018 10 31 Red Doughnut La Bottega Milanese

Red Velvet Doughnut, La Bottega Milanese (£2.40)

Despite their standing as the latest ‘hip’ dessert, it takes quite a lot for a doughnut to impress me. So often they are bland and stodgy, with poor distribution of filling and a remarkably short shelf life. Enter stage right, La Bottega Milanese’s Red Velvet number. A plump little chap pumped full of sweet, vanilla-infused cream and topped off with a little blackberry cap, it’s dough is surprisingly savoury, the perfect balance to that naughty, oozing centre. Pairing well with their deliciously bitter coffee, Milanese sure know how to knock up a dessert. Jenessa Williams

La Bottega Milanese, The Light, LS1 8TL and Bond Street, LS1 2JZ