Autumn arrives at Brasserie Blanc
With the launch of Brasserie Blanc’s new Autumn Menu we couldn’t wait to pay a visit to see what Raymond Blanc had in store at his northern outpost.
Conveniently located just a few minutes away from Leeds train station’s new southern entrance, the converted Victorian mill adjacent to the canal on Sovereign Street is full of character and atmosphere. We arrived on Friday evening to a bustling restaurant and seated at the bar to ease in with a pre dinner drink while having a look at the menu. With a really well thought out cocktail menu ranging from seasonal specials like Rhubarb and Honey Martini, BB favourites of French Martinis and also the classics like Bloody Mary, even ordering our first drink was a tough decision. The Rose Petal Martini went down an absolute treat while looking at the new seasonal additions to the menu and also a few old favourites to match.
After a few minutes deliberating what to order our friendly waiter for the evening Andy took our order, grabbed our drinks and showed us to our table, one of the many booths dotted around the restaurant.
Once seated our appetiser of anchovy swiftly arrived, warm sourdough bread served with fresh anchovies and anchovy butter, the salty creamy butter and anchovies worked perfectly with the sourdough. It also pair well with a pint of their Black Sheep bitter.
We started with ‘Salade Blanc’ one of the new additions to the autumn menu. A very generous celeriac and apple remoulade, watercress and avocado combined with deep fried shallots. The creamy avocado and freshness of the dish complimented the strong flavoured shallots really well. The second starter chosen was ‘Rainbow Beetroot and Goats Curd Salad’. Another perfectly executed seasonal dish of smoked gold, candy and red beetroot with whipped goats curd and beetroot crisps. The smoky beetroot and light goats curd were perfectly paired and the dish was presented beautifully.
Once starters were done we had just enough time to soak in the lively atmosphere and crisp Sauvignon just before the main dishes arrived. I opted for the ‘Duck Leg Confit with Black Cherry Sauce’, Brasserie Blanc may have a modern feel to the restaurant but they really do know how to cook the classic dishes very well. The duck had a crispy outer skin with tender juicy meat underneath, served with pot roasted celery, parsnips and carrots, steamed French beans finished in butter and a huge slab of dauphinoise potato. I’d like to think I’m a bit of a dauphinoise connoisseur and this has got to be one of the best going. My partner opted for another new dish from the autumn menu, ‘Pan Seared Trout with Cauliflower Puree’, cauliflower florets and a fresh basil and pine nut pesto. A really generous fillet of ocean-reared rainbow trout arrived, perfectly cooked, the cauliflower cooked 3 ways, lightly spiced then roasted, steamed and pureed. Once again presentation was perfectly done with care and attention to the food being served.
Once mains were cleared we deliberated if we could actually squeeze in desserts, Andy our waiter brought over the menus, talked us through the different dishes and also the cheeses on offer. As the seasons changed the dessert menu has also had a big revamp. Some real comforting dishes that had us spoilt for choice.My partner opted for the ‘Normandy Apple Tart’, filled with calvados buttered apples, almond cream and a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. I decided on the cheese selection, choosing the rich, creamy ‘Brie de Nangis’, the mild earthy ‘Tomme Crayeuse’ and the star of the show ‘L’Empereur’, a mild delicate blue with a hint of salt and mushroom. Served with a selection of crackers, walnuts and dried fruit.
This was such a great meal and the new menu really showed off some of the best seasonal ingredients on offer. Not to mention the setting in one of the most romantic restaurants the vibrant Leeds dining scene has to offer. We cannot wait to pay a visit very soon, especially after seeing the Christmas Menu on offer over the festive period.
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