Graduate Dining: Town Hall Tavern
With graduation season just weeks away, many students will be wondering where to eat out on that special day. One of the finest yet unknown spots in Leeds is just a brief stroll away and delivers you into the heart of the city. Joseph Short reviews the Town Hall Tavern…
Wherever you’re planning to celebrate graduation with friends or with family, the Town Hall Tavern on the west end of the Headrow is the perfect place to top off your study in Leeds.
An extensive lunch and dinner menu combines with lively, smart surroundings to create a gastro pub suitable for all tastes. For the Tavern benefits from a rich real-ale history and a new vibe of cutting-edge culinary delight to bring you an experience worthy of graduation day. The independent eatery is set somewhat aside from the bustle of the city centre, and blends with the lower buildings of the Headrow; the charm is that you would hardly know it was there.
Their menu caters for lunch and evening goers
As with any gastro pub, the menu is a variation of redefined pub grub and exciting dishes sourced further afield. Starters range from the age-old ‘Soup of the Moment’ – a delightful tomato and balsamic vinegar infusion – to something a little bit different. Crispy pigs ears, for example, may not be for the pie-and-peas man, but are nonetheless a symbol of the Tavern’s desire to deliver a new, interesting experience to the diner.
As the Tavern kitchen is open all day, their menu caters for lunch and evening goers. Their sandwiches and light bites are inexpensive and varied in taste, but it is the quality on offer, rather than the range, that is most striking.
On the sample menu for us was what is surely the Tavern’s top dish, a confit chicken and ham hock pie, doused in gravy and served with chantenay carrots. What makes the dish stand out from a normal pub pie is the pleasing absence of blisteringly hot sauce that usually swells the case to twice its normal size, and delightful strips of chicken and hock packed within. A casement of rosemary stuffing compacts the pie into a taste sensation that maintains its thrill throughout the meal.
The Tavern benefits from being a pub first and a restaurant second
If gravy isn’t your thing, then the Tavern’s homemade burgers are always a good choice and come served on a typical gastro-style wooden board. With thick cut chips and plenty of sides to choose from, the burger is a decent choice for one ready to get eating after a morning smiling away at the camera.
With all the food going on, one almost forgets about the range of drinks available. The Tavern benefits from being a pub first and a restaurant second; with real ale on tap and wine bottles ready to open as soon as you walk in. It really is a place for everyone, and with a free bottle of fizz for anyone who books for their graduation, the Tavern is a marvellous place to crown years of study in Leeds.