IT’S a wet and windy day, and as I run into Pintura, a breeze flips up my umbrella letting the rain soak the top of my head.
Speeding into the restaurant, I’m greeted by a friendly waitress who offers me a warm smile and a table.
Despite the miserable weather, Pintura is a little haven.
Once inside, it’s easy to imagine you’re somewhere in the Mediterranean rather than in rainy old Leeds.
After my friend arrives, we take a look at the menu.
We’ve both been here before for an evening meal, where we’ve found it easy to splash the cash and get carried away drinking their range of impressive gin cocktails.
But we were intrigued to see what it offers for those a bit pushed for time and perhaps on a bit more of a budget for a lunch break.
The lunch menu is the same as the dinner menu, and although they serve brunch, this finishes at 12pm, so we just missed it.
Instead, we choose a few dishes from the main menu and one of the specials from the board.
The specials are updated regularly at Pintura, and after the waitress tells us about the steak served medium-rare with a garlic aioli, we couldn’t resist.
We also choose ‘albondigas’ – Spanish meatballs in a tomato and chilli sauce – Basque-style risotto with truffle oil and smoked cheese, chorizo cooked in cider and patatas bravas.
All the dishes range from a very reasonable £3.50 up to £8 for the larger options, and there are also ‘pintxos’, which are cheaper snack-type plates that are packed full of flavour.
All of the food arrives quickly despite the restaurant being fairly busy, and we can’t wait to tuck in.
My dining companion heads straight for the albondigas, which have a slightly spicy kick and are bursting with freshness and complimented perfectly by tomato sauce .
The risotto is also a hit, with the smoked cheese adding great flavour without being too overpowering.
The chorizo is a little greasy for my taste, but is to be expected, and proves popular with my companion.
The highlight of the meal for me, however, is the steak special.
It’s cooked and seasoned to perfection, with the flavour from the grill working well into the meat.
The food is pretty faultless, and we order just the right amount to satisfy our hunger.
That being said, it doesn’t come cheap. The bill, with three soft drinks comes to just over £35.
At £17.50 each, it’s not exactly a cheap lunch, but considering the quality and freshness of the food, it’s a price some people may be willing to pay.
Pintura, Trinity Street, Leeds city centre.