A Slice of Italy in Headingley – Salvo’s

Dan and I were invited to sample some of the dishes, along with other Leeds food types, that form part of the new menu at Salvo’s a couple of week’s ago. Now we have a confession to make from the start – neither of us have actually eaten properly at Salvo’s, (we will rectify this) even though we both spent a lot of time in our university days hanging around the Headingley area! Having said that I think we were more concerned with drinking at that point in our lives and food didn’t really play a big part!

Anyway, I’m digressing – yes we hadn’t eaten there before, but after meeting Gip and John Dammone, I have to say we will be back. Salvo’s is pretty much a Headingley institution and the brothers are happy for it to stay that way – they are proud to be a local restaurant, not a destinations restaurant with months long waiting lists, making it accessible to all.

At the heart of what they do is an almost evangelical passion and dedication to their ingredients, sourcing them meticulously from local suppliers (Leeds Markets, Crag House Farm and Swillington Farm) and likewise from Italy, in order for the ingredients sing for themselves and the diner to get a real taste of Italy. They want to offer good value food, without the “value added pretention”.

Gip’s quote of “Food isn’t fat” – in reference to crap processed ingredients compared to natural ingredients gave us something to think about!

So, onto the food! We didn’t know what to expect but the dishes we tried were never ending! The food was did exactly what they told us it would do – all the ingredients shone out and the quality was evident, so rather than go through explanations of each dish, I’ll let the pictures (in no particular order to which they were served up) do the talking!

Mozzarella Two Ways
I loved the simplicity of the mozzarella and tomatoes, but the star of these dishes was the smoked mozzarella – intense and creamy!

Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Front: Mozzarella, Tomatoes & Samphire
Back: Smoked Mozzarella & Griddled Vegetables

Pizza & Pasta
This Notte Bianche (white) pizza was packed full of flavour – feta, gorgonzola and truffle made the humble pizza a slice of decadence! 2 types of pasts were served, a mussel linguine, and pictured below a classic pasta alla norma.

Notte Bianche Pizza

Notte Bianche Pizza

Pasta Alla Norma

Pasta Alla Norma

Frutti di Mare
An abundance of perfectly cooked seafood was dished up – full of the fresh flavours of the sea and not masked by any other flavours. I’m still dreaming about those prawns!

Griddled Squid Salad

Griddled Squid Salad

Scallops and Prawns with Salsa Verde

Scallops and Prawns with Salsa Verde

Risotto
Two very different dishes, both risotto were served, the vegetarian offering of stuffed vegetables from Milan market was fresh, light and full of the flavours of spring. The other, a red wine risotto with Italian sausage was as expected – rich, full bodied and packed a punch. I can only describe the dish as having balls! It was delicious! 🙂

Stuffed and Baked Milanese Vegetables

Stuffed and Baked Milanese Vegetables

Red Wine Risotto with Italian Sausage

Red Wine Risotto with Italian Sausage

We didn’t have room for dessert but I’m sure they’re just as good as the dishes we sampled. Dan and I are very eager to visit their Salumeria next door – a more intimate affair, they often hold “surprise” dinners where you don’t get a choice of menu, you get served up whatever the chefs are inspired by. Laid back dining with friends – definitely an ethos we echo at the Manor.

We’ll definitely be back!

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