As part of Anthony's ever growing empire this fromagerie lurks in the arches of the corn exchange basement, accompanied by both a bakery and patisserie.
A small temperature controlled enclosure houses a small but authoritative range of cheese from across the continent, including a fine selection of British produce. In some senses it's a fairly safe selection, featuring a range of English blues, manchego, chaource, brie and so on. But after paying numerous visits over the last few months I have yet to be disappointed by anything I have come away with.
The staff are always knowledgeable and friendly, plus you can adorn your cheesy purchase with some excellent Spanish cured hams, olives and other such antipasto. Prices are as you would expect from the location, but the quality is also similarly high, so it comes recommended for all those who love their cheese.
Anthony's has been on my list to visit for a while - it being highly regarded by the Good Food Guide if not Michelin for its innovative flavour combinations and techniques. However, I must admit that our recent meal here was more than a little disappointing and despite the eye catching flavour combinations (of which more shortly) the experience as a whole felt in need of work.
Your first port of call at Anthony's is the upstairs bar for a pre-dinner drink while perusing the menu. I must admit that I don't like these 'holding rooms' but I suppose we could have asked to go straight to our table. The menu was relatively brief - four starters, four main courses and four desserts (one of which was cheese). Having chosen, we headed downstairs to our table - the restaurant proper is actually underground but felt relatively airy with lots of space between the linen clad tables.
I had been concerned what the food would be like when I had ordered from the menu. Each dish had featured one ingredient which appeared to be inserted onto the menu in order to deliberately shock the diner: the white onion risotto came with an espresso jus, the mulled fig came with salsify. This is fine if the unusual combinations work and add something to the dish. However, at Anthony's it was more miss than hit: the brie ice cream was tasteless and the egg yolk piccalilli resulted in the dish that accompanied it having no texture. That said the aforementioned espresso jus actually complimented the rich risotto reasonably well.
This all made for a fairly frustrating dining experience where one suspected if an ingredient or a cooking technique had been kept out of the dish the meal would have been much the better for it. It was the kind of cooking which one might of expected from a young up and coming chef in a new restaurant who was trying desperately hard to impress. It was therefore surprising to encounter it in a restaurant which is this well established.
By way of a final comment, I should say that the wine list was amongst the worst I have encountered in a restaurant at this price point - being both short and also extremely bland. There didn't appear to be a sommelier which explains how this may have happened. Given the attempts at innovation in the food, this seems particularly odd.
I've lived in Leeds for 5 years now, and have always steered clear of Anthony's as I'd heard that it was style over substance, however this week we decided to give the place a try.
The setup is like other high end places, where you sit in a waiting area, choose your meal and then are led down to your table. The atmosphere in the dining room was somewhat sombre, and the room was freezing!
To start I had the White Onion Risotto with Parmesan Air. It came out looking very fancy, with some obvious technique to create the parmesan air, and the risotto itself was rich, however it didn't have much onion taste, and was over-seasoned. However what ruined the dish were the flakes of coffee on top which just destroyed the taste of anything else. My girlfriend had the gurnard, which came out smeared on one side of the plate, and covered in trendy foam. The trendy muscle juice foam was very overpowering and tasted like what she imagined the drain water at a fish counter would taste like (her words not mine), so she had to pick off and eat the gurnard, whilst leaving the rest.
For my main course I chose the sous vide pigeon. When it arrived it has only being poached and there was no colour on it, so it looked like raw liver. Even more unappetising was the pigeon's claws lying underneath. The pigeon itself had some sinew left on the outside, and more chewy vein on the inside which made eating the breasts an unpleasant exercise altogether. The mushrooms were chopped finely and crispy, which just didn't compliment the soft (but chewy) pigeon. The haddock was full of haddock flavour, and again came with lots of foam.
For our dessert I chose the white chocolate mousse and my girlfriend had the roast pineapple, but by this time we were just in a state of hapless exasperation at what we were being served, and laughing it off. The roast pineapple was very sickly, and the white mousse was served with these awful couscous balls. Again, neither the taste or texture worked.
The only highlight of the night was that the staff were very attentive and polite, and knew all the dishes well.
As we left, we burst into laughter at what a silly place Anthony's is.
I love this place - eaten there twice and couldn't really fault it. The second time the maitre d recognised us and even remembered the wine we enjoyed so much previously! That is seriously good service in my book.
The food can be quirky (duck with chocolate bon bon for instance) but it works. Sure it's not cheap but this place would be more expensive in the centre of London. We found the staff really efficient and we couldn't have asked for more of them.
Not somewhere you visit regularly as it's certainly heavy on the wallet but for a real treat it has to be the best restaurant in Leeds.
Anthony's has a reputation for the best gourmet food in Leeds and also as the most expensive restaurant in Leeds. It's a reputation they live up to on both accounts.
This is definitely a special occasion place if you are on a budget as a meal for four came in (with drinks) at over £300. That said, you didn't feel ripped off after experiencing the pure craftmanship, the delicate flavours and the effort that had been put into your meal.
I will write more about the food in due course, but will leave it for now only to say that the only real fault was the odd behaviour of the staff, who at times seemed to believe they were 'above' serving the basic needs of the customers and at one point one of them followed our female companions into the toilets to make sure they weren't up to anything! Had it not been for this, then I might have awarded them my first 5-star rating, alas, it wasn't to be.
The Rib shack at Anthony's can only be described as underwhelming. Dry meat & tasteless chicken wings that looked & tasted like they were from the frozen food compartment at a lower class super market.
The service is non existent we had to seat ourselves , find our own menu from another table, we paid for our food at the bar , someone brought it & we never saw another soul! There's casual & then there's casual !!
Hot Steve treated me to a Valentine dinner at Anthony's last night and basically that makes him the most awesome boyfriend in the world : )
We had the tasting menu but had some complimentary olives with our drinks in the bar, and an amuse-bouche each ('amoush bouche' hehe that made me laugh Blondzilla), and then we rolled up our sleeves and got stuck into eight courses of noms, starting with white onion risotto with espresso and parmesan air (tasty foam), then moroccan spiced scallop with apricot, cocoa and saffron, then black pudding with apple and smoked sprat, then sous vide mackerel, liqourice, tartare and onion wonton, then duck breast with duck tongues, malt and cepe puree, then vanilla panna cotta with pineapple and black olive, then almonds in textures, then peppermint and chocolate cheesecake with brittle, salt toffee foam and hazelnuts (we asked for a printout of our menu - can you tell?). We both thought the duck breast (served very pink but with the fat nice and browned) with the cep puree was the most deliciously decadent thing our palates had ever experienced and agreed that if we eat here again (Steve would have to be paying) then that's what we'd have as our main - absolutely heavenly. And I was so pleased to have scallops - well, one - as they're meant to be eaten, rather than chewy, which is how I've had them in the past. The vanilla panna cotta was our favourite dessert, with crunchy pineapple crumbs and a salty nibble of black olive on top. We also pushed the boat out and had a cheeseboard - 5 cheeses for £8.50 - with a glass of port, then coffees and petits-fours. The chocolates were incredible too - some were curry flavoured, which might sound a bit minging, but they were proper tasty. And as it was Valentine's day, I was given a pretty little Valentine cupcake before we left.
Service was perfect - patient when I asked after every dish 'what was that foamy stuff again?' or 'what was that chopped up thing that tasted of lemon?', knowledgeable, courteous and friendly. Despite feeling nervous when we first arrived all the staff were very good at making us feel welcome and at ease, guiding us through the menu when we needed it, without making us feel stupid.
I had a squint at the bill when Steve paid and nearly fell off my chair because it was over £200 but we did eat a hell of a lot of the most delicious food we've ever tasted, and had a bottle of Veuve Cliquot plus other drinks, so we both agreed it was worth it.
Now I just need to get a pay rise so I can come here more often.
If you want a really tastie treat this is a good place to go for a nice night out. Friendly staff and lovely food with a nice relaxed enviornment.
This restaurant must be the ultimate expression of "the Emperor's new clothes" story. It is fabled among the UK foodie set and fans brook no criticism of their favourite haunt.
The problem is that it's not actually that good. The fact that Anthony Flynn cooked at El Bulli does not make him the next Ferran Adria. He (and his disciples) seem to have forgotten that food should actually be pleasant to eat. Unusual flavour combinations can be tried, but the chef should have the ability to tell when they don't work. Anthony Flynn appears to lack that skill.
On my visit service was also patchy and several items were off (but not marked as so) on the beer and wine lists.
As is the way in most cities, Leeds' eating establishments of note tend to fall into one of three categories: cheap-as-chips, stomach filling, end of the night grub; friendly, often international cafes and restaurants for dinner dates and food with friends; and the lofty, much rarer third category: high class, gourmet establishments that are actually worth the money. Anything that doesn't fit into those categories tends to be a waste of time, money or both. Anthony's Restaurant fits comfortably into the latter category, offering up the sort of food that would seem more at home in the celebrity haunts of London rather than sharing a Yorkshire street with two Gregg's and a seventies themed nightclub. While many will be put off by the prices (£42 a head for a three course dinner, excluding drinks) and a menu featuring dishes like risotto of white onion with espresso and Parmesan air, the whole point of Anthony's is to bring high-end gastronomy to Leeds and at this it succeeds admirably. While I'm unsure whether the restaurant's mission statement of 'appealing to all food lovers and not just a chosen few' is achieved, with the average Leeds dweller not likely to shell out half a week's wages on dinner no matter how airy the Parmesan, it is a credit to our city that establishments like this remain, utilising local ingredients in innovative, creative cuisine, rather than running off to London where their genius would be no doubt more appreciated by the locals.
I've been wanting to try this place for a while and after looking through the website and seeing pictures and descriptions of such delights as parmesan air and grapefruit drops I decided I could do with a bit of pretentious pampering and I wasn't disappointed! As is the norm with restaurants like this, on entry we were shown to some nice sofas so we could take our time in ordering drinks and to browse through the menu. Unfortunately, due to work commitments, I'm writing this review over a month after I visited Anthony's and I've actually forgotten what I ordered for my main course! Anyway, my partner ordered the onion risotto, espresso and parmesan air while I ordered BBQ tuna, smoked duck and carrot puree. The tuna was perfect, seared but rare in the middle. I can't recall the smoked duck. The risotto was well cooked and we had a laugh about the parmesan air (but not too loudly as the whole place was fairly quiet on this Friday night). For the main, my partner ordered Sea Bass and I think I ordered rabbit. Both meals were extremely well presented, tasted delicious and there was certainly enough of it to fill us up but here we come to the reason why I've only given this restaurant four stars - the meals just weren't memorable enough. Don't get me wrong, it was a great evening, lovely food, fantastic company (and no she won't be reading this review!) but I wish I could remember my main course! On the plus side, the wine menu was reasonably priced, the service was efficient and friendly, the washrooms had Molton Brown toiletries, the tables weren't too close together (just as well because it was very quiet) and the cheese board was superb with an amazing variety of cheeses to choose from. Overall it was a very enjoyable experience but out of the similar style (price if not style) restaurants I've been to in the past it would have to rank below The Box Tree and The Devonshire Arms.
As soon as you sit down at your table at Anthony's you can tell it's going to be an experience and a half. Owner Anthony Flynn trained at El Bulli under molecular gastronomist Ferran Adria and it is here that Anthony learned his trade. His menu is filled with weird and wonderful concoctions such as white onion risotto with parmesan air (a kind of cheesy foam which sounds disgusting but was actually delicious) and roast sea bass, coconut and pig's trotter biscuit. There were even three different types of butter for our bread. A note of warning though: some dishes are more palatable than others. My partner had various bits of chicken including cock's crest, which was one of the most alarming things I've ever tasted. And the waiting staff were highly efficient but a bit too snooty for their own good. An expensive, incredibly highbrow culinary experience that I'm glad I had but probably wouldn't repeat. (NB: don't attempt to take photos of the food, however amazingly presented it may be. I did and was immediately reprimanded by the French waiter. How embarrassing.)
This restaurant is a fantastic experience from start to finish. As you arrive you are pleasantly greeted, temporarily seated upstairs, and offered a drink and olives, before being taken downstairs to the main restaurant. We opted for the standard three-course menu, and between two of us had Risotto of White Onion with espresso, and BBQ Tuna with smoked duck and carrot puree to start. Both dishes were interesting, pleasing to look at, with beautiful flavour combinations. For mains we had the pork fillet, with earl grey and sage and butter ravioli, and the Stone Bass with prawn and avocado ravioli. Again, both dishes looked great, although it felt as though some of the flavour combinations didn't quite fit or excite. Saying that, both the pork and the fish were cooked to absolute perfection. For dessert we had the Pumpkin Cake and the Mandarin Soup. Both fabulously interesting dishes, which is unusual for desserts, produced brilliantly, with delicate and innovative textures and delightful flavours. The 'extras' were second to none great bread and butter, three adorable amuses, and the service was friendly and attentive, without being overbearing. The only downsides were the petit fours which were 'too interesting' for my taste, and the fact that restaurant was almost empty on a Thursday night. I didn't feel the price was extortionate for the quality of food, coming to just over £100 for two, with wine and service. Highly recommended.
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.