Orlando's at The Buffers
Rakehill Road, Scholes, Leeds, LS15 4AL
When Orlando and Zeba Dessi bought The Buffers three and a half years ago it was just a pub, and a rundown pub at that. Now, after a lot of hard work and imagination, they have transformed it into something pretty special. A winding driveway draws you away from the main road towards the main building - an old railway station dating back to 1846. You will find the bar housed in the old ticket office and the charming Orlando's restaurant in the adjoining section, which was once the station master's home. The restaurant is steeped in character and the building's original features have been lovingly retained, including a through fireplace and impressive high ceilings. Soft lighting and friendly staff provide a homely atmosphere, ensuring your comfort for the main event - the food.
With Orlando and fellow chef Martine at the helm, the menu is an innovative mix of classic Italian dishes and creative new combinations. To start, the infamous polpettine piccanti sees succulent spicy meatballs, seasoned to perfection. Then there's an extensive main course selection of pizza, including the 'Orlando's', which is topped with bacon, sausage, pepperoni and olives, as well as pasta, meat and vegetarian options, and a specials board brimming with the freshest array of fish and steak dishes. If you have room, the cakes and ice cream certainly won't disappoint either. With astoundingly reasonable prices, Orlando's is truly a hidden gem - visit soon before word gets out.