Restaurant review: Primo Ristorante, West Point, Leeds

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During the day, Primo Ristorante, on the very corner of West Point, formerly where the old Royal Mail building stood on Whitehall Road, is aimed squarely at business lunchers. Or should that be business lunchsters?

Possibly, it ought to be neither but you take my point.

They even go to pains to point this out on their website, citing its proximity to the train station and the fact its in the constantly evolving West End, where builders are currently excavating for the next set of Wellington Place office blocks.

This is no bad thing. In fact, it’s very clever, because they are merely adapting to take advantage of their immediate market, which seems to be increasing exponentially at the moment.

In fact, while Primo is designed for and does attract suited, serious types, it’s also quite a pleasant space in and of itself and so should not be dismissed by me (or you) in that regard.

Arriving shortly after they opened (Monday-Thursday noon-2.30pm & 5.30pm-10pm, Friday noon-2.30pm & 5.30pm-10.30pm, Saturday noon-2.30pm & 6pm-10:30pm, closed Sundays), I was the first into what is an charming, elegant dining space, which is, judging by the amount of sunlight pouring in through the floor-to-ceiling windows, a bit of a sun-trap. Seated close to the window, it offered a great view of the ongoing building work and the river of people which constantly flows by on the pavement below.

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They do a great express lunchtime menu, which is what I ordered from, with two courses and a glass of wine on offer for a very reasonable £12.95 and three courses for £15.95. Being on my lunch hour, I went for the two course option and while there wasn’t a lot of choice, what was there sounded enticing enough (and besides, there’s a full a la carte menu if you want to be more adventurous).

So, I began with soup of the day, which turned out to be leak and potato, a lovely, creamy dish, well seasoned, with a nice peppery finish, which came decorated with a crouton topped with a sliver of sun-dried tomato. It also came with a basket of bread and butter.

Main course came in the form of goats cheese risotto, which took a while to arrive but I assumed they were at least cooking it from scratch, which is no bad thing: rice a little al dente but other than that, not a bad dish. Possibly, I think it would have benefited from another ingredient but overall, it was nice enough.

All of that was washed down with a glass of house white (Pieno Sud Bianco), which was crisp and vaguely lemony. In conclusion, while we’re spoilt for choice in Leeds when it comes to restaurants, Primo Ristorante is worth considering as a dining destination.

FACTFILE

Primo Ristorante, West Point, Whitehall Road, Leeds

Score: 4/5

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