It’s well over 30 years since Aldo’s arrived on Dewsbury Road in Cleckheaton. Back in 1983, opening such a venue must have been quite a risk. At the time the town was not considered wildly cosmopolitan (it’s part of the Heavy Woollen District of Yorkshire) so launching its first Italian took guts.
However, the gamble paid off in spades. Today Aldo’s is a local institution – there cannot be many small-town eateries with few tables to spare at 6.30pm midweek.
Having extended into a neighbouring property, the restaurant now has its own Prosecco bar and coffee shop. However, the vibe remains traditional, with painted red walls and olive oil bottles on tables next to candles in wine bottles.
The midweek early-bird menu gives more than enough choices: two courses for £13.95 or three for £15.95, plus you can choose from the specials menu too. Pizza and pasta are Aldo’s bread and butter: in the fantastic open kitchen you’ll see the pizza man whizzing fresh bases on his finger before adding toppings and thrusting them into the oven.
Aldo’s has a warm, buzzing atmosphere. It’s a perfect little gem in sleepy Cleckheaton, just off the M62. On arrival you’ll be greeted with “ciao bella” and a kiss on either cheek from one of the waiters or Pino the owner. And the food and service mean you won’t want to leave.
By Ann Fugler, Yorkshire editor