The City's new Italian Restaurant
Although it was a very cold night, the moment I stepped into Ask Italian’s new restaurant in Lands Lane, I felt as if I had arrived on the Italian Rivera.
The décor, the activity and the geography of the tables make this a very convincing Italian eatery.
Situated in Lands Lane,where there has always been a quality restaurant on and off on that site. It was where the famous Hagenbachs with its three floors – a favourite with theatre goers and actors alike from the long gone Theatre Royal.
Ask Italian’s menu is vast so we decided to partake of some Italian Olives whilst we looked up the menu. A large portion of these Nocellara olives from Sicily arrived at our table very speedily, whilst we made up our mind.
A lover of prawns I chose the Butterfly King Prawns. They were oven roasted on Italian bread with garlic and parsley and very succulent and beautifully presented. I was very pleasantly surprised that our server brought a finger bowl – normally one has to ask for one of these and often get incredulous looks!
My partner went for a much loved dish. Mushrooms Al Forno are mushrooms stuffed with mozzarella and riserva cheese and dipped in breadcrumbs with garlic and onions. These were served on baked Italian bread with garlic mayonnaise. The dish went down well with my partner. It was hot and the mushrooms not overcooked. The cheese gave a tangy flavour to otherwise bland mushroom taste and the portion was more than adequate.
Having lived in Italy my partner is very critical of pizza’s but when his four cheese Margherita arrived he could find no fault. The base was crispy and the topping very rich but moorish. Although he could not finish the giant sized pizza and we asked for it to be boxed up. Something that Ask Italian will do willing.
I chose a dish from the classic pasta menu.Rigatoni Al Manzo Picante is a Rigatoni pasta with beef meatballs, beef and pork ragu, roasted peppers and balsamic, red onions topped with Mozzarella. It normally has chillies with it but I asked for these not to be included.
This is a very tasty pasta dish and the meat balls melted in my mouth and the pasta was cooked just as it should be not overly or under cooked. The sauce was tasty but not too spicy.
My partner decided to forgo the sweet but I couldn’t resist Ask Italian’s exclusive sweet of Chocolate Etna. There really is nothing like it and its made for the chocoholic.
Hot toffee sauce is poured over a chocolate cup at the table revealing a scoop of ice cream on top of hot chocolate fondant. No wonder this is a most loved dessert it is certainly worthy of the accolade ‘heaven on a plate’
Ask Italian’s surroundings are very Neapolitan and the greenery and open space around the tables give it a very Italian feel.
The restaurant has some of the most obliging and eager to please staff who are both efficient and knowledgeable. Nothing is too much trouble for them and the service is kept flowing.
This place is ideal location to sit outside with a delicious coffee and cake and watch the world go by, enjoy a business, girlie or family lunch, a pre-theatre meal or a romantic dinner for two!
Ask Italian, Lands Lane, Leeds 1 Tel: 0113 318 3039
Open: Sun-Thurs 11.30-22.00 – Fri-Sat 11.30-23.00