Restaurant review: Stuzzi, Leeds
I love Italian food. I love restaurants that serve sharing plates. I love Stuzzi!
On Thursday I met a friend at Stuzzi for an early dinner, and I was glad I booked in advance because it was packed by the time we finished at 8pm. It was buzzing, and great to see it was so busy. I think this is a restaurant that is a firm favourite with locals that they’ll visit again and again.
The menu here changes seasonally, so you can always try something new when you visit. Stuzzi also makes and sells grocery items that you can buy to take home like pasta and sauces, and I think they have a stall on Briggate market in Leeds too!
I was driving so I ordered a soft drink, and they had some good alcohol free options, including Anon’s Bittersweet Aperitif - basically an alcohol free aperol. I ordered a Cedrata, mainly because I’d never heard of it before and was intrigued to try it. It’s a VERY sweet and slightly sour citrus drink, made from Calabria citrons. It was nice, very refreshing, and feels like a holiday drink that you’d order on a really hot day in Italy.
Onto the food, here’s what we ordered…
What we ordered
Zucchina - blackened courgette, Meanwood Valley farm rocket with pickled radish. Finished with black pepper and seed granola.
Suppli - Traditional Roman street food, similar to arancini. Deep fried Cacio e Pepe risotto ball with a runny centre of Fortina cheese.
Insalata - roasted fennel and chicory, red onion & orange. Finished with Sicilian pistachio.
Pappardelle - Stuzzi made black pepper Pappardelle pasta tossed in a 12 hour slow braised beef shin, Nduja, red wine, San Marzano and beef stock ragu. Topped with Grana Padano and a citrus pangrattato.
If you’re visiting Stuzzi, you need to try their homemade focaccia. I've ordered this every time I've been and it's always so delicious. I’ve made focaccia a few times at home, and I wish I could make it taste as good as this.
There were two different types - rosemary and sea salt, and a tomato one.
We were recommended to order three or four dishes for two of us to share, and four was definitely the right amount. This is a great restaurant to visit with a group so you can order lots of things on the menu to try.
My highlight was the suppli - which is very much like arancini. This was so tasty, and the oozy cheese centre was so good. I’ve had the arancini here before which was amazing, but this was 10/10.
We had to order one of the pasta dishes because their homemade pasta is incredible, and went for the pappardelle with ragu. I thought this might have had a bit more of a spicy flavour from the nduja, but it was so rich and delicious.
I didn’t have much room for dessert after all this, so just ordered a scoop of their pistachio gelato. This is supplied from Vanilli’s in Harrogate. If you’ve not visited before, they’ve got an ice cream parlour on Cold Bath Road. You should check it out!
At this stage of the review I’d usually write about if Stuzzi is gluten free / vegan friendly. But I didn’t go with Nick so not sure about this. There are quite a few vegetarian options on the menu though.
The service was excellent, I couldn't fault this at all and the staff were very attentive. It was really good value for money too with the quality of the food and size of the portions.
I can't wait to visit again soon! Their Sunday lunch menu looks amazing so I think I'll try this next time.