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).