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Gordo visits The Restaurant Bar and Grill

A longstanding firm favourite of the ‘Mancon’ crew, but more importantly, is The Restaurant Bar and Grill still a Gordo go!?

Written by . Published on March 8th 2007.

Gordo visits The Restaurant Bar and Grill

When asked where the favourite bar is for the ‘Mancon’ crew, Gordo replies The Restaurant Bar and Grill. Open now for what seems like a hundred years, this was what Paul Heathcote was looking for when he invested in his bar downstairs and restaurant upstairs further down Deansgate, Simply Heathcotes. It’s a complete mystery to Gordo why the bar downstairs at Simply Heathcotes bombed, whilst The Restaurant Bar and Grill took off like a rocket. Both were as good as each other.

This one has stood the test of time, even when the home boys moved in for a short while. The waitress’ could do with a bit of training when it comes to scanning a room, but all in all it’s one of the best ‘suit’ bars in town. Gordo, tired and emotional a couple of Friday nights ago decided that the only way to deal with the accountant who was refusing to sign off his champagne bill was to grip him violently by the throat as a prelude to breaking his nose. However, the boys on the door dealt with Gordo in a fair and firm manner, with no fuss. Which is why this bar is so good.

Back in the early days you would find James Gingell cooking in the open kitchen. James in now the exec chef across a group that boasts four Bar and Grills along with numerous Piccolinos; ownership of the group changes with the wind. But what of the quality? It is consistent. James is single-handedly responsible for putting fried chilli squid on the dining tables of the north west, having nicked it from Zinc, along with griddled asparagus with poached egg, hollandaise sauce or sometimes slivers of parmesan. He is the chef that launched a thousand copy cats. Ironic really. Come on James, get your finger outta your ass and come up with something new. Actually you have, it’s Paella, weirdly. More later.

James has also spawned a few chef-patrons who are cooking a storm, not the least Luso and Geese who have actually blossomed further. It’s important for the health of North West restaurants that firms like The Individual Restaurant Company keep up their training policies.

The Restaurant, which is reached by a staircase through which the boys in the bar can check out the ladies legs, has kept its contemporary yet comfortable black and brown feel well. It has not aged; the same cannot be said for those awful white plastic jobs in Simply Heathcotes. There is an open kitchen at one end which must be passed on the way to the loos, which are mint; always a good sign.

Gordo sat down with his old pal, Kerry Nicholls, ex Dinosaur and currently Marketing gaffer at Pets at Home. Very fit. Having worked for the little brown rat, it was a natural move.

The deadly duo decided to share an Asian Plate as a starter; Thai prawn cakes, duck spring rolls, chilli squid, Vietnamese vegetable and mint salad, tempura prawns and Malayan chicken skewers. (£11.95). Phew. This is a great idea, it works well. The Thai prawn cakes stood out, along with Vietnamese vegetables and mint salad, nice and sharp, a palette cleanser if ever there was one.

Is Gordo right, does the Restaurant Bar & Grill still have it? Click here and let us know.

As a main course Gordo ordered off the specials, a paella. He has forgotten the price. He hasn’t forgotten the dish, it turned out to be one of the best paella’s he has ever had. Four fat prawns sat on top. Paella is one of those dishes that Gordo loves to order, but is rarely pleased with unless it’s on the jetty in Port Andraix in Majorca. This one was a really good example. Gordo’s vote is to keep it on the menu.

Over the year, other dishes that have hit the nail on the head are Salmon Fishcakes, Spinach with Lemon and Dill sauce (£12.95), they taste of salmon. Interesting this as so many fishcakes taste of spuds with a little fish background, if you know what Gordo means. Calves Liver with Dried Cured Bacon, Mashed Potatoes and Onion Rings (£14.75) has always been a favourite as well.

The main courses look pretty good value, but keep on your toes when ordering side dishes, a couple of these take your main courses up to £20.00, whilst the excellent steaks at the £17.00 range suddenly become £23.00 to £26.00. Ian Donald, the Gaffer, knows how to prise that extra few bob out of you.

Wines are well chosen, albeit ones that you may well already be familiar with. Consistently good value, you drink well from the mid teens upwards.

This is not fine dining, but it is consistently fun dining. Kerry and Gordo had a great night; the service is friendly, prompt and well trained; you can rely on these guys to do you proud if you are entertaining, whether that’s for business, family or seduction. On a pals night out it hits the spot for everyone. You must book; this is a busy place and you need to book well ahead for Fridays and Saturdays when it tends to be very dressed up.


Gordo Go

The Restaurant Bar and Grill
14 John Dalton Street
M2 6JR.

0161 839 1999

Is Gordo right, does the Restaurant Bar & Grill still have it? Let us know below...

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AnonymousMarch 29th 2010.

was in manchester bar and grill on the weekend and really feel that finally the bar in general is getting back to good old days, bartenders where quick, polite and made us some fantastic cocktails not on their menu, sazeracs and mint juleps :) definitley a must go for anyone who enjoys good service. also the girls on the floor met our every need, every time we were thinking we wanted another drink they were there to serve us, oh and check out the tandoori food they are doing now... awesome!!!

Alan J. NadinMarch 29th 2010.

RBG still remains a bar with an excellent vibe, great ambience and the food is very nice indeed. I went with a colleague a couple of weeks ago and found the service from the downstairs waitress attentive, friendly, polite andprofessional. The food was lovely and walked out very happy....possibly from all the wine!!

SuspiciousMarch 29th 2010.

Hmmmm, a review from three years ago suddenly gets two very positive reviews on the same day? I wonder...

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