Around two months ago, I went to Rare Restaurant on Lower Briggate in Leeds. The surroundings and food all looked really good, so I took some photos with the intention of blogging about it…. it is now several months later and I have only just come round to writing the review. Hopefully I can still remember enough to tell you all about it!
Rare is fundamentally a steak-based restaurant, but offers other meats, some seafood and a veggie option. They offer many different cuts and weights of steak – they say, “our steak boards let you decide on the cut and size of your steak, giving you control of your dining experience and ensuring you get exactly what you want out of your time with us”.
Rare’s website also mention that they use high quality ingredients from suppliers with high-welfare produce. I am glad to hear that is something they take into consideration, as if you do eat meat, I really think you should consider its welfare.
Now if you’ve read other food posts on my blog, you may know I’m a vegetarian. So Rare would seem a strange choice of restaurant, given that it is mainly centred around steak! I didn’t choose the restaurant, my meat-loving husband did. But I do like to still review meat-centric restaurants on here as other veggies will have occasions where they will be invited to these sort of restaurants and will be interested to know what is available to them. And the meat-eaters reading this will at least hear about what the others ate!
We were a little early as I have to get taxis everywhere so we got a couple of drinks whilst we waited. I got a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc and my husband got a honey beer. They have a good selection of beers on tap and also some bottled ones in the fridges. The bartender was approachable and friendly.
I can obviously only speak for my food, which was great, but everyone else (all meat-eaters) said their meals were really good too. I didn’t really have a choice of vegetarian starters and mains, so had to get the one option they had, but luckily I liked the one option available anyway. Vegans would not have had anything to choose from – I can only hope they would make you something up off-menu if you asked.
My starter was a deep-fried egg served on a bed of asparagus, and was really tasty. I absolutely love asparagus in any form and it was nice to have the added egg for some protein.
My main course (again, the only veggie option) was roasted butternut gnocci served with butternut puree, roasted tomatoes and topped with salad leaves and parmesan. It was delicious and extremely filling! I also tried a few people’s sides – the triple cooked chips were immense and the avocado, papaya & mango salad was a delicious combination.
I was too full for a proper dessert but still wanted something a little sweet. Rare had the perfect solution – the dessert menu contained a small selection of dessert cocktails! I chose the Peanut Butter Cup which was bourbon, peanut butter, cream and chocolate. I don’t even like bourbon usually but this cocktail was amazing and left quite a few of my fellow diners jealous!
Although most people did enjoy their desserts, my Mum is a real dessert person (she’d rather just skip the main meal!) and she was a little disappointed with hers. It was a white chocolate pannacotta but she said it didn’t really taste of white chocolate, and was quite bland. Other people really enjoyed their crumbles and trio of ice creams though.
Rare also offer a decent cocktail menu and are very knowledgeable about the drinks if you have any questions. Here are some that were enjoyed by others at the table…
The service was really good – we were seated on time and the waitress introduced herself to us. We also received complimentary ‘amuse bouches’ – I couldn’t eat them as they were mini cocktail sausages with homemade brown sauce, but apparently they were pretty good. We also got some homemade bread whilst waiting for our food. It was served with salted butter and topped with fried crispy onion bits – it was gorgeous!
The only thing I would mention which was a bit misleading and confusing at first is that when you are handed the drinks listat the table, there is a section near the front with white, rose and red wines. You read it and assume that is all the wine available. I was surprised how expensive the wines were and asked the waitress if there was a house dry white wine. She said no but showed me to a section much later on in the drinks list which included much more reasonably priced wines. I felt this was a bit confusing, as you would just assume the first few pages of wine were the whole selection. It would be easy to order more expensive wine than you necessarily wanted to as it looks like that’s all that is available! Perhaps they just need a reshuffle of the drinks menu.
Here is some of the food enjoyed by the others:
Overall, we had a really nice dining experience. It isn’t somewhere I would rush back to until there is a new veggie option available, as otherwise I would have to eat the same meal. My husband, however, has already been back already. You can find their website here.
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