It’s been a while since we’ve done a review of a Leeds restaurant, we’re too busy eating elsewhere! Anyway we had an impromptu trip to Pintura last night, to welcome in the weekend, and the food was so good we thought we’d tell you all about it. Pintura is one of the newer additions to Trinity and is a Basque style tapas bar. We’ve been before when it was soft launching and whilst it had a few teething problems the food was undoubtedly top notch so we didn’t think twice about returning.
Upon arrival you are invited to have a drink in their stylish gin bar. The gins are certainly plentiful but it was sherry for us. Susie enjoyed a clean crisp fino full of salty nutty aromas whereas I went for a mazanilla which is slightly nuttier and sweeter. It was a perfect tipple for a sunny evening, although for some reason the sherry isn’t kept behind the bar so you have to wait quite a while whilst the bar staff go and hunt some down.
When we were ready to sit down for dinner we were taken to a lovely leather booth, full of retro charm. The table was amply sized for the two of us, which is always a bonus when many tapas dishes are being ordered! Whilst we sat and perused the menu we nibbled on little spicy sausages with a homemade ketchup dipping sauce. These were a bit chewy but full of flavour. For our starter we had a platter of meats and cheeses. We had this as part of the soft launch but what was presented was far bigger than what we had enjoyed last time! The meats included a wonderful smoked duck, air dried Basque ham and Iberico. The cheeses included manchego, a blue and a very stinky one that went excellently with the quince jam. I loved all the little garnishes like pickled chillis, toasted walnuts, gherkins and mini pickled onions. We were quite full after this platter!
The theme for our tapas element was PORK! This came three ways – black pudding; pork belly and pig cheek. The pig cheek was probably our favourite. This came soft and salty with a beautifully spiced, sweet cauliflower puree and crispy pig ears. The black pudding is always a winner especially with a crispy fried runny egg. The pork belly was our least favourite – a large slab of belly that was overly salty and a bit flat in flavour.
Also in our spread were little roast potatoes, roasted in smoked duck fat. The fat did indeed give a beautiful smoky flavour, however the potatoes were flabby instead of crispy, which was disappointing. Our fish dish was a special of hake which came perfectly cooked with a piquant ratatouille style sauce. Our veggie dish was a Basque style runny omelette which comes in its own cute little frying pan. This burst open to reveal runny egg and caramelised onions.
In terms of drinks we of course enjoyed a Spanish red – Luis Alegre Rioja. This was very easy drinking, fruity with a bit of a liquorice kick. We didn’t have room for dessert after our tapas feast so instead we had… more wine! This time we had glasses of Carpess Crianza Tempranillo. This was deep, spicy and full of dark fruits like dark cherry. I thought the wine list was very good. Lots of Spanish options as well as world wines, and our wine ranged from £20-£30 a bottle. The list looks like it has been put together well without any duds. Our only criticism was the time it took for wine to be brought to us. Our final glasses took at least 20 mins to arrive after ordering them. It was served at a beautiful temperature so maybe they were warming it up!
All in all our huge feast, wine and sherries came in at a not insignificant £50 per person (including tip). However I left feeling nicely full of food and wine so I feel this was good value. The meat and cheese platter was £15 alone and if I’m honest, given its unexpected size, we didn’t really need it. So, if like us you’ve run out of inspiration about where to go for tea in Leeds then do give Pintura a go. It’s a very relaxed and informal environment and food and wine is of good quality. Just make sure you ring your wine orders ahead if you want to have them with your meal!