Halfway through the year, who's made it into our top meals of 2017 so far?
We’re officially halfway through the year now, equidistant between the annoying “Best of 2016” lists and the inevitable onslaught of “Best of 2017” lists, so what better way to mark this occasion than with a list?
These five restaurants are the best ones we’ve been to so far this year: some old favourites, some brand new additions to the city, and some which have really come into their own in the past six months. Fingers crossed for six more months of places like this, we beg that we don’t have to endure any more experiences like Chino or Gino’s...
Being one of the top five restaurants of the year is an impressive, if not predictable, achievement when you consider the team behind it, but the collaboration between Chef Liz Cottam and The Box Tree’s former head chef Mark Owens achieved a 15/20 score at a venue that wasn’t even their own.
HOME began as a pop-up at The New Ellington last year, and returned this year, serving modern british fine dining in a relaxed environment. They’re finally opening their own place, complete with their own atmosphere and service team this August, don’t be surprised if it shoots even further up our list by the end of the year…
4. Ox Club
Headrow House’s contemporary grill restaurant hit the ground running as soon as it opened in very late 2015, but several visits, countless cauliflowers, and more fried chicken breakfasts than we’re proud to admit later, and Ox Club has really come into its own as a great restaurant.
A team of young chefs with influences ranging from David Chang to Salvadore Dali and a diplomatic approach to composing menus and seasonal specials makes Ox Club one of the most exciting places to eat in the city.
Despite 90% of York trading in on former glories and clinging to its history, we commended small plates restaurant Skosh on being “a thoroughly modern restaurant, and about as close to perfect as that gets.”. That says it all really. I can’t resist another opportunity to say just how good that fried chicken with brown butter hollandaise is, though...
The second of our top five restaurants that isn’t actually in Leeds, but well worth the journey. Joro is a totally unique experience: modern, molecular, foraged, highly-involved fine dining inside old shipping containers next to a main road in Sheffield.
We’ve been enthralled by chef Luke French’s unbounded imagination, creativity, and pure graft - including curing, poaching, smoking, and finally drying a whole wagyu to make beef katsuobushi, only to be used as a seasoning for one dish.
Since we’ve visited they’ve had the Michelin guide and national reviewers all over them, book in before their inevitable inclusion in this year’s Michelin guide, while you still can.
1. Man Behind the Curtain
Well it’s obvious, innit. Despite dividing his attention between new openings, fame, and family, Michael O’Hare’s flagship Michelin-star restaurant is still the place to eat in Leeds. Aside from refining some of the classics, not much has changed food-wise, but the atmosphere is like no other, and the service really is second to none.
With its £1million move downstairs onto the ground floor of the same building approaching in September, getting lucky and finding a cancellation is your only chance of experiencing the most talked-about Leeds restaurant of the past five years in its original form.