Has the small plates phenomenon run its course? Not if Home at Lindley is anything to go by, says Amanda Wragg. Pictures by Tony Johnson.

Home at Lindley
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Home roasted white onion and pea risotto with a Parmesan crisp .

It’s a sentence guaranteed to strike dread into the heart of your average restaurant reviewer in 2017: “Home-style bistro cooking served on sharing plates.” It sounds as if some higher authority has issued an edict: “Thou shalt offer only food on small plates, and share them, until further notice.”
Who is responsible for this malarkey? I blame Brexit, but Neil Irwin, writing in the Washington Post, reckons it’s the Spanish. “Centuries ago, in the Andalusia region of Spain, bar patrons would cover their glasses of sweet sherry with bread to keep flies from flying in. The bars started putting cured meats on top of the bread, turning the fly-protection devices into delicious snacks. A food revolution was born: from ‘tapa’, the word for cover, tapas were introduced to the world. Which is why, in Washington in 2013, I can’t get a decent meal.”
Don’t get me wrong. I like tapas as much as the next person, probably more. Some of my best food memories involve sitting at the end of a bar in Seville with a glass of chilled Manzanilla and half a dozen dishes in front of me – perhaps patatas bravas, jamon croquetas and always a sliver of tortilla.
I’ve even been known to not slap the hand snaking across to snaffle my stuffed peppers. Recent “small sharing plates” experiences I’ve raved about include Ox Club last year, Café Thai Tapas in West Vale this summer, and I sang the praises of Elder at the Piece Hall only last month. My gripe, I guess, isn’t that the food’s not good – it is – it’s that the concept is ubiquitous and I’m getting a bit jaded.