Eating Out in Leicester: A Review
If there are any silver linings to a pandemic (which obviously if you are sick or have lost a loved one is a pretty flippant thing to say) then at least we have seen a time of The Great Resetting when it comes to eating out in Leicester. Or anywhere also for that matter. So many places have changed staff, changed menu or changed approach during the last 18 months. Pretty much everywhere you go seems like a new place to eat. And of course there are brand new businesses to visit for the first time. Rich pickings for a blog like mine then, although I’d rather we weren’t in this position at all!
The Globe, Silver Street
Can you believe it is nine years since I last wrote about Leicester’s oldest pub, The Globe? That was at the time when it had been in decline for quite a while and had just come under new management. Happily now we can look at a business that has been turned around and thriving. You can also read a little bit about the experience of Layla, the General Manager, during lockdown in my commission for the Women on Tap 2021 festival. When I went to talk to Layla I took the opportunity to enjoy a spot of lunch too. I’m pleased to say that I was very happy with the meal I received.
I had a very tasty pint of the current Everards seasonal, the Session IPA, along with a chicken pie. This was served up with a choice of mash or chips (I left it to the chef’s recommendation and got chips). There was plenty of green veg and a nice gravy boat full of gravy you could stand your spoon up in. Which is how it should be.
Historic features like the gas-powered lights have not changed. But much about The Globe has been improved, updated (and cleaned). A little less spit and sawdust these days. It has a new character now, welcoming and airy but still full of historic character. If you haven’t been for a while (which is pretty much true of all of us and everywhere) why not pop your head in?
That’s Amore, King Street
In the strange multi-storied triangular strip building that guards the end of King Street and Wellington Street there has been a number of businesses. Recently none of them have stuck. However 10 years or more ago I spent a lot of time in there dancing the night away as Original Four. Now, it is That’s Amore – an Italian restaurant which reassuringly appears to have Italian staff.
Bam Bam and I went for lunch and sat outside to enjoy the sunshine. We were very well looked after by a very charming and accommodating waiter. It is worth noting that we would have struggled to get inside even if we wanted to. The entrance remains as unaccessible as ever, so pushchairs, wheelchairs and people with mobility issues will continue to struggle to access the building.
The food was reasonable – the baby and I shared a Spaghetti alle Polpette and both enjoyed it. It’s priced on a par with some of the higher end High Street chains. Perhaps just a fraction more expensive than I would like to encourage me to visit on the regular – I think we were in the zone of about £16.50 for a main and a glass of wine. Not the most expensive but not the cheapest either. But the antipasti that was served to other tables did look delicious. I will be encouraged to visit again to try some more of the menu in due course. It wasn’t quite love, but we can certainly be friends.
Knight & Garter
Revisiting another old favourite that has only just re-opened since lockdown I hit up the Knight and Garter with a couple of friends for lunch this week. Keeping it light the baby and I shared some super crispy whitebait. We mixed it up with truffle and Parmesan-dusted Roman fries. It was washed down with a lovely pint of Everards Suffragette (well, the baby didn’t have any beer). The food is beautiful, the service is always on point. This is just altogether a lovely place to spend some time. It’s good to be back, although it is certainly the most expensive of the places I have mentioned so far. The quality of ingredients and preparation is undeniable though, it definitely provides good value.
Everards Beer Hall
Since we’re alternating old favourites with new places to try, I’ll finish with Everards new Beer Hall. It is to be found on the eponymous Everards Meadows. This new development, brewery, pub and restaurant is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING. Just wow – amazing building, beautifully designed. A great outdoor patio area to sit and look across the meadows. A delightful and airy bar with flights of beer available to taste. And, sadly, a very mixed bag in terms of food.
Happily I picked one of the dishes that was very tasty – and Bam Bam enjoyed sharing my smoked haddock dish with me. It was a lovely and light lunch dish with spinach, spring onions, new potatoes and a fried egg. This was washed down with the Everards American IPA on keg which I enjoyed – as with all Everards beers it did exactly what it said on the tin. Nothing earth shattering but a good solid beer of dependable quality. Living in Leicester it seems strange that people would buy a flight of Everards beers to taste, so ubiquitous are they, but of course I forget that not everyone lives in God’s Own Shire.
So tell me, where have you been eating out in Leicester lately?