Even before the news of our recent awards, we’d decided to close the restaurant for a short break before the busy period before Christmas. So we’ll be closed from Mon 7th October, reopening on Thursday 17th October.

Although the restaurant is closed we won’t be putting our feet up: it’s as much about R&D as R&R! We’ll be working on food and wine menu refreshes; with Simon getting some inspiration in Barcelona; and the rest of the team developing new dishes and even going foraging to make the most of nature’s bounty during autumn!

We look forward to seeing you again after we reopen, ready and refreshed for the months ahead.

John and Simon at work in the kitchen

Simon and John and the Michelin Guide
mbg logoWe’re over the moon to have been awarded our first Michelin Bib Gourmand – the award from the iconic guide* which recognises those establishments offering good food at affordable prices.

El Gato Negro is one of just 27 new Bib Gourmands awarded in this year’s Michelin Guide. The Guide now features 143 Bibs across the whole of Great Britain and Ireland; only ten of which are in the North of England and just three, including El Gato Negro, located in Yorkshire. So it’s a huge privilege to be awarded a prestigious Bib; flying the flag for great food in West Yorkshire.

Chef-proprietor Simon Shaw comments: “We’re incredibly proud and honoured to be recognised by the Michelin Guide in this way. It’s a true testament to the restaurant team’s hard work and professionalism and I can’t thank them enough for all their support over the years.”

El Gato Negro has been listed as a Recommended restaurant  in previous editions of the Michelin Guides but this, along with another recent strong listing in the Waitrose Good Food Guide, and a series of glowing customer reviews, shows we continue to strive and improve our offering.

We believe it also demonstrates Simon’s vision that providing a mix of confident and exciting Spanish-influenced food, a personally-chosen selection of appropriate wines; and friendly, knowledgable staff  in an informal atmosphere will be equally popular with discerning critics and patrons. With plans well underway to take the flavours and ethos of El Gato Negro to a wider audience in 2014 via our lovingly restored Citroen HY van, we look forward to what luck the black cat brings us (and you) in the next twelve months!

*The paper version of the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2014 will be available in bookshops from 4 October 2013, priced at £15.99 (€16.99 in Ireland).

Michelin Guide 2014

El Gato Negro in Good Food Guide 2014

Having featured consistently for several years, we are delighted to once again be featured in the Good Food Guide 2014… one of only a select group of eating establishments in this part of the county to do so.

They say “No clichés, just sharp honest tapas” and commend the food, the ambience and the wines. We say thanks for another great review!


El Gato Negro South American evening

Hot on the heels of last week’s Galician night, we’re very pleased to announce the latest of our highly-popular matched food and drink evenings at El Gato Negro Tapas. We’re holding a very special wine dinner with two great names from South America, hosted with our friends from Berkmann Wine Cellars.

(Updated Wednesday 4 September to reveal the menu and guest wines)

As a pre-dinner drink before we get started we’re going to serve the Santa Rita Gran Hacienda Sauvignon Blanc 2012

The six guest wines and dishes will be

Santa Rita Gran Hacienda Chardonnay Grand Reserva
Scallop ceviche, hand-picked white crab, avocado, heirloom tomatoes, crispy pancetta

Finca Decero Malbec
Alejandro Chorizo, piquillo pepper purée aioli

Finca Decero Cabernet Sauvignon
Neck of lamb fillet, aubergine purée, chimichurri dressing

Finca Decero Mini Ediciones Petit Verdot
Roast duck breast, crushed potato, braised shallots, girolle mushrooms

Finca Decero Amano
Braised ox cheek, roast baby onions, pancetta and button mushrooms

Santa Rita Late Harvest Gewürztraminer Moscatel De Alejandria
Raspberry shortbread with Chantilly cream

Decero Malbec

We will be showcasing the white wines of Santa Rita, one of Chile’s oldest wineries. Their Sauvignon Blanc is superb and has been recently heralded as the best value Sauvignon Blanc by the Sommelier Awards. Following the Santa Rita whites, we will be moving onto some superb reds from the wonderful Finca Decero winery in Argentina.

Simon and the team in the kitchen will once again be flexing their culinary muscles, preparing an array of dishes which will play to the characteristics of each of the wines on the evening. As you’ve come to expect, these special dishes will delight your palates and perfectly match these wonderful Chilean and Argentinian wines.

The price per person is £45, and this includes six stunning South American wines and accompanying, matched dishes from Simon and the team. Reservations can be made by phoning us on 01422 823070, or in person at the restaurant.

Doors open 7.30pm, the meal starts at 8pm. We look forward to you joining us for the evening.

Decero winery

Relish Cookbook

We’ve now got copies of the brand new edition of Relish North East and Yorkshire cookbook on sale at the restaurant. We’ve featured in the previous edition, but this year they’ve combined Yorkshire and the North East, so the range of restaurants and recipes is bigger and more delicious than ever before. It looks beautiful… jam-packed with inspiring recommendations!

The whole book, from our friends at Relish Publications, is filled with an inspiring range of recipes from top chefs across the region, including three from Simon. Here’s one favourite which is featured on their site… Hand Picked White Crabmeat, Avocado Purée & Gazpacho).

Signed copies are available for just £20 direct from here in the restaurant… so next time you’re in, pick up a copy for yourself or as a gift. But be warned, it’s best not to read it on an empty stomach!


Our next monthly Sunday lunch openings is on 4th August. We’ll be open from 1-4pm, and will be featuring something rather unique alongside a handpicked selection of our favourite classics and specials.

Simon and the team will be creating some incredible dishes from speciality Ibérico pork; bringing you a rare chance to taste that famous acorn and meadow-fed black pig meat from Extremadura.

Alongside that we will be serving refreshing home-made sangria – a perfect foil for the summer heat – as well as our usual extensive selection of wines and sherries, including some great wines by the glass. Advance bookings are highly recommended… please call the restaurant on 01422 823070.



El Gato Negro presents an introduction to the wines and foods of Galicia, where Iberia meets the Atlantic. Galicia is a land of geographical contrasts and surprises, with a distinctive  and wonderful food culture.

We already carry a limited range of Galician wines, but there are some fantastic wineries in this lesser-known region of Spain which deserve more exposure. We’ve invited a leading expert to showcase them, paired with a range of dishes inspired by the distinctive culture of Galicia. As regular patrons already know, Padrón peppers and Torta de Santiago are two popular Galician delicacies on our menu: however this evening will enable you to experience more gourmet galego delights alongside a fantastic selection of exclusive wines from the region’s independent vineyards.


The menu for the evening will be

Leira Seca
Cockles & clams with olive oil, lemon & coriander

Quinta de la Erre
Pan-roasted scallops with fresh white crabmeat & a shellfish sauce

Casal de Paula Blanco
Galician-style monkfish

Alodio de Antonia Godello
Grilled sardine fillets with Alejandro chorizo, migas breadcrumbs, garlic & mint

Alodio Mencia
Sous-vide pressed pork shoulder with chickpeas, spring cabbage, chorizo & potatoes

Casal de Paula Tinto
Served alongside a choice of either: Two traditional Galician cheeses: Arzúa-Ulloa and Tetilla or Torta de Santiago

The price per person is £45, and covers a selection of wines and accompanying, matched Galician dishes from Simon and the team. Limited places remain for this evening. Reservations can be made by phoning the restaurant on 01422 823070, or in person at the restaurant. 



Here at El Gato Negro it’s fair to say we are huge fans of sherry: we’ve expanded our range in the last twelve months, and launched our sherry web page earlier this year to provide a guide to the sheer range of types available

There are only a limited number of places left for the next of our popular sherry evenings. Once again we’ll have expert advice on pairing sherry from our friends at leading sherry house Gonzalez Byass in Jerez. Gonzalez Byass has been producing high quality sherry in Jerez for over 175 years, and they’re perfectly placed to showcase six of their best , ranging from dry to sweet sherry. These include the highly limited Tio Pepe En Rama: 2013’s batch has sold out in record time, but we’ve held some stock back especially to share with you on the night.

Simon has created six incredible dishes to pair perfectly with the sherries: as with the last sherry evening, an event like this provides the chance to offer an exclusive tasting menu, comprising dishes which showcase the flair and imagination of the team, and give you the opportunity to try them before anyone else.

The last evening in January went down a storm and customers have been asking for us to repeat the experience ever since: whether you’re already a fan of the broad range of sherries we provide, or you’re keen to learn more, this is the ideal opportunity.

Doors open at 7.30pm, and the event starts at 8pm. The price per person will be £45, and includes six sherries, and six specially-created dishes from Simon and the team. Reservations are now being taken for this evening: you can book for any of our nights by phoning 01422 823070, or in person at the restaurant. 



Our customers have been asking us for years if we’d open on Sundays. With the exception of a few special occasions (such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day) we’re usually closed. However… we’re always responsive to our customer’s wishes, so we’re pleased to announce that starting this month, we’ll be opening for on the first Sunday of the month, featuring a bespoke menu comprising some old favourites, superb specials and seasonal delights.

The first Sunday we’re open is July 7th, and then every month after that. To allow our hard-working staff to recharge their batteries, after a Sunday opening we’ll be closed on the Tuesday as well as our usual Mondays. Therefore we’ll be closed on Tuesday 9 July.

We’re now taking advance bookings for Sunday lunch on 01422 823070, and doors will be open from 1pm. Enjoy a day of rest with a great alternative to Sunday lunch at home, offering El Gato Negro’s superb standards of food and wines. We hope to see you there!


Father's Day at El Gato Negro Tapas

Great news for Dads (and everyone else in the family)! Following the success of Mother’s Day back in March, we’re pleased to announce we’ll be opening on Sunday 16th June for Father’s Day. We’re not normally open on a Sunday… so it’s a great chance to enjoy a special family lunch and treat your dad to a delicious, memorable meal at El Gato Negro Tapas. Or indeed if you’re just looking for a special Sunday lunch to enjoy!

Six dishes for Father's Day at El Gato Negro Tapas

Simon and the kitchen team will be serving a special menu: six of our signature tapas dishes, and a choice of dessert – all for just £25 per head.

The six dishes are

  • Padrón peppers with Halen Môn Salt
  • Mini Catalan chorizo with Aspall Cider
  • Patatas bravas
  • Poached duck egg yolk with Alejandro chorizo & migas breadcrumbs
  • Pinchos Morunos, chickpea and chilli purée, and harissa yoghurt dressing
  • Tiger prawns with chilli, lemon, garlic and paprika

… and a choice of dessert

  • A selection of ice creams
  • Creme Catalan
  • A selection of cheeses

We’re offering a choice of two sittings: either 12-3 or 3-6, with limited numbers of places available for both sittings.

Reservations are now being taken: please call the restaurant directly on 01422 823070. We expect both sittings to be rapidly booked up, so we’d recommend calling and booking rapidly to avoid disappointment.