I was asked to review the Peroni app for iPhone and Android – in particular the food and drinks part which recommends nice places to try in the following cities: Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, London, Bristol & Glasgow.
Once the app is installed and you have selected your city, you can “esplorare” different categories such as food, drinks, design, design, fashion and events. The food recommendations are mainly Italian with a few of the big names like Anthony’s also making an appearance despite not being what I would class as Italian. The app gives a fairly decent description of the place you’re visiting – atmosphere, type of food and sometimes a little bit of background info. There’s also contact details like phone numbers, website and map location (handy!). The whole point of using the app I think is that we try something we haven’t tried before – and actually there were quite a few places we hadn’t tried on the list. We had really wanted to go to Anthony’s but they have started only doing their tasting menu on weekends and we couldn’t really afford to spend that much money as it wasn’t a special occasion. We then moved down the list and decided on Create, which it turns out is currently closed for refurbishment. Salvo’s was fully booked since by this point we’d left it late, so I finally decided on VINeataly in Granary Wharf, because quite honestly I was lured by the picture of salami hanging up and the promise of good cheese and olives (as mentioned on the app).
I was truly surprised at how good this place was. I had an amazing apple cocktail and Mr LTT had a gin and tonic cocktail infused with earl grey and accompanied by some of those molecular gastronomy spheres of violet that you popped in your mouth with a sip of cocktail.
We had olives and a sharing platter of meat with mortadella, parma ham, bread sticks and possibly the most amazing thing the Italians have ever created (apart from beautiful cars): lardo on bread. I think I have a pig addiction. Just thinking about that porky goodness is making me drool right now.
For main I had grilled prawns with a garlic and lemon oil and Mr LTT had the oven baked beef ragu with homemade pasta. They weren’t as good as the sharing platter – I was kind of expecting more pasta options (the only ones were oven baked resulting in the pasta being soft rather than al dente) and my oil had no garlic in. But I would still go back there for lunch – they do pizza and focaccia options, plus there’s a deli so you can get your mortadella fill if you’re that way inclined (I am).
Cheesecake was unfortunately sold out but we shared a chocolate almond cake which was a nice way to finish off the meal. There’s also a very extensive wine menu including organic wines which Mr LTT liked and the wine I had was very good (I’m not sure what it was as I didn’t pick it). The bill came to £73 with two cocktails, 2 glasses of wine, a sharing platter, olives, 2 mains and 1 dessert.
We had seen that the Sky Lounge was on the Peroni app in the recommended places to eat and seeing as we were rather conveniently only footsteps away, we couldn’t resist taking the lift to the top floor of the Hilton and having a cocktail. It was pretty packed by the time we got up there and it took a while to get to the bar but I think it’s worth it. You certainly don’t get a view like that from any other bar in Leeds! There’s good music and good drinks in here, though the prices might be a bit more that what you’d normally expect to pay elsewhere in Leeds.
All in all, the app was super easy to navigate and recommended some top places, I may even go back and try some more of the restaurants on the list that I haven’t been to! Bad points: It says Spring/Summer 2012 all over the app and the events section is really out of date as the events were all last year ( got excited about a food event but it was in November 2012). Also the typeface used for general body copy is hard to read because it’s too narrow. However, you can easily overcome this by putting the phone a bit closer to your face, and I’d definitely try it out in another city – I hate it when you go somewhere new and you don’t know where is good. It’s even pushed me to try new stuff in my own city.
Here’s a few screenshots so you can see what it looks like:
Disclaimer: I was provided with money for the night out using the app. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.