The global superstar arrived on his way to an exclusive 'An Experience With..' evening at the Royal Armouries in Leeds and was treated to an Italian feast at Ricci's Place on Crossley Street.
Owner Michael Ricci said that it was an honour to lay on a meal for such an iconic name and explained how the booking came about.
"He wanted a location that was intimate and special and family-orientated. They liked what we were about, they loved the place.
"We'd put a taster menu together and it was all approved by his management."
A small group of senior staff had known about De Niro's appearance six weeks ago, and Michael admitted it was a difficult secret to keep.
"It was very difficult, but it's all part of the deal - you've got to keep your mouth shut for obvious reasons."
The specially laid-on menu laid on for the two-time Academy Award winner was inspired by De Niro's Italian roots.
"Lots of thought went into it, along with matching the wines, but it's what we do," Michael said, "we're good at what we do and we wanted to showcase a few of our nice products and bring it all together.
"We're based in Halifax. It's massive, it's already gone crazy on Facebook and it's great for Halifax and it's good for us as well.
"He was lovely, a really lovely guy."