Recently checked out the Modern for a 'working' lunch with a friend, who suggested the venue to me as she'd heard rumours that we would be in for a real good treat, mmm. And I wasn't disappointed.
It was fairly quiet when we arrived and we were allocated (in my view) the best table which presented a 360 degree view of the wintry Manchester skyline, rotating big wheel and all. The decor was formal yet cosy, sophisticated but not intimidating - the dark solid wooden tables and chairs contrasting nicely with the floor-to-ceiling frosted windows, with a nice clear panel you could see out of to admire the view, thank you very much.
Being a huge soup fan, particularly in the winter months (and there's nothing I enjoy more than knocking my own up at home) for starter I opted for the Jerusalem artichoke and rosemary soup with chanterelles. It was delicious, smooth, creamy, satisfying and tasted surprisingly healthy too (although I'm sure it wasn't). My friend forwent the starter and straight on to the main course. Pollock, smoked haddock and Loch Duart salmon fish pie, with wilted spinach and of course a side order of fat chips. A suprisingly generous portion, (she struggled to finish) the pie was dominated to her delight by the salmon (all that omega 3) which was perfectly pink and a wonderful texture. I opted for grilled Goosnargh maize-fed chicken,
braised leeks and Cheshire smoked bacon & a grain mustard sauce.
The chicken was tender with a crunchy jacket, complemented wonderfully by the bacon and the mustard sauce gave it a bit of added va va voom. Resisted desert (but of course tried 'just a taste') of my friend's caramelised quince tart and vanilla ice cream, which outshone event the artichoke soup. A beautiful combination of sweet and sour, the caramel gave it an added twist that was very moreish. The ice cream tasted home-made - which I didn't expect - and had a creamy, custardy texture, which was perfect.
With two diet cokes each to wash it down (it was a 'working' lunch after all) it came to just over £30, astoundingly reasonable for something quite so thoroughly posh. Marks out of 10 - 8.9 and with the starter and desert both scoring a winning 9.9.
Floors 5 & 6
0161 605 8282
My husband and I stumbled across Coco & Co a few days after it opened when we were hungry after a morning's shopping in 6e.
Although the idea of a restaurant which pretty much only serves eggs might sound odd, when you do something so well, why mess with the formula?
Eggs expertly and lovingly cooked any way you could dream of (foie gras omelettes, eggs benedict, oeuffs cocotte, lavender scrambled eggs even) and served with scrumptious home-fries and salad for a reasonable price and in cosy yet chic surroundings with service so friendly you might even forget you're in Paris.
11 rue de Bernard Pallissy ,75006, Paris.
I have fond memories of this place because in September 2006 my husband and I had our wedding breakfast here. Marco and Angelo are the owners and do all the cooking themselves. Marco made us the best wedding cake I have ever tasted (our friends did agree, although I know I'm biased!).
It is traditional Abruzzan food and is delicious. The antipasti is worth paying a vist for alone. The views from the terrazza are stunning. I love this place and we go whenever we can.
Above the village of Serramonacesca, all the locals know it so its easy to find. www.lechateaudemamere.com/
New restaurant (opened Januaary 2008) attached to new 'eco-hotel' Chancileria on Calle Chancileria near the centre of Jerez. Chef Juan used to be a teacher at the local catering college but it hasn't stopped him producing great dishes in the modern Spanish style (good fresh local ingredients, traditional methods, attention to seasoning and detail, beautiful presentation.)
For example 'hamburguesa de cola de toro' - a little timbale of beautifully cooked oxtail off the bone with a perfect apple puree, brilliant combination - mouthwatering. Artichoke soup with foie and truffle oil also fresh and delicious. Main course fish fresh and delicious. Portions sensible size. Desserts looked good but need developing.
Mixed and slightly odd wine list (some good if predictable riojas and also lambrusco(!?) but all very reasonably priced (c.100 euros for an unstinting 3 course meal for two with aperitif and wine and dessert wine and coffee...) Much better than other recommended but more 'traditional' restaurants in the town. Go quick before everyone else discovers it and the prices go up...
Calle Chancileria, Jerez
Just down the road from the mighty Shepherdess Cafe, towards Old St station and on the left-hand side of City Road, is a little street called Westland Place (there's a shop on the corner called Renaissance which sells gothic fireplaces).
This is the home of St. Jamie Oliver's original Fifteen restaurant but also featured in the execrable film, Closer. A door on the left-hand side of the street labelled Westland Place Studios, between the fireplace shop and an old piping company premises, was the Julia Roberts character's front door in the vacuous, self-regarding snorefest.
In this scene, Jude Law's character makes a reference to going to "the pub round the corner". He was talking about the Eagle, a pleasant old boozer behind the Shepherdess Cafe, that features, along with City Road, in a less well-known verse of the nursery rhyme, Pop Goes the Weasel.
Very friendly restaurant in Patershol designed on a wacky clock theme. Good food at reasonable prices.
Ghent specialisms including waterzooi, eels and a magnificent beef in beer stew. A good range of others too, including a delicious fish soup and a rather special pork, bacon and sausage dish served with sorrel mash.
The waiters were good fun and 'very good' in Flemish turned out to be 'veer lekken' with a bit of Welsh (as in coch) on the double kk.
Corduwainers 65. Just off Kranlei on the edge of Patershol. Tel 32(0)9 223 42 41.
Google map: tinyurl.com/lkxa7l
McKirdy's is a steakhouse run by a butcher. Need I say more! The steak is second to none and combined with good prices and a relaxed but fun atmosphere it is a must go when hungry in Edinburgh! Trust me, I'm a farmer.
Morrison Street, Edinburgh - not far from Haymarket Station
When I went to BA on business for six weeks, my heart sank at the thought of all the bad "sorry did you say you don't eat meat" so-called dinners I'd be enduring. How wrong I was - in BA (admittedly eating in good restaurants, sure it's different beyond the city) I ate superbly almost every night. Yes, my companions were tucking into the most ridiculous slabs of beef at the same time, but I'm used to that.
My favourite two places were Sucre and Miranda, the first a pretty hip restaurant, the second more informal. Always washed down with an amazing glass of malbec.
It's a restaurant that has the best sambal (spicy chili paste to eat with plain grilled fish and rice) in Bali. Not for those who don't like very spicy food, though.
Take the road from Denpasar to Nusa Dua, it's about two miles before Nusa Dua, high above the road on the righthand side.
This is a restaurant in Manly, a ferry ride away from Sydney's Circular Quay. Despite its name, and the fact that I am a vegetarian, I can definitely recommend it for meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike.
My husband - a meat eater - tells everyone he meets about the steak that he had there, whilst I - a non meat eater - can say that the meal I had there was the most generous and varied vegetarian meal I have ever tasted.
It consisted of every type of vegetable imaginable, fresh and beautifully cooked. Add to this, the fantastic view overlooking Manly Beach and the ocean and the buzzing atmosphere; yes, I would definitely cross the world to eat there again!
Manly, New South Wales - a ferry ride away from Sydney Circular Quay
This is an Indian restaurant with a very different menu from the norm. The cooking is assured and the sauces all different - no basic curry sauce for every meal here. Highly recommended.
The Ziba is a restaurant based in the boutique hotel at the Racquet Club. It is not as widely reviewed as some of the other restaurants for fine dining in Liverpool but has been serving excellent food for many years.
It's located in a beautiful building in the central business district, and is a must for a special night out.
5 Chapel Street
0151 236 6676
A Chinese restaurant near the Chinese arch which has a more interesting Sechuan menu alongside the usual choices. Makes a refreshing chnage from the more bog standard food we are offered.
Best beer pub in Krakov - CK Browar (6-7 Ulica Podwale). Best sport bar with good beer and friendly people - Non Iron.(Marka 27). Best cellar bar/restaurant - Piwiica Pod Ztolta Pipa (Florianska 30). We stayed at the excellent Polera Hotel (Szpitalana 30).
All these are in the centre near the main square and everything in walking distance.
A restaurant near Porta Elisa that employs disabled people alongside trained staff. Highly recommended by local friends, I was unable to test it as it was fully booked on the night. Affordable local fare.
Piazza S. Francesco 4
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