Numero – Manchester
It had been a rainy day in Manchester and I was recovering from the blow of finding that my favourite restaurant in Manchester had closed. I wandered up and down Dean Street looking for the side road that led to Simply Heathcotes restaurant, a reliable Modern English establishment that has branches across the Northwest. It had completely disappeared. I mean, completely. The building I think that housed it had become and insurance company or something but it looked like they had completely remodelled the doorway.
We headed to the Manchester Hilton and queued for the lift to the cocktail bar halfway up. Half and hour later after suffering fancy dress pub crawlers trying to push in and failing and registered guests trying to push in and succeeding we ascended and ordered overpriced cocktails looking out at the grey clouds that swaddled the building.
You couldnt see a thing.
Out with the iPhone and attempts were made to book Harvey Nichols. No luck. We ended up using http://www.toptable.com to find anything half decent. It pointed us to Numero near to the where we had parked the car. I wish it had kept its nose out.
Numero is in the Manchester235 complex in the Great Eastern building off of Dean Street. On entering it reminded me of an airport hotel, spacious, well designed with plenty off staff.
Then things went downhill. For an Italian restaurant it seemed to lack actual Italian food especially in the mains.
I started with venison ravioli in a cream sauce (looking at this written down god knows why as it sounds vile), it was not good.
The pasta was undercooked and had that awful uncooked flour taste that made it inedible. The sauce had solidified over the pasta and I suspect that it sat under the hot lamp for quite some time. Yes, I should have complained but the waitress had pretty poor english so to explain what was wrong could have taken a while so I just left it.
The main courses was much better but again, not italian. A lamb steak on a bed of mashed potato with gravy is nice enough comfort food but why serve it here.
My friend had a rib eye with chips, which was well prepared but not italian fayre. These items were typical of the a la carte menu so I’m not sure whether the chef was just uncomfortable with italian food.
I finished with the italian cheeseboard and it was pretty grim. Granted, it was huge but it was filled with cheese you didnt want to eat. A smoked baby bel type cheese, an unidentifiable blue cheese and a cheese that was like solidified skimmed milk which had been heavily salted. Quite vile. It went back mostly untroubled.
It was a bad end to a gloomy day. Sometimes a meal can lift an ordinary day into something quite memorable. In this case the memory left a bad taste in my mouth.