I am an enthusiastic person, as you may or may not have noticed. It takes quite a lot to annoy me and I will happily declare that I absolutely love something with very little provocation. But don't think that I don't know quality when I see it; I may be easily pleased but I know the difference between something that is pretty good and something that is perfection. And Blackhouse? Is perfection.
It's my go to restaurant for special occasions and one of the best in Leeds. It's rather pricey, but it's a small price to pay for one of the best meals around. Which is just what we had when we were invited by the lovely Emma to the Michael Buble night at Blackhouse last Tuesday. Little did she know when she dropped the invitation into my inbox, that I am actually a Michael Buble fan - and Paul has a bit of a man crush himself. Despite not being much of a music fan, swing is the one that gets my foot tapping and puts a big smile on my face. It's just happy, celebration music.
Steak and swing music, it's a winning combination - especially when you're surrounded by the twinkly lights that decorate the front window of the restaurant. It's pretty magical.
I won't give you a blow-by-blow account of what we ate; hopefully the photos speak for themselves. All you need to know is that everything is delicious. More than delicious. Perfection, as I said.
We've racked up quite a few visits to Blackhouse over the years, and have found a few favourites which I can't bring myself to deviate from. Do you have that same thing at your favourite restaurants? Those dishes that are just so good, that you dare not order something else for fear of disappointment, or the feeling that you're missing out on your opportunity to have your favourite meal? Over time, however, before we finessed our order, we've tried quite a few dishes and have had no disappointments. In fact, my only disappointment was that Paul didn't order the duck spring rolls, as I rather fancied having those again alongside my bowl of mussels.
Of course, the piece de resistance is, as always, the steak. It is one of my '24 before 24' tasks to be able to cook steak properly and this is the gold standard that I aspire to. I can't even describe it - my vocabulary is not up to scratch to do it justice. Just look at it:
This was no ordinary night at Blackhouse, however; whilst we were supping on chilled white wine and succulent steak, we were being regaled by a Michael Buble tribute act singing some of my favourite tunes. I realise that expressing my love for swing music in such a way makes me seem older than my years, but there really is no better accompaniment to good food and wine than swing music.
A few teething issues with the microphone soon transitioned into the smooth sound of swing, and whilst there's no substitute for the man himself, this may have been the next best thing. It may be a while before we can entice the real Mr Buble to perform at the First Direct Arena (I've seen him live before, if this ever happens I'll be first on the line for tickets) but until then, this was enough to keep my smiling for the whole next day, the vague chorus lines of 'Fly Me To The Moon' still spinning in my head.
I know that it's a cliche that bloggers rave about the things they have been gifted and, believe me, I know that this looks just like that. But please trust me when I say that I hand-on-my-heart promise that Blackhouse is one of my real life favourite restaurants in Leeds, whether I'm picking up the bill or not. I come here every year for my birthday, for romantic dates, and sometimes just because they have an offer on lobster (because that's the kind of girl I am). This is a place for special occasions, and I have never left without being 100% happy with my meal.
During our meal on Tuesday, Paul and I actually discussed this at length. Blackhouse is not cheap; I know that it is not the kind of restaurant that you go to once a week, or even once a month. You can easily drop over £100 for two of you and that is a lot of money to spend. It's not something you do carelessly, it's something you think about and hopefully, that is why you are reading this review.
There are plenty of other city centre restaurants which will cost you the same amount. I've been lucky enough to try a few, and unlucky enough to have been disappointed by them, too. I won't name names because that's not nice, and because you don't need to know them. All you need to know is that you should go to Blackhouse. The service is wonderful, the food is perfection and you'll have one of the best evenings of your life. I certainly did, and I'm sure you will, too.