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Aperitivo opens in Leeds

Dough Bistro closed its doors recently, which felt like a real loss. But the good news was that the owners weren’t going anywhere. Luke Downing opened Dough 10 years ago, and felt that it was time for a new concept to take its place. And so, Aperitivo was created…

The concept behind this new restaurant is Italian-inspired relaxed dining. Small plates, pizzas, cocktails… of which you can have as much or as little as you like. This style of dining suits me well, and I think it can be much more interesting than the standard three-course meal structure that we’re used to in the UK. At Apertivo, you can also choose a surprise five course tasting menu to experience some of the dishes from Luke’s fine dining establishment, Vice & Virtue.

We visited Apretivo for lunch last weekend, with our two younglings in tow. Our table was booked for 12.30pm, but unfortunately this seemed to be somewhat of a surprise to the host who was still cleaning up from the night before. We had a half hour wait before our table was ready and we could be seated. Not the best start, but then everything turned around…

Aperitivo, Leeds
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A subtle hint from Robin that he was ready for food…

Our host was friendly and chatty, explaining our options and talking to our younglings who took to him immediately. Robin was ready for food, and the host, sensing this urgency, got the children’s pizza order to the chef immediately.

We opted to have a couple of small plates each, but choosing from the menu proved difficult because everything sounded so delicious (a tough problem to have, I know). I eventually chose the meat board selection as my first dish, and what arrived is something far beyond what I was expecting. Look at this beautiful dish:

Aperitivo, Leeds
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Everything on there had purpose and everything tasted fantastic – I cleared the dish completely. The selection of meats (including duck, which was a great addition) was delicious, but for me what was am