There are few things in life more satisfying than Beef & Bourbon so imagine my delight when I won a meal for two at the hottest new bar in Leeds, RARE. This was no standard meal though, it was an evening of tasting the culinary delights the talented chefs had created. Every course was matched perfectly with utterly divine cocktails, what more could you want from a night out?
If you are anything like me then ordering in a new restaurant is quite the stressful experience, nothing worse than having menu envy when your dinner mates plates arrive, with a tasting menu you have no control over your course choice, which makes for an exciting evening. Add to that getting to sit near Sue the cow.
The first course, an amuse bouche, appeared in a Kilner jar, sealed shut and encased within was a beautiful blend of smoked oxtail and cherry bourbon with celeriac, not something I would have chosen, but it was a real taste sensation, especially when matched with a shot of Cherry Lips bourbon.
The second course was quite simply food heaven for me, slivers of rare beef, fennel caramalised lightly and blood orange slices nestled under them; a unique flavouring pairing that made my taste buds tingle, washed down with a blood and bourbon cocktail.
Following that beauty was going to be tough, and then the most beautifully cooked steak arrived in front of me, grazing the side of the steak was a fresh tart rocket salad and a pot of creamy red onion mac & cheese, when you think that couldn’t be bettered it was accompanied by a Travelling Bootlegger.
Last but by no means least was dessert, and true to their word RARE ensured every meal was adorned with beef, so wait for it, the sweet date sponge was topped with sweet cured beef and bourbon set cream. It was one of both the tastiest and confusing meals, it really was moorish and I can liken then sweet cured beef to a meat jelly baby!
Now I although I didn’t have to pay for dinner, I would more than happily have, and I have booked to go to to one of their future tasting events which goes some way to tell you how lovely it was. Also where else will you find such avant garde menu choices and cocktails for £30, seriously where would you get 4 cocktails for £30!
The evening was the first of many tasting evenings and at only £30 I cannot think of a better place in Leeds to spend the evening. You can find more information about the events over on RARES site.