Restaurant review: Buca di Pizza, Stainbeck Lane, Chapel Allerton

Buca di Pizza has recently opened a new branch in Chapel Allerton. Pictures: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Buca di Pizza has recently opened a new branch in Chapel Allerton. Pictures: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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There were already a dozen or so restaurants and cafes vying for customers in the centre of Chapel Allerton when Buca di Pizza announced plans to open a new branch in the suburb.

You might wonder whether there would be enough demand for a pizza restaurant when there’s the long-established Italian chain Casa Mia and at least one pizza takeaway on the doorstep, but we found most of the tables occupied in this modern eatery on the Saturday evening we visited.

There are more than 20 pizzas to choose from on the menu.

There are more than 20 pizzas to choose from on the menu.

After a friendly welcome, we were led to our table and left to look over the menu which offers a choice of around 20 pizzas as well as pasta dishes , cichetti and sides.

Staff were happy to give us more time to make our choices when we’d spent too much time chatting and highlighted the ‘Tutto’ offer – unlimited pizza and prosecco or beer for 90 minutes, on selected days only.

This cost effective option proved popular with many other diners, particularly the younger couples and parties of friends who replaced parents with children later on.

With already snug jeans and the prospect of work the next morning at the forefront of my mind, we decided to save the tempting offer for another day.

Inside the new restaurant.

Inside the new restaurant.

Preferring water with my meal, I decided to have a mimosa beforehand and my friend ordered a large glass of the crisp Chiaretto rose (£7.50).

Dough balls (£4) requested as a side with our mains arrived as a starter instead, but there were no complaints as we enjoyed the lightly fried dough, smothered in garlic butter.

Our drinks were yet to appear though and we were both getting thirsty by when they arrived with our mains.

After a swiftly rectified mix-up, my Frestosa pizza (£12) arrived with its generous topping of prosciutto, rocket and almost sticky balsamic glaze on top of a crisp, thin base with rich tomato sauce and creamy stracchina cheese.

The dining area in the Chapel Allerton branch.

The dining area in the Chapel Allerton branch.

This tasty pizza was more than enough to fill me up along with the large bowl of rocket with parmesan shavings (£4), which was shared as a side.

My friend took a few slices of my pizza, having made swifter work of her Hickory Pig (£13) with its barbecue sauce base and toppings of applewood smoked cheddar, chantico spiced cheddar, hickory smoked pulled pork, chilli con carne, jalpenos and sour cream.

Offers of further drinks or dessert having been declined, we settled our bill which came to a total of £45.50.

Although I’ve had equally tasty pizza at a lower price in other Leeds restaurants, we both enjoyed our meals and the convivial atmosphere of this new addition to the dining scene in Chapel Allerton.

Despite the minor snags with the arrival of drinks and food, a return visit is almost certainly on the cards.

Rating: 3/5

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