They have 52 different gins on the menu in the cellar bar of Pintura, a sprawling place on the edge of Trinity shopping centre, just behind Whitelocks. The night we were there their chalkboard claimed another 35 more. I like a gin and tonic but I’ll never live long enough to work my way through 87 gins.
Anyway, Pintura is one of the stable of Leeds bars and restaurants created by Ged Feltham who in 1996 at just 25 and not long out of uni, opened Oporto, a seminal Calls café/bar, and went on to launch Jake’s Bar, Neon Cactus and Cielo Blanco as well as his own brand of gin: Portobello Road, which I once bought on the strength of its attractive label, and which is now a national brand.
But Pintura is much more than a gin bar. As well as interesting Spanish beer and wine and some tempting sounding cocktails, the three upper floors – think filament light bulbs, metro tiles, zinc topped bar and Spanish posters – offer a Basque inspired menu of tapas, cheese and meat sharing plates and daily specials.
Start with a little bite to go with a drink: salted almonds, little toasts topped with anchovies and piquillo peppers, a dish of pickles. Move on to shared plates of cured meats and cheese or as we did go straight for the tapas, half a dozen are plenty for two. We passed on the old familiars like patatas bravas or albondigas and headed for Northern Spain to enjoy bacalao and pea pure; Iberian pork steak with a side of bacon and kale; octopus and chillies and a fresh salad of Picos Blue cheese, with chicory and smoked almond. Bolder seasoning would raise it from the good to the very good. It has well informed staff, a relaxed air and opens from brunch to 1am every day.
Review by Jill, 7 February 2016blog comments powered by Disqus