There are any number of trendy bars in Leeds but the relaxed Reliance succeeds on so many counts: good food, good ambience, a world class beer selection, charming service and their own charcuterie – what more can you ask of a city-centre diner.
It’s been here ages, since 2000 in fact, when Joss Ainsworth came north and smartened up a neglected red brick on the corner of North Street. Smart here means wood floors, old school chairs and pictures that might have been unearthed at a jumble sale, all of which makes for an easy-going bar with good beer and great food.
The beer and lager list is huge, spanning the world from the U.S.A’s Anchor Steam to Goole’s Great Heck via Belgium and Barnsley. There’s a decent wine list too.
Food can be taken in the bar or in the lovely big room at the back from a menu that changes often, but which is very likely to offer you just the thing you are in the mood for whether it be a gutsy burger and fries with red cabbage coleslaw, a mutton breast with garlic puree and spring cabbage, or coley fillet with cockles. Cleverly too, they make their own charcuterie, so order a plate of salami, chorizo, pancetta to share.
The choice for veggies is not huge (is it ever) but it offers more then the usual pasta and mushroom risotto. It might be goats cheese with charred onions, tomato and smoked paprika served with corn bread or broad bean and mint falafel with radish raita and carrot and coriander salad. The talented Simon Moxham puts all this together with seeming ease in the open plan kitchen and opens for lunch, brunch, and pre-theatre suppers as well as dinner.