Stephanie Tait discovers an independent Italian offering big, warm plates and a big, warm atmosphere…
I arrived at Giorgio’s on Monday night with high expectations. Having eaten at their prize-winning sister restaurant and next door neighbour, The Olive Tree, I was excited to see how it would compare.
On arrival we were welcomed by attentive and friendly waitresses whose service continued impeccably throughout the evening. The décor was modern yet instantly relaxing; wooden tables, white walls and atmospheric red lighting complimented by a bar area with stools and leather sofas. The fresh bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar brought to us with our drinks was a welcome accompaniment to sustain us while eyeing up the menu, an impressive student offer of 3 courses for £10.
First I had the Fagiola e Tuna Salad; baby leaves, finely chopped onion, cannellini beans and tuna. It was deliciously fresh, well-dressed and served with lemon. My friend had the Pate della Casa, homemade chicken paté served with toast and salad. The richness of the paté was lifted beautifully by zesty orange. We were both impressed by the generous portions.
Next I picked the Pizza Picante. Again, it was extraordinarily large, with a wonderfully crisp base, generous amount of mozzarella, pepperoni and feisty green jalapenos. My friend chose the salmon, a delicious fillet served with fresh parsley and lemon upon slices of sautéed new potatoes. The zucchini side dish was a treat; barely-there batter enveloped perfectly cooked strips of courgette and the flavour was exquisite.
For dessert we opted for Italian classics. The tiramisu was incredibly light, complimented by a dark chocolate sauce over slices of kiwi and strawberries. Three scoops of Gelati were lacking a little in flavour and texture and were the only disappointment of the evening. Lastly as a delectable finish to our Italian meal we enjoyed rich espressos served with amaretti biscuits.
For a student dining experience, this is surely one of the best that Leeds has to offer. Enormous portions of fresh, homemade food, is enough to satisfy even the most rumbling of stomachs and inspire wistful memories of food ‘just like mama used to make’. With the option of a bottle of house wine for an additional £10, I also think it is exceptional value for money.
As an alternative to a generic and overpriced Pizza Express Orange Wednesday combination, how about giving Giorgio’s a go before popping next door to Cottage Road, the oldest cinema in Leeds.
Giorgio’s Ristorante Italiano
70-72 Otley Road
Tel: 0113 278 2030