Tag Archives: Stuzzi

My 2014 Favourites!

The time of year has come where we make lists of our favourite things, for me as a so-called food blogger, it’s time for me to look back at some of the memorable eating experiences I’ve had. So with that in mind I’ve scoured the last year and picked out my favourites.

These aren’t in any particular order by the way:

1. The Man Behind The Curtain – whether Leeds’ food and drink scene is heading towards a Michelin star is debatable, the execution of the food and the service here are second to none and deserves to have praise heaped on it. The food is innovative, aesthetically beautiful and exquisite to boot.

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Part of the degustation menu

2. NOM Deli: one of the things I enjoy about food blogging is meeting people. I’m not the most out-going person, but this has brought me out of my shell more, and talking to like-minded individuals who base their work around the love of food is very inspiring. So when meeting the team from NOM Deli that’s what happened, they love the food from their native homeland and are serving their take on Banh Mi, bun and pho in Leeds city centre. I remember vividly trying the Banh Mi at Kirkstall Deli Market and being completely blown away by it! I’m definitely hoping to visit them again, to try out their Friday evening menu in the new year! Fancy reading about my experience at NOM, click here.

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Banh Mi with BBQ pork

3. Stuzzi – this is another one of those wonderful combinations of brilliant food produced by the most passionate of people! I know I’ve recently written about this team, but what the hell because I adore their Italian food and their infectious love for their cuisine! Both of my Stuzzi experiences at the Belgrave Music Hall residency and at their new home in Harrogate have been memorable. To read about my Stuzzi encounters click here.

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Stuzzichini sharing box

4. Tartine Bakery, San Francisco – this summer I spent seven days exploring the city to the fullest. If I was to choose one from the many amazing eats we had on that trip, for me it would have to be the afternoon we spent in the Mission District, firstly joining the back of an already long queue that hugged the building, then admiring and drooling over their beautiful bakes from afar. Having eyes on stalks to grab a table as soon as one came free then slowly devouring the prettiest tarts ever!!! The fresh fruit tart and lemon cream tart were both an absolute delight – so light and dreamy. A absolute must visit!! To read my experience of patisserie heaven in San Francisco, click here.

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Lemon cream tart

5. The Reliance – this isn’t necessarily based on one of my most recent reviews, our annual Christmas lunch, but also from eating here many times over the years. It’s a firm favourite in my eyes delivering on many levels and all important ones for me; great food served at reasonable prices, lovely staff all found in a relaxed space. Our Christmas lunch a few weeks ago just reaffirmed this for me! To read about my last couple of visits click here.

Meatball sandwich
Meatball sandwich
Confit duck
Confit duck

6. Le Langhe – this Italian restaurant in York won me over with it’s perfect pasta, so much so that we ordered seconds! Simplicity in its ingredients, yielding tasty results, I could eat a bowl of that silky pasta all over again as I type, it was so good!! Click here to have a read of my visit.

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Game ragu

7. Belgrave Feast – Oh I’ve eaten, and I’ve eaten well over the last year, enjoying amazing street food at Belgrave’s monthly feast!! I’ve gone on ALOT about the Belgrave in 2014 making it a difficult one to whittle down, so I thought which would I always go to time after time, without question I would have to pick out Arepa!Arepa!Arepaand Fu-Schnikens!! Both are extremely comforting, more-ish and damn tasty! 

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SobreBarriga Arepa
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Gua Bao with sticky ox cheek

Where have you had some memorable meals and why?

http://www.themanbehindthecurtain.co.uk

http://www.nomdeli.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stuzzi/356068864465742

http://www.tartinebakery.com

http://www.the-reliance.co.uk

http://www.lelanghe.co.uk

http://www.belgravemusichall.com

http://arepaarepaarepa.blogspot.co.uk

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Stuzzi, Harrogate

Stuzzi first came onto my radar during their uber successful Belgrave pop-up a few months ago, I fell hook line and sinker for their food and their infectious love of Italian cuisine!!! Knowing that they were embarking on their own permanent base in Harrogate, which opened on 25th November, I made the trip across to visit yesterday for lunch, firstly stopping at my favourite Harrogate coffee shop Bean and Bud then readying myself for lunch!
From meeting the team a couple of times during their Leeds residency, and since following their exploits travelling around Italy trying the best produce, from their producers, it was obvious to see these people are full of passion and it really shows! 

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Located near the Harrogate International Centre, it’s ideal if you are in the area. Inside the space is light and bright, benefitting from large windows allowing light in. On the right hand side as you enter there’s the drinks, deli counter and kitchen, fully stocked with tempting desserts, cheeses, meat and components for salads. To the left hand side display units are filled with Italian produce whether it be balsamic vinegar, pastas, jars of passata and so on….

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After enjoying a coffee earlier, I resisted the temptation to have another, even though Stuzzi are using coffee from Leeds micro roaster North Star. Instead a traditional Italian drink called Cedrata was suggested, I was told that it’s made using oils from the peel of a large citrus fruit called a citron (cedro) and has a similarity to a lemonade. On ice it was absolutely refreshing and possessed lots more punch than even a fresh lemonade, something I’d definitely have again.

Cedrata Tassoni syrup
Cedrata Tassoni soda

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I started off with a selection of fresh bread, and I mean fresh as it had come out of the oven just a little earlier, it was beautiful. So light and pillowy, I love bread being a carb fiend and this was definitely the good stuff!! Dipped into the olive that had been brought over; a cold pressed Sicilian extra virgin oil, so smooth with a greenness about it that gave it body. The music bread was also delicious, with a drizzle of olive oil and a light sprinkling of fragrant rosemary.

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There I was happily tucking into the bread, with not a care in the world when my pasta was brought across. People have different opinions about pasta; the other half prefers pasta cooked on the soft side, I on the other hand swear by al dente. Thankfully this pasta was cooked the latter and tossed in tomato sauce containing meaty, flavourful Calabrian sausage, Nduja giving up a subtle amount of warmth to the dish, and every now and again there’s was a hint of aniseed. Delicious and satisfying!

Pasta Del Giorno
Pasta Del Giorno

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Desserts available that day were their Zeppole, I’d sampled it at their Belgrave pop-up, and LOVED it, a chocolate torte di caprese, an Amalfi lemon polenta cake and finally gelato made by London-based artisans Gelupo.

Desserts- Amalfi lemon polenta cake, Chocolate torte di caprese and Zeppole
Desserts – Amalfi lemon polenta cake, Chocolate torte di caprese and Zeppole

Next time I’m definitely going for the gelato, but this time I fancied a sharp hit of lemon so polenta cake it was. It’s an unusual choice for me going for a cake but I’m glad I did. Oh, it was good, so moist and not a dessert to just wolf down, but one to savour to enjoy all the flavours and textures, whether it be the textures from polenta and flaked almonds, or the sharpness from the Amalfi lemons. Gorgeous!

Cake!!!
Amalfi lemon polenta cake

Oh don’t worry, this isn’t mine as well! I just couldn’t help myself to take another photo!

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My total bill came to £19 including service charge.

Their stuzzichini menu is offered from 5 – 10pm, I’m already craving a stuzzi feast with arancini balls, fritto misto et al, add on a few Aperol Spritz……!!!

I’d definitely recommend Stuzzi!

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Food: Wonderful, great menu whether day or night. 

Service: This team love what they are doing and it shows. They are friendly and knowledgable, but not in your face with it. 

Atmosphere: I was there for lunch so there was a steady stream of people, mostly Harrogate locals, some who have already been a number of times even though it’s been open just a week. There’s a tangible friendly atmosphere, all a product of the openness of the Stuzzi team with their customers.

Stuzzi
46b Kings Road
Harrogate
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stuzzi/356068864465742?sk=timeline

Stuzzi on Urbanspoon

Stuzzi Residency @ Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen

The month of August had seen a bit of a break at the Belgrave in terms of major food goings-on, without Street Feast and Laynes brunch as Beacons Festival took the deserved attention of the parties involved. Well this evening was the start of the food event to put that right with Stuzzi’s Kitchen Takeover!

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Who are Stuzzi? – a team of four named Harvey, Tom, Jimbob and James. If you’ve been to Salvo’s Salumeria you may have seen some of these guys before as this is where Tom, Jimbob and Harvey learned their trade, developing this passion for Italian food. 

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What’s the concept? – small plates of goodness based on Italian classics, produced using the best sustainable, seasonal ingredients from Italy treated simply.  

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Menu –  The guys at Stuzzi had been tempting people for the last couple of months with photos of their delights on social media, so when they published their menu, I literally thought I’d died and gone to heaven! Arancini balls….filled with ragu! Fritto Misto – you know how much I love deep fried stuff! Meatballs – which carnivore doesn’t love a good meatball, I make a killer meatball dish at home, but this was special! It went on….

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The Stuzzichini Misto sharing box (£15) was ALWAYS going to be the way to go for my friend Alice and I, and after just a few minutes our food was brought over in a box, all laid out just wanting to be devoured! As usual after a barrage of photos, I have to apologise to Alice as I always go overboard, we dove in.

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I thought we should go for the seafood dishes first as I didn’t want to give any residual heat the chance to toughen up our food. A quick squeeze of Amalfi lemon over the Fritto Misto and we were off!! We started off onto a winner – prawns were juicy, the squid was perfectly cooked, and needed only the slightest amount of pressure before it gave way in the mouth, lightly crisp on its exterior. Whitebait were gone in a few seconds and capers scattered generously gave a decent whack of additional seasoning where needed. Aioli goes perfectly with the dish and was decent, smooth and had lots of flavour. My only slight gripe was the fried courgettes were a little soft, just because they were underneath. Probably not the easiest to eat, but I suppose that what hands are there for.

Fritto Misto
Fritto Misto

Next up was the Seppia Nero,  even though we didn’t eat this straight away the cuttlefish remained tender and hadn’t become chewy. Quite a rich dish, it was great for sharing and we loved the bread it came with!

Seppia Misto
Seppia Misto

Pasta was our third course – Orecchiete with N’Duja to be exact, the al dente pasta was covered with a well flavoured tomato sauce, sweetness came from red onion and there a warming heat from the N’Duja, which as expected melted into the tomato sauce. It certainly gave my cheeks a bit of a glow.

Orecchiette con N'Duja
Orecchiette con N’Duja

Meatballs followed – now these were a little different than the norm, as these gems were made with beef and Mortadella in a rich tomato sauce, once again a gentle heat accompanied them. More than adequate in terms of size, it was great to see that they were moist throughout, whilst still being packed with meat and flavour!

Manzo E Mortadella Polpette
Manzo E Mortadella Polpette

Oh no, this was our last course….but we ended on a good one! The Arancini, these bad boys are made with saffron risotto filled with a meat ragu. Not only do I love risotto, I love ragu and they are covered breadcrumbs and fried….come on!!!! These were absolutely delicious and during the first bite I was already being a little embarrassing and saying how good they were. The risotto was unctuous and paired brilliantly with the ragu, both had their parts to play and didn’t overshadow the other. I was gutted I had to share and could easily have popped a few more in my mouth before going home.

Arancini
Arancini

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We also got chance to have a little bit of snackage (don’t think it’s a real word, but who cares), on their puffed pig skin. Crackling to me is one of the best things ever and this was crisp, salty and yummy!

Puffed pig skin
Puffed pig skin

We didn’t order the Zeppole, but I tried a little taster and it was light and moreish, an Italian deep fried doughnut covered in cinnamon sugar. 

Zeppole
Zeppole

I thought it was great, the team are obviously very passionate about their food and know what they are doing!! Also at £15 – great value too! 

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Stuzzi are opening a permanent base in Harrogate soon and I can’t wait to go and get the full experience!!

Stuzzi residency is on till Friday, then if you haven’t gorged yourself on every bit you can get your mouth around, I’m sure that won’t be the case, they’ll be spoiling us Leeds folk at Belgrave’s Street Feast too. 

http://www.belgravemusichall.com
1A Cross Belgrave St
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS2 8JP
0113 234 6160
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stuzzi/356068864465742?ref=ts&fref=ts
http://www.salumeria-stuzzi.com/home.html