8 new bars and restaurants to get your chops around this month
Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss the opening of a new cocktail lounge, craft beer bar, or Venezuelan small-plates pop-up - imagine? Here are the latest bars and restaurants in Leeds, and a preview of what’s of what’s to come this May.
New this month:
The Domino Club
We’ve been teasing the opening of Grand Arcade’s underground hot jazz cocktail bar for almost a year, and now it’s finally open. Jonathan and Alexander Neil - the brothers behind Call Lane favourite Roland’s - have pulled another handsome bar out of the bag, hidden behind a discrete shopfront inside the historic arcade is an underground, speakeasy-style joint featuring a 24-strong cocktail menu devised by renowned cocktail barman Niall McGloin, and a selection of tailored boilermaker combinations.
The latest addition to Harrogate’s thriving Ginnel area, Foundry Project projects craft, artisanal vibes onto the comfort of a large-scale, all-day venue. Cocktails range from excellent to borderline genius, and, I’m going to put this out there: tasting like a fusion of McDonalds and Bleecker, their burgers are potentially the best in town, which is saying something considering they’re only around the corner from Five Guys. Well worth the journey.
Marco’s New York Italian
The city’s third Italian restaurant to have a celebrity chef’s name over the door, Marco Pierre White’s New York-Italian bistro-inspired restaurant didn’t fare too well against Gino and Jamie in our recent Italian Chef Ciao-Down - give it time to settle in though, and it might be a contender.
Water Lane Boathouse
The latest venture from the people behind Belgrave & Headrow House was announced just four weeks before opening, but in that time they managed to pull off a complete overhaul of the venue and - most importantly in this weather (touch wood) - its waterside garden. Their kitchen launches on Wednesday 3 May, starring a great big wood-burning oven imported from Italy, which they’ll use to bake sourdough pizzas, bread for sandwiches, and buns for fancy burgers.
Ham & Friends
You lot loved the look of the place when we did our preview walkaround video on launch night (pardon the shaky footage, filming one-handed while holding a glass of wine in the other will do that) and with good reason.
Combining a wine bar, wine school, and dedicated retail spaces including a deli, wine shop, and cheesemongers George & Joseph, Ham & Friends is top of our list for places to head during a zombie outbreak - there’s enough food and drink to last us at least….two days. Things get even better later on this month with the launch of their kitchen and full casual restaurant menu.
Booking one of Dakota Deluxe’s 84 boutique suites might be a luxury reserved for special occasions if you live in Leeds anyway, but a visit to Salon Pivé shouldn’t be - their cocktail terrace overlooks the newly redeveloped Bond Court in the city centre, and is set to be the place to be seen for the foreseeable future. It’s just as well that their drinks are pretty special then, eh? Their ‘Naked & Famous’ (pictured) is a grown-up mix of smoky mezcal with Aperol and botanical chartreuse serves as a great sharpener, and a more playful ‘You’re turning Violet, Violet’ is as sweet as its Willy Wonka-referencing name suggests - think drinking gin through a mouthful of parma violets.
Coming in May:
George’s Great British Kitchen
“In here, every day is a Friday!” goes TGI’s slogan. Ignoring the fact that’s a chronological fallacy, George’s Great British Kitchen might claim that every day in there is like St George’s Day, or the Queen’s Jubilee, or the triggering of Article 50. They’ll be opening in the second week of May, serving scotch eggs, fish and chips, and all sorts of other dishes that may or may not get you singing the national anthem.
George's Great British Kitchen, 52 The Headrow.
The hotly anticipated restaurant in Victoria Gate doesn’t officially open until June, but D&D London’s new alternative-Japanese joint is popping up in sister-restaurant Angelica from Monday 15 - Thursday 18 May. The ticketed sittings will give you chance to sample some of exec-chef Ben Orpwood’s creations such as heritage tomato and whipped tofu, sesame grilled bream with ponzu, and some of the best sushi we’ve had in the city centre.
Be At One
As we mentioned a couple of months back, Leeds is getting a second branch of cocktail bar Be At One to cater to our insatiable thirst for all things shaken, stirred, and served with an umbrella. Rather than limiting themselves or specialising in a certain spirit or type of cocktail, consistency and variety is Be At One's thing, as well as a 2-for-1 happy hour until 10pm Sunday-Thursday using their "Appi Hour" app.
Be At One, 19 Boar Lane (Previously 'Dish'). May 26th