The Midland is a landmark hotel in Manchester and dates back to around 1903. It's grand in both style and in scale and is an appropriate home for what is certain to be Manchester's finest restaurant. We we're honoured to be granted a sneak peek inside The French and to try some of the menu dishes that will appear when the restaurant opens to the public on Tuesday 12th March.
Given the standard expected of The French, Simon has remained faithful in style to the food that has won him two Michelin stars at L'enclume and 10/10 in the Good Food Guide. Expect then multi-course tasting menus rather than three course a la carte, expect ox in coal oil rather than fillet steak, and expect dozens of ingredients you have never heard of (and never will again).
The room meanwhile is a clever mix of the old and the new. Two contemporary chandeliers have immediate impact and dazzle in every respect. Tables wave goodbye to the pressed white table cloths of old, instead offering naked wood surfaces, and those familiar with eating at L'enclume or Roganic will feel comfortably at home here we suspect. Making you feel yet more at home, familiar faces from Simon's other restaurants can also be found in both the front and back of house, so expect quality service, but without the starch.
Ahead of opening, to 'save the surprise', we have included only a few pictures of the food from the menu, but expect extensive coverage in the media next week (no less than two TV crews were filming during our lunch). But I can say one thing, and this is no surprise at all, the standards at The French are consistent with the standards in Simon's other restaurants, and that means you can expect it to be fabulous. Having eaten here today, I can tell you it is.
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