Today I wanted to write a blog about my favourite Italian in Leeds: Divino. It happens to be a nice coincidence that we live about two minutes by car away from Divino, and it isn’t just local bias which makes me call this the best Italian in Leeds; this year it deservedly won an Oliver award naming it this city’s best Italian restaurant.
There are several things that make Divino the ideal dining option for a relaxed romantic Friday evening with a few glasses of wine, or a nice lazy family Sunday lunch.
Number one is the atmosphere. In the summer months the inside of Divino, with its large windows facing out onto the Otley Road feels spacious, light, and airy, and in the autumn and winter months, it’s cosy, warm, and welcoming.
Number two is the welcome and the service. When we first came here, it was a few days after we’d moved to Adel from Leeds city centre. We mentioned this to the waiting staff and received some gorgeous garlic pizza bread for four of us on the house.
It’s little touches like this that make Divino a real neighbourhood favourite in Adel and keep us coming back as regular diners.
Number three is the most important: the food. Between us, my wife and I have tried a wide range of items on the menu and we have never been let down. Personal favourites include the salmon and prawn pasta (my wife rarely orders anything else these days), the meatballs – either as a starter or as a main course with fresh pasta, and the pizzas (any!).
One thing my wife likes about the seafood pasta is that it often tastes very slightly different from one trip to Divino to another. This shows that the sauce etc isn’t just taken out of a pre-made frozen vat, but created fresh each time, hence the subtle differences in flavor.
The seafood risotto is also top notch, and the portions are generous across the board. One tip if you’re planning a visit here: leave room for pudding! The warm chocolate fudge cake with ice cream in particular deserves a mention.
Too often, Italian restaurants in Leeds suffer from stuffy service, or the sort of simple tomato pizza/pasta approach that chain restaurants have forced upon us in this country. This just isn’t the case with Divino, where top-quality, fresh ingredients, coupled with genuinely interesting dishes always make for a fine evening of dining.
Categories: Restaurant reviews