Arts on Call Lane in Leeds might have new owners and a new name (it had previously been known as the Arts Cafe) but if our recent trip was anything to go by then regular diners need not fear as the food it serves continues to be a thing of beauty.
One of Leeds’ original independent cafe bars, since the venue opened in September 1994 it has earned a reputation for great tasting food made from the best and freshest local produce available, not to mention a fine selection of wines and beers.
Despite its name, Arts’ atmosphere is far from pretentious. Subdued lighting conjures up an air of relaxation and contemplation, ably assisted by the variety of tasteful artwork by local up-and-coming artists that adorn the walls. The setting makes it a perfect lunchtime spot or, as we found out, a cosy venue for a quiet mid-week evening meal.
With an extensive menu to select from, for our starters we opted for the Thai Fishcake (£6.50), which was wonderfully meaty with a pleasantly crisp coating, served alongside a healthy wedge of fresh lime, sweet chilli jam & dressed peppery rocket.
For our other starter, we went off-piste to the Specials Board after being swayed by the Heirloom Tomato & Mozzarella Bruschetta (£6.50). The tomatoes were fresh and juicy, while the generous helpings of mozzarella were creamily decadent, contrasting nicely with the crispy bruschetta, making the deviation away from the standard menu well worthwhile.
For our mains, the Lamb Shank (£16.95) sounded too good to miss and it definitely delivered with the meat literally just sliding off the bone. Served with mixed bean & smoked paprika ragù & mint yoghurt, the dish was a riot of Middle Eastern flavours. Superb.
Rounding off a high quality evening of food, for our other main we went for the Pan Seared Chicken Breast (£14.95). Accompanied by a leg croquette, fried smoked bacon, peas, artichokes & mushroom ketchup, the quality of the individual elements again came together to form another dish of an extremely high standard.
The name may have changed, the high level of quality of the food certainly hasn’t. A fantastic and versatile venue for every occasion.
To book visit: www.resdiary.com/restaurant/artscafe or call 0113 243 8243.