When the Leeds bistro Brasserie Forty 4 opened in 1995 in a regenerated old grain warehouse on the Leeds riverside it was in the vanguard of a significant revolution in city centre eating. This smart city restaurant was the first to offer good modern British food in a cool, contemporary and informal setting. It’s still there and we still like it.
We like the industrial ironwork, the exposed brick, the small balcony and the sleek interior and, despite the odd dip down the years and fewer surprises on the menu, we like the food. Beef carpaccio, chicken Caesar salad, corned beef hash might be for starters with a selection of grills to follow: lamb, steak, venison, gammon, a daily fish menu and a token vegetarian dish. Puddings, like the rest of the menu are decent brasserie standards: crème brulee, chocolate torte, lemon posset and even a rather retro but tasty chocolate fondue with marshmallows and fruit.
Steve Ridealgh has been there from the start, first as the inscrutable maitre d’ when the bistro was linked with the seriously swanky but defunct Pool Court next door. Now he’s both the owner and the relaxed guy who welcomes you at the door. Like his restaurant, rooted in the city’s good food transformation.
44 The Calls, Leeds LS2 7EW, West YorkshireTel 0113 234 3232
Review by Jill, 12 November 2011blog comments powered by Disqus