You’ve probably seen Bibis Italianissimo if you’ve spent any time at Cockpit of an evening or driven from the south into the city centre; it’s the place you’re wishing you could go to instead, as you queue for an eternity in the rain under a bridge (sorry, Cockpit).
Tuesday evening, ravenous and freezing cold after a night of enthusiastic sparkler waving and lackluster fireworks, we made a reservation at Bibis which was to be the very last leg of a fabulously indulgent birthday celebration. Having started the post-firework party with a few glasses of Aperol Spritz, out we stepped into what felt like the coldest night in Leeds of the year so far and into a cab.
We were a little apprehensive about Bibis, unsure whether it was the type of place that had spent up on a fancy front facade and failed to deliver on the inside, but were thrilled when we breezed through the door into flawless decadent and sleek art deco surroundings and were greeted by charming Italian waiting staff.
This term has already left me wondering why there aren’t more hours in a day and why only two of those days make up the weekend, most final year students can empathise here I’m sure. Work is piling up and I’m spending more and more time with my glasses on, face lit up by the backlight of my laptop, left hand clamped around a cup of coffee, right hand typing furiously. However, going out for dinner has become my main form of procrastination. Gone are the days of Homeland marathons and guiltily scrolling up and down the Daily Mail’s online ‘news’ offering, and here to stay are those of group Whatsapps deciding where to hit next under the pretense of ‘seeking nourishment‘ or ‘not having time to shop for food’.
Bibis Italianissimo serves the Italian classics; however the menu has been adapted to a more British style of dining. There is of course the option of anti pasti, first course (prima) main/second course (secondi), salad and then dessert, but after much deliberation and ogling of the pizzas on the next table, we voted unanimously in favour of heading straight for secondi. Between 6 of us we made it through three classic chicken parmigiana with potato gratin, one veal valdostana with heaps of mozzarella, tomato sauce and tomato salad, one chicken chorizo skewer with peppers and piquant sauce, one slow cooked Angus beef with parmesan mash, two bottles of good house wine, one banana split and one la piantina, paid no more than £25.00 each, and were forced to hang around a little longer due to being too full to move. A resounding success.
Now, I must warn you that Bibis is no Zizzis or Pizza Express, there’s no money off vouchers or dough balls and it doesn’t come cheap, but there is chocolate soil in a miniature plant pot, pizzas galore and a veal valdostana the size of your face.