This year marks the tenth anniversary of the opening of Blackhouse, The Grill on the Square in Leeds.
This one of Leeds’ favourite cocktail bars and steak restaurants. On Thursday, 4th October I was invited to join the birthday celebrations. Prosecco and beer flowed, but the stars of the evening were the canapés. They were hot and a little more substantial than normal, with varieties based on mushrooms, halloumi cheese and a most amazing dish of two shin beef bon-bons. As you would expect from a restaurant specialising in meat, they were delicious and had all of the flavour of slow cooked shin of beef illustrating how, if you are prepared to spend a little more time cooking the cheaper cuts of beef, they can be just as tasty as the more expensive grilled cuts.
I must admit that I have never eaten here, a situation which I intend to put right in the near future, but I used to rendezvous with my friends here for a Friday evening loosener when they worked in the City Centre. It is an ideal place to eat and drink, having a large indoor space along with two outdoor areas, one a permanent conservatory and the other with heaters and a retractable roof to take advantage of the more clement weather. I also seem to remember extra tables and chairs being set up in the pedestrian area outside during the hot sunny days for which Leeds is famous!
This event could easily have become a self-congratulatory evening and why not, as ten years in the restaurant business is no mean feat nowadays, what with fashions changing by the week, but it was also used to raise money for the Tim Bacon Foundation. Tim Bacon was an Australian actor before coming to the UK where he worked at TGI Fridays until co-founding the Living Ventures Group with Jeremy Roberts which, in addition to the Blackhouse chain, has other names familiar to Leeds diners, including The Botanist, The Alchemist and Gusto.
Tim died of cancer in 2016 aged 52 after a long battle with the condition. The cash raised from a recent promotion and this evening’s event will be donated to the foundation to support Kidscan and Maggie’s Centres who provide free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer, their family and friends.
The party was in full swing when I had to make my excuses and leave, but I promised myself a return visit for a meal as there are some things which really just have to be done.