Sunday, October 15, 2006

Northern star

M set the challenge; she mentioned that she'd heard that there are no Michelin starred restaurants in Manchester and I was intrigued. I hadn't realised that Manchester was such a cultural dearth of fine dining but after Masa in New York, I can only ask, "What do those men from Michelin know anyway?" So I hit Google and as it happens a couple of restaurants in the Manchester vicinity seem to have been singled out for their honoured stars. Northcote Manor is always mentioned favourably but seems rather 'a long way out' and definitely so does the one in Chester but Juniper in Altrincham seems a very interesting option. Okay not exactly Manchester but it has some very fine accolades and even Gordon Ramsay is quoted as saying “Paul is pure talent, driven by a great creative energy; a powerhouse of the North ” - and Michelin have deigned to award a much-hallowed star. They seem to have some intriguing menus - the all-white menu for example where, as well as the food being mostly white; Champagne is given to girls who've made the effort to wear white. We have picked a special menu night but not one with a dress code or I guess it would have to be squid ink risotto followed by caviar then blackened chicken and cavalo nero and then a tasty dessert of licorice ice cream and probably Guinness to drink (ughh!) I don't think I'll bother!

Though I did spot an “assiette of tomato” on the menu that'll have to be avoided and even a suspicious touch of goat's cheese in the dessert. I'm sure it won't be a problem to have a few little tweaks made to the menu. I look to seeing if Gordon was right. And at least we can wear whatever colour we like!

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