For me, Polpo is most definitely a welcome change at Harvey Nichols in Leeds. The Italian small-plate restaurant is on the 4th floor, taking over from Yo Sushi (which was feeling fairly tired and was presumably getting losing most of it’s custom to the Trinity outlet)
Harvey Nichols needed an eatery much more suited to it’s exclusive feel…and so along came Polpo. James and I stopped by to try it out. I’ve also visited again since, so I feel I’ve got a good sense of what I really like on the menu.
The restaurant is cosy feeling, with a mixture of booths, tables and bar seats.
We pondered over the menu with some drinks…they have a great looking cocktail menu, I went for a non-alcoholic one this time…Elderberry Fizz (lovely and light) and James went straight for the Moretti.
Polpo is a sharing-style eatery and the waitress recommended having around three dishes each. The dishes come out as they are ready.
We started with the arancini and the ham hock. The arancini was honestly the best I’ve ever had! Great flavour and texture…and the ham hock was very tasty. What a great start!
We then moved onto the spicy pork and fennel meatballs. They weren’t spicy at all and the fennel was very subtle. I love fennel seeds and I would preferred more. We also had the zucchini, parmesan and basil salad…which was really great – light and fresh with a delicious taste….and some roast pork belly with braised apple, which was nice, but not stand-out great.
The crab and chilli linguine was gorgeous. Again not much chilli at all, but very well cooked. The cods cheek was incredibly tasty. Maybe a little overly-salty for my taste buds, but it was lovely.
The flank steak comes with lots of rocket, so almost a salad really. James wasn’t too sure about it (he’s not a massive fan of the bitterness of rocket) but I thought it had a beautiful flavour. You can’t go wrong with truffle!
When I ate at Polpo in Harvey Nichols a second time (at a blogger event, after just having our ByTerry makeovers at Space NK)…I had a lamb gnocchi dish, which was absolutely divine…
…the fennel salami and ricotta pizzette (loved this)…and Remi had a brie and grape bruschetta (I’m not a big fan of brie personally, but the other gals loved it and it certainly looked pretty!).
On to desserts… I’d highly recommend the tirimisu pot. It was delicious!
James opted for an expressop/gelato/grappa combo. You pour the espresso over the gelato to create a float and drink the grappa.
My favourites on the Polpo menu…dishes that I’d order again next time, were the arancini, zucchini salad, lamb gnocchi, salami and riccotta pizzette and the tirimisu pot.
A few people have likened Polpo to Zucco in Meanwood. There’s definitely room for both Italain small-plate restaurants in Leeds. They are similar…but different. Both go for that authentic feel…but their dishes are a little different in style. Zucco go for deep and rich….Polpo are a little lighter. Both are great, in my opinion.
The staff are also worth a mention at Polpo…experienced and professional. We had a good chat about the décor…the wall tiles were originally from an old school swimming pool. Loved them.
I’d definitely recommend trying out Polpo at Harvey Nichols for either lunch or an evening meal. Check out the opening times and menu here. Enjoy!
* Please note that both times I’ve eaten at Polpo, the meals were complimentary for review purposes. That didn’t affect my opinions…which are, as always, honest guv!