Sarto Leeds review: Superb pasta with starters which make you want to lick the plate clean

Pasta restaurant Sarto gets to the heart of why I love eating out.
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At home, I have pasta, I have tomatoes, I have garlic - yet I’ve got no chance of making food as good as you’ll get in this Duke Street venue, the creation of the team behind Laynes Espresso and The Brunswick.

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Giant bags of supermarket pasta have kept me going over the years, but the fresh pasta you get at Sarto is on another level, as you’d expect.

Sarto Leeds (photo: Gary Longbottom).Sarto Leeds (photo: Gary Longbottom).
Sarto Leeds (photo: Gary Longbottom).
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What's more, the prices are reasonable. All the main pasta dishes are under £10, and there’s a set lunch meal (noon - 4pm) that gets you a snack and a main for £8.

The space is big and bright, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a mix of long benches and smaller tables, making for an informal and social atmosphere.

We picked a couple of starters to share, the first being Truffle Gloucester arancini with Gloucester truffle aioli (£6). You get three, good-sized arancini, sprinkled with sea salt and sat on a thick layer of aioli.

The arancini are warm, crispy and cheesy. Aioli which is too garlicky can often overpower, but not here, as they complimented the rice balls well.

Sarto Leeds (photo: Gary Longbottom).Sarto Leeds (photo: Gary Longbottom).
Sarto Leeds (photo: Gary Longbottom).
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The Heirloom tomatoes, focaccia croutons, with a caper and shallot dressing (£7.50) was absolutely heavenly.

The tomatoes are sweet, subtle and colourful - the kind you’d happily munch on by themselves and a world away from the watery varieties you tend to get in the supermarket.

The dressing, slathered all over the tomatoes and croutons, is sublime - rich with a tangy finish, it took every ounce of my willpower to stop myself from picking up the plate and licking it clean. All it needed was a bit of bread for mopping up!

For the main, I picked the fettuccini pasta with wild mushrooms and marsala cream (£9). The plate is full and there’s no chance you’d be going hungry. The mushrooms are full of flavour and the sauce rich, though I could have done with a little less salt.

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My companion chose one of the specials, filled pasta with beetroot, black olive and feta (£10.50) - it was a big hit.

We washed the food down with a few glasses of Ciello Blanco (£6.50 a glass), a dry and fruity organic white wine from Sicily, with our total bill (plus service charge) coming to £57.75.


Address: Munro House, Duke Street, LS9 8AG

Telephone: 0113 345 2074

Opening hours: Monday - Saturday, noon - 9pm; Sunday, noon - 7pm



Food: 9

Value: 8

Atmosphere: 7

Service: 8

Overall: 8

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