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Café Rouge

Left Bank in Spinningfields gives Manchester a new dining destination

Published on July 2nd 2007.

Café Rouge

Café Rouge is one of several new restaurants being spooned into the Spinningfields redevelopment in Manchester city centre. Any re-invented city district needs atmosphere and the best way to create a buzz is by bringing in food and drink outlets. The clink of merry glasses and people chowing down together cements an area into the life of a city.

To kick-start this process, developer Allied London, has brought together a number of famous national names such as HA! HA!, the Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Zizzi and Café Rouge – the first of these opens in August, the others are up and running

Café Rouge is typical of this set of crowd-pleasers. Set up in 1989, there are now over 90 Café Rouges across the UK. The idea behind the restaurant is to offer accessible French classics in a contemporary setting without losing any of the traditional appeal. Thus Café Rouge offers famous dishes such as steak frites and boeuf bourguignon and a selection of notable wines. Hors d’oeuvres include crepe d’eglefin (crepe with a smoked haddock filling) and moule du Café Rouge (Café Rouge mussels in white wine, herbs, garlic and cream). The kids aren’t left out either with a special menu priced £4.25 offering dishes such as sausages with mashed potatoes (you know what kids are like) and pasta tubes in tomato sauce with cheese plus ice cream or a drink.

The wine selection, as one might expect from a French restaurant, is broad with big reds such as Chateauneuf du Pape and gentle whites such as Muscadet de Sevre et Maine. There’s kir and pastis too, of course. All in all sounds like a good night (or lunchtime) out.

With Yo Sushi!, EAT and Wagamama already part of the action, plus more food and drink to come, Spinningfields is doing its part to make Manchester city centre an easier place to enjoy.

The French have a word flaneur which means to stroll along aimlessly, taking in the city scene with no particular agenda, dropping in for a coffee here, some food and wine there. The area of Spinningfields with Café Rouge is nicknamed Left Bank. With those Parisian connections it’s right that this is becoming the sort of place perfect for a flaneur.

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