Brasserie Blanc – Leeds

Brasserie Blanc is one of those places in Leeds that’s been around for as long as I can remember. I guess that’s a blessing and a curse though; you either get forgotten because you’re not shiny & new or remembered because you’re a classic. And judging by how busy Brasserie Blanc was last Saturday evening, I’d say it was the latter. It was absolutely packed to the rafters when we visited and it was only 7pm.

If you’ve not been to Brasserie Blanc in Leeds, it’s down by the riverside and a lovely, open plan, exposed brick restaurant. The food is traditionally French but doesn’t have that snooty posh French restaurant stereotype about it so rock up in a pair of jeans and you won’t feel out of place. We were seated towards the back of the restaurant so had a good view of all the goings on; everything from birthday parties to first dates.

To drink we had a bottle of the Blanc de Blancs (£23.50) their own sparkling wine which has a clean, fruity taste to it. Perfect for a mild evening by the river.

For starters I had the Mussels Marinières (£6.95) and my date had the French Onion Soup (£6.95). My mussels were delicious and the garlicky sauce was perfect for dunking chunks of bread into – I was surprised at the portion size too, I’m sure in most restaurants it would be considered a main course. My friend was equally as happy with her soup; sweet caramelised onions with Gruyere cheese croutons – a classic for a reason.

For mains my friend had the larger sized portion of Mussels Marinières (£13.90) which came with fries instead of bread. I went for the Lobster Tail & Fries (£23.50), the lobster was beautiful. Really sweet and tender; it comes served with a melted prawn butter but I didn’t even touch it – the lobster was perfect on its own. My friend was also happy with her mussels, though I have to say the portion size wasn’t dissimilar to my starter. We were both disappointed by the fries though. Very pale and underdone, they seemed to have barely touched the fryer. We also had a portion of the Greens (£3.10) a nod to being healthyish; a nice mixture of spinach, leeks, baby gem and peas which balanced the rest of the rich food out well.

Having gorged on a lot of carbs by this point we could only manage a smaller pudding (though I definitely had my eye on the Pistachio Souffle); I had the Sorbets (£4.50) & my friend went for the Strawberry Ice-Cream (£4.50). Both were tasty and a good finish to the meal but I think the Dakota Deluxe Hotel wins battle of the sorbets for me – had that tarter edge that makes you gurn.

After dinner we sat in the bar for a hour or so finishing off drinks which I’d highly recommend as there’s lots of seating so doesn’t feel like one of those ‘waiting for your table’ restaurant bars – more like somewhere you’d actually go for a drink, enjoy the atmosphere…and of course more people watching.

It’s been a few years since I’ve visited Brasserie Blanc (you can read about the last time here) but it’s definitely still as solid as I remember – a really good option if you’re looking for somewhere by the river to enjoy good food and drink good wine.

This meal was complimentary, views are my own though.

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