What do you think of when you think of Brighouse?

I’d venture that the Mediterranean wasn’t one of your guesses. However it seems the menu at Casa is aiming to realign your expectations of the town.

Myself and my family visited the hotel/restaurant/bar complex on the Saturday before Mother’s Day expecting it to be quiet as a mouse with everyone saving their cash and appetites for the following day.

However, when we went into the busy bar area of the building, off Elland Road, there was the welcoming hum of conversation and the gentle clink of cutlery on plate.

We’d decided that in the interests of you dear reader (and definitely not our bellies!) we’d eschew the delights of the bar menu and plump (being the operative word) for the full restaurant experience.

We were shown to our seat in the main glass walled dining room with a fantastic view across the adjoining Brookfoot Lake (below), and presented with both main menu and a specials card.

Casa Hotel and Restaurant, Elland Road, Brighouse. View from the terrace
Casa Hotel and Restaurant, Elland Road, Brighouse. View from the terrace
 

The main menu is full of Italian and southern European fare and has plenty of choice amongst it’s starters, breads, salads, pastas, pizzas and meat dishes.

However, myself and partner are both suckers for ‘specials’ so we decided to delve into that menu.

Was it to be smoked salmon carpaccio with an orange and juniper dressing or belly pork with apple and cinnamon compote and Calvados cream sauce?

Actually, it was neither: I went for the Toulouse sausage on piccalilli mash (£6.95) while my partner, predictably if you know her, opted for the classic moules frites (£7.95).

Our young lad was working from a different standpoint and went for a pepperoni pizza from the kids’ menu.

My partner’s dish was a whopper! A huge bowl of mussels slathered in a white wine, garlic and shallot cream sauce. And it came with those thin,

thin crispy fries.

My plate was home to a big pink sausage, griddled to perfection on top of an island of mash, with a red wine and thyme jus around it.

The Toulouse sausage was well-cooked and a great consistency – that coarse grind that gives just the right amount of chew. The mash was creamy enough but with a hint of the relish to act as a counterpoint to the banger. And the jus? I had to be stopped from asking for a spoon. It brought the whole dish together.

My partner’s take on the mussels? Decent sized meat, crispy chips and extra points for the sauce, which was that bit thicker than most – but all the better for it.

My only complaint would be the pricing – mine was a pound less than my partner’s, but felt as though, delicious as it was, it was priced at slightly too much.

For the mains I dithered between a Greek lamb kleftico and a sloppy giuseppe pizza, eventually choosing the Italian option. I, of course, also had a portion of chips!

My partner turned to the sea again, choosing oak smoked seas bass with thyme, roast fennel and garlic king prawns (£15.95).

My dish (£10.95) was all it should be – crisp, big dollops of bolognese and plenty of chilli to add some heat to proceedings.

But my partner’s dish was the undisputed star of the lunchtime show.

Thick well-cooked pieces of sea bass, two huge butterflied king prawns, the fennel arranged underneath and a lovely garlicky butter moistening the whole affair.

It came served with berries and leaves too. The whole dish was redolent of Cap d’Antibe rather than West Yorkshire.

She enjoyed a side salad with her dish and was effusive for the tender fish and prawns plus the whole flavour balance of the dish between seafood, smoky salt, garlic and aniseedy fennel.

Even our lad gave the kids’ pizza (which wasn’t much different to mine, size wise) the thumbs-up.

We really enjoyed the meal and didn’t hold back on what we ordered, meaning the bill topped £60 with drinks. But that was our choice and ultimately we thought with the choice and quality of cooking, we’d had value for money.

If you don’t fancy spending that sort of cash there are other options in the lunchtime and bar menu.

Maybe you’ll think of Brighouse as somewhere with just a dash of the Mediterranean if you visit.

The Bill

Casa

281 Elland Rd, Brighouse, HD6 2RG

Tel: 01484 401717

Website: www.casahotel.co.uk

Opening hours: Bar open 12 – 12 daily (call to check when food is served). Restaurant: Monday – Thursday 12 – 3pm and 6pm – 10pm. Friday,

Saturday and Sunday food served 12 – 10pm

Children: Welcome

Disabled: Access and toilet

The bill: £62.50 including drinks

Would you go back: Yes