Saturday, April 23, 2011

Veritas Leeds

Market Town Taverns has been quietly building a reputation in Yorkshire for quality pubs that provide a decent alternative to the hugely commercial pub chains that in places seem to have a stranglehold on town and city drinking. The ten pubs of the 'Taverns group focus on quality beer and wine, most play no music and (most importantly) there are no TVs. One of the most recent Tavern openings was Veritas on Great George Street in Leeds. I'd heard the food was a little more special than the usual fair in other Tavern pubs, and recently got the chance to try it out.

Niche Nosh is a catering company based at the pub that gives the venue something a little extra special. As well as doing event food they provide meals and a deli counter alongside the usual quality drinks to be found in a Market Towns Tavern. Starting with a pint of Ruby Mild from the Rudgate Brewery, I was quickly tempted by the delights of the deli counter and ordered a spread of nibbles that arrived on a Lazy Susan. Locally sourced, and put together with a lot of care and attention, the deli selection was outstanding. Cheeses on offer included the award winning Yorkshire Blue, Barncliffe Brie, both blue and white Wensleydales and a goats cheese from East Yorkshire. Other highlights included rich onion chutney, cold pressed rapeseed oil from Collingham and some tender, perfectly cooked cold meats. The service was excellent and the staff were happy to stop and discuss the menu and make recommendations. 7 items from the deli menu came in at just over a tenner.

The only thing needed to round off a perfect meal (apart from a portion of rich sticky toffee pudding) was a pint of Ilkely Brewery's citrusy Mary Jane pale ale: a close second only to Thornbridge Hall Brewery's multi-award winning Jaipur IPA.

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