Total, undeniable 10/10 for Arts.
I’m going to go so far as to call it the saviour of Call Lane.
There’s no denying that at one point or another you’ve ended up in one of Call Lane’s bars, drunk, unable to carry a conversation let alone a drink and thus having avoided it ever since.
Arts is under new ownership and having never previously visited, I had no worries or expectations. With fresh eyes and ready taste buds, I took my date for one of the better nights I’ve ever had on Call Lane.
Firstly the staff were just lovely. Not intimidating, not pissed off to be working or bothered that you’ve just walked in. They looked happy to be working in such a gorgeous environment, and as it turns out, somewhere the customers are more than likely going to enjoy their food!
It was dark and rainy outside and because of the tall, brick buildings out on the street, the bijou size of the restaurant and its full windows with wooden blinds… it felt quite New York (I’ve never been by the way; I guess I mean ‘TV’ New York, Central Perk, if you will). It just felt very fucking cool. Full of wine bottles and cacti. Bright and cosy.
I don’t normally bang on about starters. If you see me with a starter it’s usually just FOMO.
But the Belly Pork starter is the stuff of dreams! I was vegetarian for a year, I used to see fields of pigs and shout “I will never eat you” (feels kinda shady saying this now) but holy mother of meat this was unreal. Massive, juicy, fatty and tasty af!
Our mains were an entirely different kettle of poetry. We had made up our minds. My date, my love, the big Yorkshire Lionbear, was having the beef short rib and I was going to go in on the chargrilled 8oz rib eye steak “as bloody as possible, please”.
Ready to order, words at the ready, she hit us with “would you like to hear the special”… ‘the special’. THE SPECIAL!. Dammit. The special beat the steak hands down. I was sold.
Foolishly I didn’t write down exactly what ‘the special’ was. But it was a salmon steak, cooked in a Chinese flavours marinade, served with pak choi, battered calamari rings on top, some epic flavoured potato wedges and all sorts of other tasty stuff! (It was too nice, I forgot to do the notes… or a photo… sorryyyyyyy!).
The Lionbear’s beef rib was straight out of the Flintstones! Gorgeous, meaty, tasty and big enough to make a hearty-food loving Leeds lad happy.
We knew we couldn’t fit in a dessert. But for research purposes, we took it for the team and ordered the sticky toffee pudding and the mocha crème brûlée. Cue Home Simpsons ‘mouth watering at donuts’ gargle noise!
Alas… It was the uncomfortable taxi ride home with our full bellies; but when you’ve gotten a little squiffy off a nice bottle of Malbec (or two), eaten top quality food and hung out in such a lush place, you really don’t mind snuggling up together on the sofa to get over it.
Thanks, Arts! I’ll be seeing you again soon love!