A Leeds restaurant tucked away in Sovereign Street in amongst the giant law firms, in what old Leodians will remember as Leodis, is Brasserie Blanc. It may be part of a chain (which normally raises Squidbeak’s hackles) and it may be a bit of a trek from Leeds’ best shops, but it’s well worth the effort for the stunning setting and good value dining.
The regenerated old mill down by the Aire is huge. The sturdy rustic brick walls, the vaulted ceiling, the acres of wood flooring and the industrial iron pillars that run the length of the room are impressive enough, but add the Blanc set dressing - the brown leather banquettes, the starched white linen tablecloths, the shining cutlery and glassware, the jugs of flowers and candelabras sculptured by candlewax - and Brasserie Blanc looks far more glitzy and expensive than it actually is.
Of course Monsieur Raymond Blanc is most unlikely to be there, (though he does apparently pop up from time to time) but who better than a Frenchman to put together a proper brasserie menu, one who knows about good bread and lactic butter, about steaming bowls of moules and cheese soufflés, of snails in garlic butter, and slow cooked belly pork and a decent rump steak and frites. They even acknowledge veggies these days with gnocchi and braised chestnuts with Roquefort sauce (how good does that sound?). The chef is allowed his head with the changing specials board in the evening where local produce gets a look in.
But it’s the Prixe Fixe menu that really catches the eye. Don’t expect mega portions - £14.45 for two courses barely pays the laundry bill for your linen - but you won’t go home hungry. Add £2.50 for a pudding and £2.50, yes £2.50, for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and you’ve got yourself a cracking good value meal in a spectacular setting.
There are three choices per course. We can vouch for crab and risotto fishcakes in a creamy tomato sauce, peppery onion tart and mustard dressing, slow cooked beef on horseradish mash, cod fillet on salt cod puree with a tomato and red pepper sauce and to finish a creamy bread and butter pudding and ice cream. Top scoff at Leeds' Brasserie Blanc.
4 The Embankment, Sovereign Street, Leeds, LS1 4BJTel 0113 200 6060
Review by Jill, 12 October 2011blog comments powered by Disqus