Now, before you ask no actual Guinea Pigs were harmed in the making of this menu, well I hope not.
Every Monday night diners at Piazza by Anthony are the ‘Guinea Pigs’.
The concept is simple you turn up sit down, explain if you have any allergies or things you don’t really like and the food arrives as if you had ordered it. The only difference is you have not got a clue what’s coming your way. Each diner has a different dish so you can share (if you want to).
Piazza by Anthony is housed within the Corn Exchange, a beautiful Victorian building right in the heart of Leeds city centre.
Having bought a Living Social deal for this night back in March, we had it booked in the calendar for ages. When the reminder popped up over the weekend I got pretty excited and was a little apprehensive about what to expect.
When the other half and I go out for dinner, there is inevitably an element of food envy. My well planned approach, asking for recommendations, trying the specials sometimes wins. Whereas, his method of selecting the most random or unusual dish leaves me enviously eyeing his plate from across the table.
The fact that we had no choices to make was a refreshing change. Even the wine available on the Guinea Pig menu was a simple red or white bottle choice. We just had a good natter and admired the beautiful domed roof.
Other half had Potted rabbit with a chicken liver parfait, I had a Bacon and shallot tart with a black pudding fritter. The rabbit was delicious and well seasoned the meaty morsels mixed with the parfait was a perfect start for the other half.
My tart was nice, creamy with a crumbly pastry base. I am not a big fan of black pudding but gave it a go and was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. The exterior of the fritter was so crisp and the centre was very smooth.
Other half had Braised ox cheek on a bed of mashed potato, I had the fish with sea vegetables. Out of the two of us, I do prefer fish. The smell of the dish instantly reminded me of Whitby and the seaside, although the fish was well cooked (I do love a bit of crispy fish skin) I found the sea vegetables were a bit too salty for me.
The other half devoured the ox, he did however, and very reluctantly share half of the dish with me. The ox cheek just melted in my mouth with every bite, and the mash, I could have quite happily eaten a whole bowl of it.
When we came in we were asked if there was anything we didn’t like, me being preoccupied with my nut allergy completely forgot to mention the one fruit that I have an irrational hatred towards. Bananas, I cant stand then the taste smell (I could go on).
So when I saw Banoffee pie coming my way, I made the swap with the other half. He loved it, and to be fair looking at it I could see why.
There was a little side of banana milkshake, the pie contained a piece of banana which was enclosed in a light toffee sauce.
My dessert was a risotto with a melon sorbet (I think) the sorbet was light and fruity but I just could not make my mind up on the risotto. It was different and not something that I would have picked had it been on the menu.
A good test of a Living Social (or any other type) voucher is if you would have been happy to pay the full price and wether you would come back again (with or without a voucher).
Piazza by Anthony won on both counts, I loved the idea that we didn’t know what to expect. It really takes you out of your comfort zone food wise, something that’s hard to do when you get the chance to look at a menu.
I also have to mention the service we received on our visit, from the drinks we had at the bar to being seated in the restaurant, it was just seamless.
Having been to Piazza by Anthony for lunch and drinks on several occasions we both said that we would happily come again for dinner.
We did have a look at the new Spring menu and there were a couple of things that caught my eye.
If you think that the tasting menu at Antony’s starts at around £45 (This is the other Antony’s restaurant, which is also at the Corn Exchange) you are truly getting a bargain.
Piazza by Anthony
The Corn Exchange
Telephone: 0113 2470995
Guinea Pig Night – Every Monday 6pm – 10pm
3 Courses & Coffee £24.95 Per Person
Guinea Pig Wine £10.00 Per Bottle
Guinea Pig Cocktails £5.50 EachSocial tagging: anthonys > call lane > corn exchange > Leeds > leeds restaurants