Casual dining is top of #TeamCoco’s to-do-list when we leave HQ for the day. From quirky wine bars with amazing cheeseboards to quick Japanese on the way home, nibbles over drinks is our ultimate in afterwork hangouts. One of our favourite spots is definitely Pintura in central Leeds as not only are their interiors completely Instagrammable, their food is the closest you’ll get to authentic basque dining. We sent our girl Jenna to check out this iconic venue’s newest concept during the course of the restaurant’s third birthday celebrations…
“I’ve always absolutely loved Spanish cuisine. From Gambas Pil Pil in the sunshine whilst in Marbella to my old favourite haunt Bilbao (now La Casita) on Granary Wharf, sociable eats have always been my go-to. In my opinion, the perfect accompaniment to said nibbles is 100% a decent Gin & Tonic and luckily for me, Pintura definitley delivers.
Gin lovers (such as myself) will adore Pintura’s new, seasonal ‘Gin & Tonic Plus’ menu, created by head drinks creator, Matt Coates. Blurring the lines between the traditional G&T and the cocktail, this experimental new menu uses fanciful garnishes, interesting tonics, bitters, tinctures, fresh herbs, juices, jams and even liqueurs – to take the classic ‘spirit and mixer’ to ridiculously delicious new heights. Walking around the new Pinxtos Bar on the basement level, with one their cheeky new concoctions in hand, their new concept is such a great use of the space. When I’d visited Pintura in the past, I always saw downstairs as a little dark and boring – but the reinvention has given it new life. With live music and guests sitting at the bar enjoying little nibbles (Pinxtos) – you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Barcelona.
The Pintxos Bar menu is inspired by Executive Chef Greg Lewis’ research trips to San Sebastian, known for being the culinary capital of Europe with the highest concentration of Michelin stars in the world. Pintura may not have a Michelin star yet, but the food is absolutely delicious. Each individual pintxos is made using the best of imported Spanish produce and is married with seasonal ingredients to give a British twist on traditional Basque cuisine.
Making ourselves comfy in one of their intimate booths, we were presented with a selection of their newest creations. My personal favourites were Atun (Spanish Tuna in olive oil, shaved red onion & Guindila chillies – A Fuego Negro style) and Pan con Tomate (Spanish tomato bread, olive oil, garlic & Basque salt).
It really is no surprise that their Pinxtos menu was so good, as Pintura have been absolutely nailing the Spanish dining scene in Leeds for sometime now. The launch of the Pintxos Bar marks Pintura’s third anniversary. Having opened its doors in March 2015, Pintura has made a serious mark on the Leeds culinary scene, serving Basque and Spanish dishes with executive chef Greg Lewis’ own unique take on traditional recipes. I remember the first time I sat in Pintura with work friends in 2015 and devoured their charcuterie boards. From then, I was totally sold and it’s great to see the brand still thriving. In November 2017, they launched a new immersive dining experience, Experiencia Gastronomica, which a 5 course tasting menu and Basque cookery masterclass rolled into one. It’s absolutely on my hit-list for this year and feel it would be an amazing date idea. Bravo Pintura, here’s to another 3 successful years – or 30 for that matter!” _________________________________________________________________________________________Pintura – Unit 3.26, The Trinity Centre, Leeds, LS1 6AP0113 4300 915 / email@example.com to book.Pintura’s Pintxos Bar is open from 5pm on Thurs – Sat.