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New Sheffield Cocktail Bar inside the Dining Room hits all the right buttons as a stylish destination for a late night date UK News

Oh yes, the nightly date destinations don’t come much better than that.

Aria, located inside the Kommune Food Hall at Castle House in the city center, opened last month as the city’s latest cocktail and wine bar. It also serves food from the vendors in the lobby as well as its own kitchen.

It is an elegant place to enter. Tucked away at the back of Kommune, where an art space once stood, it feels removed from the hustle and bustle of common dining next door and has a grown-up interior with proper table settings.

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The drink menu is huge – much larger than the food equivalent – and careful thought has gone into its compilation. Aria specializes in negronis, a popular Italian cocktail featuring Campari, and her name would be a nod to mind. Another section of concoctions has been matched to certain dishes.

I was tempted by the Naked and Famous drink (when I was in Rome!) But opted for the French melon margarita, a tangy and refreshing take on the tequila classic.

We had barely ordered when manager Paul Robertson arrived with a free shot set – but be warned, it wasn’t a ‘swallow and grin’ sambuca.

Tiny glasses of limoncello and Campari were sprinkled with cinnamon and set alight at our table in an unexpected tabletop play that also provided a fun talking point.

The food arrived quickly. From the tiny menu – which Paul later said is small for simplicity, but will change seasonally – I could have ordered anything, if not absolutely everything. But it had to be the food of new Vietnamese trader Hanoi 75 that triumphed in the selection process. We shared the vegetarian dumplings, perfectly crimped and filled gyoza, straddling the tightrope between crisp and soft, as a starter. Chilli, lime, soy and garlic jumped out of the dip.

My soft bao buns, one sticky chicken, another a very peppery rump steak, were also beauties to behold. More sticky sauce – I think it was a spicy mayo – would have been welcome.

The husband’s tastes are closer to home, so it was a mix between lamb belly and sarnie sirloin steak for him. Pizza specialist Proove also has a few dishes on the current menu.

The sarnie was a very decent serving, with lots of mashed burnt onions and full mustard adding punch to the bread and meat combination. Not a fan of marbling, however, he would have liked leaner meat.

The service is flawless and our plates have been cleaned, with a cooler bucket quickly brought in for a beautiful white New Zealand wine with a sweet nectar taste.

There are only two desserts currently available so it was easy to choose. My soft whipped cheese with candied walnuts and miso apple, plus burnt white chocolate, was like a deconstructed apple pie with an exotic touch. The range of textures made every bite interesting again.

His sticky caramel pudding was a fine example of the classic, rich and decadent, but the soft cheese whipped on the side confused a man with traditional tastes, expecting ice cream.

We left relaxed, happy and with room for a nightcap, as a date should be.

Aria, at Kommune at Castle House, Angel Street, in Sheffield city center, is open Thursday through Saturday from 4pm. Book through their social media accounts or

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This notice was published: 2021-06-14 09:50:44

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