It’s always fascinating to see how a new bar or restaurant fares.
Some inevitably sink without a trace unloved and unmourned after a few months, while others blaze a trail that others would be wise to follow.
So I was interested to see why
everyone was flocking to the newly opened Harvey’s Bar/Kitchen on Penistone Road.
It was impossible to ignore the buzz and every time I drove past it seemed busier than a wasp’s nest on a sunny day.
And I was more than intrigued than usual given the site’s recent history.
Readers may recall that it was once a popular pub called The Star for many years before it inexplicably disappeared.
It was then replaced by seafood restaurant Lemon and Prawns which unfortunately hasn’t lasted too long.
So, having collected my dining companion, Kirklees councillor Gemma Wilson, we set out on Sunday night to see whether all the hype was merited.
On Tripadvisor it has a 4.9 rating and rave reviews.
Although it boasts an impressive list of cocktails, I like to get the measure of a place by ordering what I used to think was a fairly straight-forward and well-known aperitif, a Bloody Mary.
But the waitress looked completely baffled and I admitted defeat fairly quickly and chose a refreshing Bramble, a gin-based concoction.
Mind you, I probably shouldn’t have been so stick-in-the-mud and gone the whole trendy hog and ordered a Pornstar Martini. Fortunately, Gemma chose a rather more modest French Martini.
The last time I ate tapas-style food was in Salamanca and, not speaking a word of Spanish, endured the humiliation of having to point at the items I wanted.
No such difficulties here and we were soon sharing a selection of dishes from a varied menu, including Devilled Whitebait, Harvey’s meatballs, tomato, basil, mozzarella and bread salad, as well some delicious air-dried Yorkshire ham, herb-crusted Brie and Potatoes bravas.
To say the food is beautifully presented would be wrong.
It is immaculately presented and, occasionally, spectacularly so.
To wash it all down we ordered a bottle of Rioja and settled back and relaxed in the light and airy setting. It is absolutely spotless too for those who have OCD tendencies.
For dessert I had that old favourite, treacle tart, while Gemma enjoyed brownies and ice cream.
This is the sort of place that attracts a mainly young, reasonably affluent, clientele, though there are a sprinkling of older people in their fifties and even older.
It is not the place to come if you like cask ale and an old man in a dinner jacket with a bow tie sat at a grand piano tinkling away old classics after you have enjoyed your port and coffee in a dimly lit room.
It is unashamedly trendy and right to be so.
It’s the perfect place for people who want to sit in the sunshine with delicious food, a nice chilled bottle of something in an ice bucket and a brightly coloured cocktail or two.