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Exclusive: Jay-Z splashes out in Manchester

Lynda Moyo asks, will this be the biggest tab in Manchester this year?

Written by . Published on July 21st 2008.

Exclusive: Jay-Z splashes out in Manchester

Have we just had the biggest Manchester bar tab of 2008?

When American stars come to the UK, they often fall into the capital trap whereby London becomes the United Kingdom. Even if they gig at venues round the country, chances are post-gig, they get magnetised back to London.

At the end of the meal he treated everyone to a £100 shot of Louis XIII cognac each. He then left a £1,500 tip for the waiters, in cash, living up to his nineties hit 'Money aint a thing.'

Last time Jay-Z came to Manchester he put on an impressive show. Fans in Manchester were singing his praises. That was until he did the same show in London, but brought along his bird and a mate: Beyonce and Nas. We got Memphis Bleek and Kano. Where's the justice in that?

On Saturday, fresh from Glastonbury, the Jiggaman returned to Manchester once more. Perhaps it was to sink Noel Gallagher further into oblivion, but this time on his home turf. Or maybe it was because underneath the Jay-Z, Sean Carter is just a really nice guy. Either way, this time Jay-Z pulled out all the stops for Manchester and then to top it off, boosted the economy of a local bar tenfold, single diamond-encrusted handedly.

After the gig, Jay booked the first floor at Ithaca restaurant and bar on John Dalton Street and treated forty of his entourage. He took Kanye West to the meal following his impromptu visit to the MEN Arena with Jay earlier that night.

Confidential's mole confirms Jay’s party enjoyed themselves with most choosing that inexpensive and unassuming morsel, the £52 Wagyu beef fillet for a main.

Jay himself ordered the Chilean sea bass and was so impressed with the cooking that he invited chef Nasser Laziri along for the rest of the tour to be his personal chef.

The band and crew washed down the meal with £10-a-shot Sauza Tres Tequila, and several magnums of Jay’s own brand champagne, the £600-a-bottle Ace of Spades. This had been brought in specially for the night. And at the end of the meal he treated everyone to a £100 shot of Louis XIII cognac. He then left a £1,500 tip for the waiters, in cash, living up to his nineties hit 'Money aint a thing.'

A friend of Jay’s said: “Jay wanted to say a big thank you to all his people for all the great work they have done for him on tour.”

Bless. What really happened though was this. Jay-Z's a clever boy and had researched his trip, we reckon he must have read our review. (Click here). Or maybe he's a Manchester Confidential subscriber?

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28 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

SuziJuly 21st 2008.

He went to Ithaca, because Ithaca is the best venue in Manchester, it offers the best food and the best decor. There is room for improvement on the service but hats off, its only 3 months old. Ithaca will make Manchester proud. Obviously he could have gone to circle or panacea or even cloud 23, but they chose Ithaca on it's credibility to date. well done to the team at Ithaca and keep it up because i'm sure you will get a lot more profiled clients coming your way now!

MichelleJuly 21st 2008.

His gig was fantastic and I'm not usually a hip hop/ rap lover. My boyfriend persuaded me to go with him and I had the best time of any gig I have ever been to. Who cares if he splashed his cash afterwards, he works hard for his money so why not spend it on his friends and 'entourage'.

WayneJuly 21st 2008.

Interesting - can I have a £100 shot on Confidential?

Vanilla IceJuly 21st 2008.

Do they do pizza? Washed down with some diet coke and ice ice baby.......

AnonymousJuly 21st 2008.

Quote Alfonso; "People always bitch at stuff they can;'t afford”I've just wet myself laughing - It would be funny if it was ironic. Sums not just the place up, but the customers too.

GedeyeJuly 21st 2008.

An enjoyable read! I was (as always) incredibly disappointed last time Jay Z came to Manchester & I heard that he had brought out Nas (my favourite rapper!!) and Beyonce at his London gig - London gets it all - & maybe one day ME!!! (and you, Moyo!!). This time tho - he did us proud KANYE is massive! 'Food Lover' - you need to get that DIRT OFF YOUR SHOULDER - So what if he went to Ithaca, he had to eat somewhere and if you've got 99 PROBLEMS and one of them is that you're worried about having to sit next to such 'A listers' - read more carefully & worry no more - it would seem that he would rather not sit next to the likes of you (& me!) - he booked the whole floor out!! BIG PIMPIN!! soooo WHAT MORE CAN I SAY...Jay Z is one of the most financially successful hiphop artists and entrepreneurs - and if you saw him on Jonothan Ross's show the other week - you cant help but warm to the guy! This is a good look for Manchester!

AlfonzoJuly 21st 2008.

Downer, it attracts people who like nice food, wine, service and dont mind paying for it, rather than the cooler than thou crowd moaning about a place they have never been and are refusing to go .. good please don't!! .. As for the customers it attracts they seemed quite a mixed bag, in fact I don't think I really noticed who else was there.. I don't care, if I go for a meal with mates, I tend to talk to them and not care who's on other tables!

LianeJuly 21st 2008.

Why the inverse snobbery a la "I'd hate to sit next to an A-lister"...? If they behave like arrogant, rude morons, fair enough. But it sounds like Jay-Z and crew were respectful to staff and the venue in general; and enjoyed their night. You never know; people in London may read about it and remember that Manchester actually has a food scene. Which can only be a good thing.

GJHJuly 21st 2008.

Suzi - wooweewoowaa...wadaya mean 'best venue' - by all accounts, the food is fab. the interior is...interesting 80 chic...it's good. but as a venue, it is no where near - get back to PR school!

Jonathan Schofield - editorJuly 21st 2008.

GJH I know. I've told Gordo off for doing this, but he can't help himself sometimes. Thing is, this was just an interesting story about excess and Manchester. Keep trusting our reviews as honest interpretations of what we've found. When we publish a bylined food review we mean it even though people might not agree with us.

GJHJuly 21st 2008.

Chaps - fair play for your responses - faith restored!Gedeye - in words of Partridge - that was just noise!

Red KenJuly 21st 2008.

I AM SPARTUCAS or am I Suzi ?

AnonymousJuly 21st 2008.

The food in Ithaca is good, the service is fine too. The place itself is very very tacky - as Dolly Parton once said 'You'll be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap'

AnonymousJuly 21st 2008.

went to ithaca last night,what a load of crap!!!!!!!! tiny space,chairs are very poor and the place looked like a dump, dirty!!!!overated and expensivexx

DanielJuly 21st 2008.

I agree with food lover so much, I am now giving this place a wide birth in case I have the missfortune of sitting next to an A lister. No thanks...

AndyJuly 21st 2008.

Big pimpin' in M.A.N.C.

AnonymousJuly 21st 2008.

What about his visit to Odder where his mate Mark Ronson played a secret gig? Jay Z and Kanye West turned up to meet up with Mark after Ithica all VERY exciting!

AlfonzoJuly 21st 2008.

The food at Ithica is fantastic I agree its a little small and very 80's chic.. However the service, food and wine menu is impecable .. People always bitch at stuff they can;'t afford

the jigga manJuly 21st 2008.

suzi, is your job title ithaca marketing manager?

GordoJuly 21st 2008.

GJH, me, I'me anyone's for a tenner mate!

GJHJuly 21st 2008.

Without wanting to sound like an old man...difference between Man Con & the diary in the MEN was that Gordo did not share Dianne Bournes habit of bigging up her mates at certain places - for instance Panacea & Taylor Lynn or whatever they are called events. Whilst I am sure Ithaca is as good as reviewed, it does your rep for fearless impartiality no good at all to print blantant puff pieces, with 'i'll be in for my 10%'. Like I said, the views of an old man, but I still cling to the idea that you have editorial impartiality.

Suzi - not the one aboveJuly 21st 2008.

Who is this Suzi who keeps posting ridiculously sycophantic comments on ithaca pieces?? it's annoying me as I am Suzi and do not want to be mistaken for the other one

CheeseyJuly 21st 2008.

Ever seen Pob and Jay Z at the same time? Suspicious isn't it?

ls12spJuly 21st 2008.

What a nice man wish I was part of the entourage.

food loverJuly 21st 2008.

I’m slightly worried that this doesn’t necessarily show Ithaca in the best light. What I think it might do is alienate regular folk and give them the impression that Ithaca is little more than this years Panacea/Living Room/Mash and Air. I’ve eaten in Ithaca 3 times now and I think it’s much more than that. The food is fantastic and I’m still salivating at the memory of their soft shell crab and green tea crème brulee. The danger is that Ithaca may become better known for its blingy, ostentatious, clients rather than its bloody brilliant food. They say no PR is bad PR, but I disagree. Let’s face it, even if Jay Z did spend over £10,000 in one pop, he’s hardly likely to subsequently pop in with Beyonce for his tea twice a month. And ultimately it’s the regular customers, not visiting A listers that’ll make this place an ongoing success. Yes this kind of story makes a bold statement and certain members of the British public (Heat readers particularly) love nothing more than the thought that they may end up having a margarita alongside an A lister, but for your more modest and less full of ****e clientele this story will make them run a bloody mile from the place. Leave the fawning, celeb gazing to the Panacea massive and keep building on your reputation for fantastic food Arnie.

GordoJuly 21st 2008.

Arnie, Gordo will be in tomorrow for his 10%

ChickJuly 21st 2008.

He went to Ithaca not because it's the 'best venue' in Manchester - he went becaue it has the most bling - reason number four for avoiding the place like the plague. Best decor?? You must be kidding, kind of says it all really

AgentJuly 21st 2008.

I heard that they hired out Odder, and was there with Mark Ronson...?

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