Station House review: The little Italian restaurant tucked away in a Leeds train station that diners rave about – Jasmine Norden
If you’ve ever walked through a certain little train stop between Leeds and York, you might have wondered if that wonderful smell of garlic emanates from the station building.
Garforth station only has a very small station on its platform, but it has a small Italian restaurant that serves meals throughout the day. Whether you’re passing through one morning and fancy a ciabatta sandwich, or want a nice sit-down meal later, you can get it just yards from the dock.
The restaurant, aptly named The Station House, is hugely popular – with an average of five stars out of TripAdvisor and 4.8 average on Google. Hundreds of visitors have praised its food, staff and decor. To see if it lived up to the praise, I headed to The Station House one evening for a meal with a friend.
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As you’d expect, it’s very easy to get to thanks to this convenient location just a few steps from the platform. Garforth is a fairly sleepy suburban station, so don’t worry too much about noise while you enjoy your meal.
The interior of the restaurant is cozy, with colorful decor designed to give the impression that you are sitting on an Italian street. Fairy lights and candles illuminate each of the small intimate rooms.
We perused the wine list first – and decided it was a night for the red, opting for a bottle of Frappato IGP Roceno. A Sicilian wine that I haven’t tried before but it was a great start.
And then it came to starters, where we ordered the antipasto misto – a selection of Italian meats topped with a balsamic glaze and shavings of Gran Moravia. This was also served with olives, arugula, mozzarella and pickles.
We also opted for one of the specialties at the time of our visit, the bruschetta n’duja e burrata. It was a spicy bruschetta served with burrata, also sporting a balsamic glaze and arugula.
The creamy texture of the burrata was a nice contrast to the spicy n’duja underneath – highly recommend this one if it comes back in the specials. But my favorite was definitely the antipasto – wonderful juicy prosciutto, tomatoes and cheese all served together for a winning combo every time.
Then we came to the main course and were both very much in the mood for pasta. My friend ordered the king prawn linguine, a pasta dish with king prawns fried in white wine and served with tomatoes, chili flakes and garlic butter. I picked one of my favorites to see how it was at The Station House – the Garlic Mushroom Linguine.
The dish featured mushrooms cooked in a garlic, cream and white wine sauce. And it was exactly the comforting classic I had hoped for – creamy and full of garlic all at once, although I do regret having a hard time finishing it as I ate so much during the entrees.
My friend also really enjoyed her pasta dish with its spicy kick putting a little heat in the tomato and garlic sauce, accompanied by a generous portion of prawns.
After a bit of a wait to digest, we decided to have dessert (yes, I know I just struggled to finish my main course, but it would be rude not to). We had been staring at display cases full of perfect Italian pastries in front of us all night and it was an inevitable decision.
We chose three Italian pasticcini, small Italian pastries with a hard shell and soft filling, as well as the delizia al limone – a light sponge cake of lemon cake and lemon cream. The lemon dome was lovely, light and tangy – just what we needed after the (delicious) mountain of pasta we both had consumed. But my attention was really on the pasticcini – of which we ordered chocolate, lemon and pistachio.
These were crunchy and tasty at the same time, each of the options being just as good as the last. That said, my friend’s favorite was pistachio and mine was chocolate – but I would have eaten every flavor of these tiny little pastries.
We lingered for a while at the end of our wine – the staff were absolutely lovely – happy to make recommendations and very willing to chat. All in all, I highly recommend taking the train to Garforth and visiting The Station House for delicious Italian food that you can tell so much care has gone into.
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- Bottle of Frappato IGP Roceno – €17.50
- Antipasto misto -£10.95
- Bruschetta n’duja and burrata – £8.50
- Garlic Mushroom Linguine – £8.50
- Linguine with king prawns – £12.50
- Three pasticcini – £3.70
- Lemon Delizia – £4.50