Returning to The Foxglove for the second time, I was absolutely thrilled to be invited back to test their spring summer menu alongside their Sunday roast offering. This visit was also perfectly timed as it was directly after the Leeds Half Marathon.
So, what a treat that was after the intense 15-mile run!You’ll remember from my past review, we adored their evening menu, and alongside their great food, the staff were friendly, and the interior had a rustic and humbling feel to it.
This occasion was no different and met those exact brilliant expectations. For this visit, we were seated toward the front of the restaurant, in a cosy stone alcove with two benches built into it and one round table. It was extremely cute and intimate.
Now came the tough choices – picking what to eat.
In terms of the Spring Summer choices for the starters, there were a lot of excellent dishes available. As always, I toyed with the idea of going for scallops, whilst Nathan made eyes at the pate. Soup and a warm bread are always a firm fave too, but this time, we ditched tradition.
Feeling peckish for something meaty, Nathan picked the caramelised sticky ribs, which came glazed with a maple and chipotle sauce, which can be confirmed was very sticky and delicious, and a very refreshing mango and pineapple salsa.Whilst I am a meat lover, the salsa was the highlight for me – it was tangy, fresh, delicious and just a real palette pincher.
For my starter, I went with the pine nut and carrot falafel. This was served with a spiced red pepper dip and toasted ciabatta. The falafel was very tasty and moist and were well combined with the dip.I felt like the ciabatta wasn’t all too necessary, but I gladly used it to dip into Nathan’s mango salsa. I’m just cheeky like that.
Now, believe me or not, picking the Sunday roast was the hardest decision. Not just on this occasion, but in terms of food choices I have ever done, and that’s only with six roasts to pick from.
After a good 15 minutes discussing to myself (with Nath pretty much just shaking his head) and making a mental list of pros and cons of each to help with the decision making, I finally opted for the roast pork belly.
My quibbles had always been between that option, or the roast trio, which alongside the pork belly, would also have come with beef and turkey. Sounds like a winner huh, three meats versus one. My all-time favourite being the pork belly, plus some extra, yet where my thought process went was I realised I would possibly comprise on the portion of the pork belly size to have other meats, I knew it had to be just the one.Anway, thank goodness I did. I was in heaven. This dish was absolutely spot on. The pork belly was a right slab of it. The top scored and crisped, the bottom layer of meat was juicy and fell apart, and the centre layer of fat was soft and worked brilliantly with the meat.
I can be quite the fuss pot with fat, as for me, fat needs to be either crispy like on bacon, or usually a thin soft layer as I’m not too keen on the texture. My first thought of seeing the fat on the pork belly was alarm bells, but having tried it, I was hugely won over.
The vegetables were fresh, perfectly cooked and beautifully seasoned with hints of thyme, and the gravy rich. Roast potatoes are hard to match your own home-made ones, so I feel often feel it’s unfair to compare, but for restaurant roasties, they were fine.Nathan’s decision making was a lot easier, and knew he wanted the roast beef duo which came with roast beef plus slow-cooked short rib of beef. Pretty much the same notes and comments apply to Nathan’s roast, that did to mine as the same was served apart from the meats.
Going into that in a bit more detail, the roast beef was a good slice, and unlike my typical experience of roast beef dinners where the meat is dry, The Foxglove served a juicy tender slither. The short rib of meat, due to being slow cooked, fell apart along by the single blade of the knife. Truly impressive and mouth-watering. Nathan was chuffed with the meats, with one small downfall being that there was quite a bit of fat that Nathan wasn’t keen on eating.Completely unnecessary as the mains were already very large, but without having known this, we opted for four side sharers. Yes, our stomachs were on the brink of doubling in size, and after finishing, left no room for dessert.
Out with the mains came garlic and cheese mushrooms, cauliflower cheese, pigs in blankets and extra mash upon recommendation. The mushrooms and cauliflower cheese were my side highlights, whilst Nathan enjoyed the thick mash and sausages.It’s worth noting too that with any roast dinner, extra gravy is always available for a little refill.
All in all, another brilliant visit, an only within a 30-minute drive from Horsforth. Especially as the weather perks up a little too, their beer garden will be a brilliant hang out spot for anyone looking to enjoy great food and worship the sun.