After returning to the Leeds dining scene with a bang back in spring, Gino’s swish Boar Lane restaurant has fast become an instant hit with locals. Offering a much more ambitious menu than his previous Park Row venue, as well as a beautiful marble bar, giant brass pizza oven, deli and outdoor heated terrace, there’s a lot to love about Gino’s new joint.
The venue is attached to the Marriot Hotel but opens out onto Boar Lane giving it the appearance of an independent restaurant. A wise decision indeed. How many great restaurants have remained anonymous, hidden away in hotels only to fold after a short while?
Arriving on a typically wet and windy autumn Thursday night to sample his latest dishes, we were instantly taken in by the warm welcome and ambience. The restaurant was packed and positively buzzing. Acclaimed international designer Bernard Carroll has done an excellent job transforming the space, with every last penny of the £2m makeover on display. It’s the perfect mixture of classic and contemporary and feels cosy and intimate.
Our pre-dinner cocktails are fantastic. The delicious Ti’ Rum’ Misu, which mixes Havana 7-year and 3-year rum, Mr Black Coffee Amaro, cream and chocolate bitters, is a real standout and would make for an excellent post-dinner tipple for those with no room for dessert.
The new menu itself is a bit of a beast with all courses broken up with drink recommendations. It may be a little overwhelming for some, so we recommend going easy on the wine before you tackle it. We begin with the Caprese, which includes delightfully silky Buffalo mozzarella, heritage tomato and fresh basil.
Sadly the Gamberoni Fritti tempura king prawns were sold out, however, the perfectly cooked Calamari Fritti makes for a great alternative. The calamari is soft and tender and served with courgette, red pepper, garlic mayo and lemon.
As we await our mains, we enjoy our first glass of the rather exceptional Vallone Appassimento from Southern Italy. This robust red promises mocha and dark fruits and delivers a powerful punch with its 15% abv. It’s by far the best red I’ve sampled in some time.
The quality continues with our mains as my Grilled Lamb Cutlets arrive. Served with crispy pancetta, olives, honey, lemon and rosemary, here’s a dish that’s bursting with a mix of flavours that come together harmoniously.
My brother opted for the Crispy Veal Escalope in Breadcrumbs, which is enhanced with the addition of garlic and rosemary. An unusual choice I’d personally never order, but surprisingly delicious and yet another dish that does not disappoint.
After taking a bit of a break after our mains, we managed to find just enough room for dessert, opting for a trio of rich Gelato and a deliciously rich Tiramisu. A great way to end a wonderful evening.
After enjoying a few great meals at Gino’s previous Leeds restaurant, it’s safe to say the celebrity chef and his team have raised their game at their Boar Lane venue. Service was impeccable throughout the evening, the wine incredible and not one dish left us feeling let down. We can’t wait to return to work our way through the rest of the menu.
Gino D’Acampo Restaurant Leeds, 6-8 Boar Lane, Leeds, LS1 6EN
Reviewed by Fletch.