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Exquisite fine dining menu with wine a mere £30

Jonathan Schofield swoons for a flaking, succulent piece of beef and for a sweet thing named Charlotte at The River Restaurant at The Lowry Hotel.

Written by . Published on October 30th 2009.

Exquisite fine dining menu with wine a mere £30

Towards the end of our sampling of our latest shining star of a deal I nicked a River Restaurant menu.

Enjoy a £50 fine dining menu at the River Restaurant for just £30, that's right, £20 off.

Red onion with goats cheese tart

I added up the items we’d had. Didn’t seem right. I normally make two and two make seven so I tried again.

Yep the normal price for the three course meal with petit fours and bread plus a glass of wine could approach £50. Yet we’ve got Executive chef at the River Restaurant, Oliver Thomas, cooking it for our readers at a mere £30.

So what’s the new Confidential deal made up of?

Wild sea bass with white bean casserole

To start at the beginning you get a range of bread made dazzling by a full creamy butter from Jessie Mills’ farm in Holmfirth. I have no idea who Jessie is but my God he/she can churn.

Then came the three starters (only one choice each for the deal of course). You get Jerusalem artichoke soup, rich, powerful and perfect for the time of the year when the clocks go back. There’s also a red onion with goat’s cheese tart and the Swainson House Farm pressed chicken with baby leeks . Both of the latter are refined, subtle yet have more ‘character’ than Jack Nicholson.

Swainson House Farm pressed chicken with baby leeks

The chicken terrine is made up of the bits of a whole cluck cluck’s leg combined with baby leeks confit-ed in duck fat sharing space with a celeriac remoulade. There’s also some walnut and truffle oil action. Lovely. The Kidderton Ash cheese was a real favourite, prepared to just the right temperature and chocker with soft flavours. It danced over the tastebuds with the red onion and that lovely refined pastry base.

Visually one main stood out: a Borg mothership of featherblade of braised Cheshire beef with celeriac mash, smoked bacon and button onions. Look at the pics here - like all the food this is gorgeously presented.

Bread and butter

This is a classic autumn dish surging with flavour courtesy of the root veg, the gently sharp button onions, the thyme, the bayleafs, the refined mash and the middle smoked bacon. Above all it’s about cooking the beef for four hours, pressing it and then cutting it with a grain of fat running down the middle. It flakes folks, and then melts in the mouth.

Cheshire beef celeriac mash smoked bacon button onions

That wonder of dish sort of lost me for the other main course samplings: the wild sea bass with white bean casserole (the most expensive dish of our Confidential deal, coming in at £25.50 on the normal a la carte), and the blue cheese and squash risotto.

Gordo approved of the sea bass though. “Give me meat nine times out of ten,” said Mr Gravy Face, “but this works perfectly with the casserole.” The stand out moment of the risotto was the kick of the blue cheese melted into the dish and that big and exquisite Stilton and Parmesan crisp laid out on top.

Apple and blackberry charlotte

Then the desserts. These are prepared by pastry chef Austin Appleton. If the lush delights of cleverly crafted sugar rushes are your bag then gaze on the pics here and weep for joy.

Our special menu for readers includes a choice of three pudds: chocolate delice with basil ice cream and mango, apple and blackberry charlotte and Snickers brulee with peanut butter mousse.

Snickers brulee with peanut butter mousse

The charlotte was one that did it for me. The apple and blackberry filling was strong and full of character whilst the casing was prize-winning, soft yet distinctive, a vital counterpoint to the fruit.

After the most chocolate-y chocolate of petit fours Gordo and I had eaten ourselves to a standstill. Terrible job this.

Petit fours

So, dear readers, this is not a review, it’s an encouragement.

Jump on this deal if you love your food. It's limited covers and only available in November. We’re giving you three courses plus add-ons such as wine, petit fours and bread, all served in the oh-so comfortable and tranquil ambience of the River Restaurant at the Lowry.

Chocolate delice with basil ice cream and mango

It’s a winner, we’re very proud of it. Click here and book now

The Menu - £30 per head with a glass of wine

~ Appetiser ~


~ Starters ~

Jerusalem artichoke soup

Red onion with goat’s cheese tart

Swainson House Farm pressed chicken with baby leeks

~ Main Course ~

Wild sea bass with white bean casserole

Blue cheese and squash risotto

Featherblade braised Cheshire beef with celeriac mash, smoked bacon and button onions

~ Desserts ~

Chocolate delice with basil ice cream and mango

Apple and blackberry charlotte

Snickers brulee with peanut butter mousse

~ Petit fours ~

Menu available for lunch and dinner excepting Sunday lunch.

Click here and book now...

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