Salvo’s Salumeria, Leeds
Two doors along the parade from Salvos is Salvos Salumeria – a deli cum café where Headingley locals stop off for espresso and biscotti. Not quite Salerno but a good place to meet friends and linger over coffee which may well segue into lunch, when the smell of tagliatelle with wild boar ragu begins to drift through, or stuzzichini – tasting plates hot and cold pass by with a pecorino potato cake, salami with pickled vegetables or new season mozzarella with wild oregano all around £3 each or a platter for just under a tenner. The Salumeria is a handy source of Italian ingredients, too. Check out their cheese, hams and salamis. Stock up with capers and olives.
But this is far more than a café/deli. Brothers Gip and John Dammone have added something altogether different for the evenings. Wednesday to Friday, they hold a Cenare con Amici – supper with friends – a relaxed, six course set meal (£22.95). On Saturday nights it’s a regional dinner – ten courses (£33.95) themed around a different area of Italy. Listen to this for a recent Sicilian night: crostini; octopus carpaccio; char grilled aubergine with Pachino tomatoes; caponata; arancini balls with ragu; pasta with broad beans, pea and mint; swordfish stuffed with pine nuts, pecorino and orange; ewes milk cheese infused with chilli; sweet ricotta pastries, coffee and biscotti.
Every menu is stuffed with regional delicacies shipped weekly from Italy. Other ingredients are grown specially for them by the likes of Swillington Farm, Garforth, Crag House Farm, Cookridge, Hollybush Farm, Kirkstall and David Barrett, their fruit and veg. man for over 30 years. And in keeping with their generous nature, they celebrate these producers from time to time with a Zero Miles Dinner. For a pair who have been involved in Salvo’s for over 30 years, you’ve got to admire their energy and enterprise.