Between working, travelling and blogging, I barely find time to go to the gym let alone to chill out and spend quality time with James! So in my hunt for the best Winter Warmer restaurant in Leeds, we decided to make an evening of it and have a date night at Jamie’s Italian.
Jamie’s Italian was founded by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and his Italian mentor, chef Gennaro Contaldo in 2008, with their first restaurant opening in Oxford. The Leeds restaurant is within a beautiful Victorian building that was once a bank in Leeds’ financial district and has a warm and welcoming feel thanks to the rustic decor and wafts of delicious Mediterranean food in the air.
We had a drink at the bar before being led to our spacious booth in the upstairs restaurant. I love restaurants that have an open kitchen and glancing over we could see the chefs delicately preparing each dish, having hand-prepped all the ingredients to be fresh that day.
My favourite way to dine is when you have sharing boards or tapas, as it makes eating out a really social experience. So for our starter we opted for a meat sharing platter, which was the most sumptuous selection of cured meats, cheese and olives.
A truly Mediterranean feast was soon upon us and it really did taste as good as it looks…
The meat platter is definitely a great choice if you’re after a tasty appetiser, but don’t want to be too stuffed for your main course. Seeing as I’d ordered the Land and Sea Gnocchi (with chorizo, mussels and sea bass) and James had ordered a large pizza, we certainly wanted to leave some room in our stomachs!
I never normally go for such a carby meal and was eyeing up the superfood salad that was also on the menu, but something was calling me towards the ultimate comfort food that is Gnocchi. Packed with flavour, this dish is certainly worth a cheat meal for. The only downside was that the chorizo made it quite oily and I would have preferred some more fish within it.
James’ pizza kept winking at me too. But I suppose all girlfriends get food envy and all boyfriends hate sharing food! My hand managed to escape the angry stab of his fork as I darted it across the table to grab a stray piece of glistening, mouthwatering pizza.
Could you resist that? I don’t think so…
Sadly, after all those carbs and all that meat we were both too full for dessert. This was really rather tragic as the dessert menu looks pretty spectacular!
We also hadn’t realised that we’d been sat chatting away for over two hours, which is another great thing about Jamie’s Italian. With superb food, a relaxed yet bustling atmosphere and only a five minute walk away from Leeds station, it truly is a fantastic restaurant for any date night.
Come and join the adventure…
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