Since 1976 Salvo’s has been renown for its Italian cuisine – dine there and its easy to understand why.

Over the last 40 years the restaurant has become a point of homage for lovers of Italian food, winning numerous awards and accolades. Salvo’s is a friendly place with a real cosmopolitan atmosphere – a place where dinners are made to feel like one of the family.

The restaurant is blessed with customers who visit regularly for their fix of pasta, many of whom can remember when Salvatore Dammone first opened the tiny pizza restaurant in Headingley  and the queue to partake of his offerings would stretch round the corner and  down St Anne’s Road.

Still a family run restaurant, forty years on,  Gip and John Dammone are still carrying on the culinary traditions of their father and have given the restaurant celebrating its 40th birthday this year, a complete refurbishment.

The long glass windows and polished wood make it a light an airy place and the bar area is sophisticatedly lit for pre-dinner drinks. There’s also an outside area where you can take your aperitifs or coffees on warmer nights giving it a real continental flavour.

We started our meal with antipasti dishes from the menu. I opted for Arancini – Mushroom Risotto Bombs. They came with a rocket salad and truffle aioli. They were a sheer delight – hot and with a light crispy coating with a tasty mushroom risotto inside that was fluffy and tasty. My partner chose Polpette – spicy pork meat balls. The meat balls were just as they should be smooth textured and not overly cooked. The sauce had a fusion of Italian spice flavours expertly blended together. A Pizza Marinara with tomato, garlic and basil oil made the perfect addition to our antipasti. It was thin, light and very tasty.

To accompany our meal we decided on a Pinot Grigo Blush Veneto from the selection of Italian wines. It was served pleasingly cold and was an easy-drinking light, dry, crispy wine that complemented our food.

For main course I was wooed by Branzino – Seabass served with braised peas, artichokes, asparagus, and mint. My fish was juicy and succulent with plenty of flavour and I loved the way the skin was crispy – something that is very hard to find in restaurants these days. The vegetables were in abundance, although there was a slight  overdose of peas, it was  marinated with just the right amount of mint giving it a fresh flavour.

My partner chose the Calabrese Pizza with spicy pork meatball, nduja salami and smoke mozzarella. The combination of toping brought out all the flavours however he found the pizza base a tad undercooked and soggy.

The dessert menu was to die for. My partner chose three scoops of his favourite flavours of ice cream which went down a treat. I opted for the Affogato Al Caffee and I was not disappointed. My scoop of ice-cream was drowned in hot expresso with an Amaretta liqueur – the perfect finish to any meal.

Salvos has this wonderful ambience that it can be whatever you want it to be – a place for a celebration, romantic or even family meal, a business or girlie lunch or just as a place to get the perfect pasta or pizza fix.

Slvos, 115 and 107 Otley Road,  run a programme of special events ranging from Wine Tasting Dinners to Sunday Music Suppers. For details of these and opening times visit www.salvos.co.uk or call 0113 275 2752.

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