Salvo’s in Leeds introduces its Alter Ego – We walked into the private restaurant at Salvo’s Salumeria for the Alter Ego evening, wondering what lay ahead. We knew the food would be good, we knew there would be a good atmosphere, but we didn’t know what was on the 6-course set menu – it was, for all the guests, a surprise.
Salvo’s is one of those names synonymous with a long-standing history of great quality food, family beliefs, and excellent service. At over 40 years old, this restaurant definitely knows what to do to entice customers old and new to return time and again. It is without doubt the best Italian in Leeds and quite possibly the UK; the benchmark to reach the standards of this Leeds stalwart are high for everyone else.
I was time to dine! Our drinks were served, everyone was shown to their respective tables, and service commenced at 7.30pm. There were a selection of Italian canapés on the table to start with, they included a spicy chilli salami with picked carrot and picked onion, smooth creamy mozzarella with flavoursome baby plum tomato, salty yet sweet anchovy with crostini and tomato sauce, plus an green olive with savoury biscuit. The perfect way to relax while all the tables were all being seated.
The Alter Ego menu was on the table, it stated just the simplest of words including; Morsi, Broccoli, Merluzzo, Funghi, Agnello, and Limoncello. And so the excitement began. Morsi arrived in all its glory – arancini – salsiccia – gazpacho. This was a stunning tomato and garlic thick cold soup served with a lightly coated rice and chicken ball with garlic mayo, and a trio of chilli salami with picked balsamic onion. If this was to start what on earth was next. It was inspiring, colourful, and each element was sharp in flavour and sat perfectly on the palate.
Second course arrived, a pretty plate with tempura battered tenderstem broccoli covered with flaked almonds, nigella seeds, sesame seeds and a dash of lemon glaze. This was fresh, unusual, crunchy, and ideally placed with the hint of lemon sauce. A great refreshing second course.
Now the third course struck a chord with my guest, he needed to speak to the man of the moment Gip Dammone, co-owner of Salvo’s and chef extraordinaire to find out exactly what went into the preparation. Salt cod – chilli – rosemary – tomato were the pointers on the menu. The salt cod had been salted for 24 hours, washed and then marinated in the sauce, which included a perfect combination of fresh tomato with a hint of rosemary and chilli. An overall taste sensation, this dish was so moreish that we both wanted it to never end!
The fourth course was as simple as it was tasty, pappardelle – mushrooms – sage and oh my word this was possibly my favourite. Now, imagine the perfect cooked pasta, with the perfect amount of butter, oil, seasoning and a splattering of herbs, with soft, succulent and meaty mushrooms and you’ve imagined the perfection that was this dish. For mushroom lovers this dish was worthy of a town crier announcement. Pure heaven on a plate.
Moving swiftly onto the fifth course and by no means were the dishes getting any less outstanding. All hail the lamb – salsa verde – peas. A winning combination in its own right as we all know that lamb, herbs and peas are a total crowd pleaser, but wow this dish, with its perfectly cooked lamb cutlet, textured pea puree, smooth salsa verde and crispy lamb bon bon were simply divine.
Surely it wasn’t time for pudding, the sixth and final course was ready to arrive and we were ready to accept with open arms. This was such a great way to end our Alter Ego dinner, limoncello – strawberry – amaretti was the description and limoncello, strawberry and amaretti was what we got, an iced parfait of limoncello served with sweet basil infused strawberries and a crunch of crumbled amaretti biscuit topped it off with a whizz and a bang.
Out of 10, we’d give it a 10, out of 5 stars we’d give it all 5, and if there was a song to describe how good this really was it would be a continuous number one in the charts for each and every week it was served. Just flipping magnificent.
If you want something different, if you want something fantastic, and if you want it to be special then Alter Ego is absolutely what you’re looking for.
Priced at £38 per person for the 6-course tasting menu (Friday and Saturday only) from www.salvos.co.uk
115 & 107 Otley Road,
West Yorkshire, LS6 3PX