I found myself strutting down Deansgate this past Saturday night, on my way to the suave and sophisticated upmarket Living Room. I hold my hands up, it was my first outing there and I was intrigued to delve a little deeper into its well known reputation for class and quality. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised.
Known as a supreme and swanky bar and restaurant based on the most famous street in Manchester, The Living Room has all the ingredients to attract a the who's who of the city. You realise why upon entry, this bar oozes class put far from being intimidating, it's sophisticated yet quaint. The restaurant is separate from the bar and is filled with rows of individual and intimate tables with booths down the side of either wall, the open plan decor blends perfectly with the cosy tables.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
An uptown hangout for the elegant classes of Manchester, its natural charisma and glamour are evident as soon as you walked in. The bar is busy and vibrant and as you walk through to the restaurant and it's hard not to notice the effort put into the evening wear. You don't come to The Living Room without wanting to look your best, it's not normally something that interests me, but let's just say I was glad I'd put on my shirt. It all seems part of the experience, that coupled with the incredibly polite staff, well dressed barmen and row after row of glamorous guest, I, for the first time in my life, felt I could get used to this.
Steak Frites with a beautiful peppercorn sauce - delicious.
The Food and Drink
We were greeted by our waitress Nora who explained the potential options for the evening. We went for the two course menu for £11.95 each, amazingly priced for such a high end restaurant. We decided to share a starter and dessert in order to maximise the potential of the menu, and as it turned out, due to healthy portion sizes and a few cheeky drinks in between, that was more than enough. First up was the Thai fish cakes, from which I could smell the fresh spring onion and coriander as it left the kitchen and headed toward our table. Succulent, bursting with flavour and robust, they were a real favourite.
Next up was the steak frites, a fillet mignon served pink with homemade french fries and a serving of peppercorn sauce. The steak was cooked so perfectly, it was blushing, and then covered with a peppercorn sauce that was smooth but with a mean kick. After the amazing steak frites we awaited the sticky toffee pudding and vanilla ice cream. The contrasting temperatures added to the rich, all-encompassing flavours, a real treat and one worthy of being shared. All washed down with a bottle of house red, it was a fine and elegant dining experience and all for under £35 in total. Magnificent.
Amazing wines to accompany dinner - the house red was just an additional £10 on the dinner.
The Living Room, not my usual choice of hangout, but will be in the future. The classy, sophisticated decor, the elegant and yet vibrant atmosphere and the top choice of food and drink that doesn't break the bank, makes The Living Room in my eyes, one of the best restaurant bars in the city. I might need to go shirt shopping - I'll definitely be back.