It was a very brave move indeed to invite Manchester's bloggers to your soft opening... Last night we were lucky enough to be asked to sample the new menu at Deansgate's latest restaurant, 3TwentyOne.
3TwentyOne is situated upstairs in The Deansgate pub, ideally located a stone's throw from Deansgate train station. Saturday was cup final day, so we had to squeeze through the footy fans to get to the stairs. However, once you arrive in the restaurant, it's a whole different world to the drinker's paradise downstairs. It feels smart, clean and above all has an air of professionalism. Everyone has a role and everything has its place.
We were welcomed by a pleasant young lady who showed us to our table. The seating arrangements are varied, including leather-clad booths, high benches with stools and regular tables with a view of the kitchen. The staff wear crisp white shirts with braces, and the chefs are visible in the kitchen.
My husband really enjoyed the Manchester egg with black pudding 'scotch'. The yolk was ever so slightly over-done, but I'm pretty sure this was down to waiting on the pass rather than being over cooked. This is a minor logistical hiccough which I am sure will be resolved.
Paddy loved the pizza. It was simple but full of bold flavours with a crispy base. I nicked a bit (purely to research flavour...) and can confirm that pulled pork was bloody good.
The mud pie was a big fella of a dessert. It took a little effort to slice through, which is always a reassuring sign for any chocolate lover. The crisp edge was perfect, and the ice cream served its purpose perfectly; a much needed lighter note to a very handsome pudding.
Is it perfect? Not at the moment, but it has great potential and a clear desire to be at the top of their game. Did we have a good time? Definitely. Would I recommend it? Yes. I'm dying to try their Sunday roast...
Saturday night was a dress rehearsal for 'normal' service. I am sure they will take our collective feedback on board and do with it what they wish. I am no expert, I'm just a lover of food and eating out. These are just my opinions. The staff seem proud to work at 3TwentyOne, and I'm sure they will make it the best it can be.
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Disclaimer: We were invited to 3TwentyOne as guests. The meal was complimentary but I was under no obligation to give a good review.