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“One of the best meals of my life”

Adam Reid at The French
Ranked #50 of 2,344 Restaurants in Manchester
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $66 - $112
Cuisines: Contemporary, British
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Adam Reid at The French strikes the perfect balance between heritage and progressive cuisine. While the restaurant is steeped in history, our current menu offers modern British food that delivers consistently excellent flavours by using the best seasonal produce and the very latest technological advances. Married seamlessly to its new contemporary direction, the breathtaking dining room of this historic restaurant encompasses both the new and old, with undeniable opulence and timeless elegance. Stepping boldly into the 21st century, Adam Reid at The French offers outstanding levels of service, warmth and style, that in turn, create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere like no other in Manchester.
Reviewed May 1, 2013

This is divine cooking. Better even than L'Encume but don't come if you want lots of choice and three courses. This is lots of tasting plates with added extras. They will substitute if you really don't like something but it is all so different and wonderful that you might get a new perspective.

The wine list is a big disappointment at the moment but the flight of wine is fine. Lots of space between tables but I do with they had a door to keep out the noise of the hotel foyer.

We will definitely be back.

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Thank Gruzenberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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776 - 780 of 814 reviews

Reviewed May 1, 2013

We got a table for lunch on a saturday after seeing that Simon Rogan had taken over the place on the local BBC news.
Food is amazing had the big tasting menu think it was 9 courses plus extras. All good but favourites were the Ox in coal oil and crab dish. I think we were there for nearly 4 hours.
Service was superb and we even got taken into the ktchen at the end of the meal to have a look at the kitchen and met Simon. What a really nice guy, he spent way longer than I expected with us and I hope he gets a Michelin Star for this place as he really deserves it.
Get in there before the queue for a table becomes ridiculous.

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Thank tap6699
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2013

At last Manchester has a restaurant to be proud of and hopefully not too long before it becomes a Michelin starred restaurant.

Visited on Saturday lunchtime and enjoyed the six course tasting menu with wine pairing. I cannot fault any element of the food, it was just one taste sensation after another. Stand out dishes were the oxtail in coal oil and the crab with horseradish. The wine pairing was perfectly executed with great matching to each dish.

The service is impeccable without being intrusive and the whole place has a great relaxed atmosphere including really comfy chairs, essential for three hour lunches!

I will be revisiting in June to experience the evening dining experience and cannot wait, this place is worth every penny.

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Thank MysteryGuestRochdale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2013

Food For Flanagan

The French Restaurant at the Midland Hotel, Peter Street, Manchester. M60 2DS

Having been so disappointed with the Manchester food scene over the years, I was extremely pleased to hear that Simon Rogan’s new ventures were coming to town. Having opened in 1903, the Midland Hotel, with its individual Edwardian-Baroque style remains a Grade 2 listed building. After a recent renovation, the French has again been re-invigorated with a new sense of passion and enthusiasm, allowing a perfect venue to deliver a platform of exquisite food one might think. Expectations were running high.

The French dining room has approximately 20-22 tables in a rather uninviting cavernous space. There are two very large chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, to which your eyes are immediately drawn as you enter this rather opulent room. On first glance, mirrored walls interspersed with French decorative wall design, it was a little Palais de Versailles esque with mismatched canteen style wooden tables and a rather unusual carpet taking on the appearance of a hardwood floor. Even amongst the grandeur decor there still seemed to be a lack of atmosphere with the usual convivial restaurant room buzz and hubbub somewhat missing. Unfortunately, for me the setting was not one to lift the spirits with intrusive piano playing modern music in the lounge area on the doorstep of the restaurant, and visitors bobbing in and out of the open doored entrance with intrigue.

We were welcomed by rather dashing staff, who were charming, courteous and unfailingly knowledgeable about both the food and the wines. To start our lunch and peruse the menus we chose two glasses of English sparkling wine, one white and the other rose. In my opinion, a perfect way to start a meal. We then opted for the 6 course tasting menu, along with the ‘flight of wines’ to accompany and compliment each course. This will set you back an additional £55 per person and expect the glasses to be rather on the small side.

Firstly, some pre-starters on offer, with a crunchy baby radish complete with tasty ‘greenary’ as I call it, served with a creamy mousse scattered with toasted buckwheat. To follow, a sensational parsnip crisp with parsnip puree, smoked eel, pork belly and a garnish of fennel. Onward and upward as they say, as we began our 6 course extravaganza. Rather unusually, most dishes were served in Lancashire sourced high rimmed pottery bowls, making it somewhat difficult to use your cutlery and near on impossible to see what others around are eating!

My experience started with the razor clams, egg yolk and sea herbs. Texturally this dish was outstanding, with the egg yolk sous-vide, poached to perfection, crunchy squares of celeriac and razor clams littered with crunchy herbs and edible seeds. Following this the ox in coal oil, pumpkin seeds, kohlrabi balls and sunflower shoots. This carpaccio was a triumph, using the rump of the ox, smoked delicately to seduce your tastebuds with the textures adding to your overall satisfaction for this dish. Next came the crab with caramelised cabbage, horseradish, chicken skin and crow garlic. As a concept I feel this is a wonderfully conceived dish. However the proof is in the eating, as they say. For me the white crab, mixed with the brown meat and dressing spoiled what could have been an exceptional dish. I would have preferred it served with a lighter touch and unabashed simplicity to the crab, leaving it in a fresher, less creamy state. Following this was the hake fillet, buckwheat, watercress and smoked roe butter. The cooking of the hake was perfect. The smoked roe is somewhat of an acquired taste I feel and not one I care to repeat. Next, Reg’s duck, ruby chard, king oysters, mulled cider and nasturtiums. With duck, one of my least favourite meats, my tasting of the well prepared meat was good, if not a little overwhelmed by the richness of the deeply flavoured jus and complex chords.

My companion substituted the razor clam dish for the boiled sole, onions, truffle and ramsons and the ox in coal oil for the early spring offerings, vegetables, herbs, flowers and lovage salt - a vibrant, lively dish guaranteed to push vegetarians’ to venture into a wonderful world of unknown. Indeed, I believe even meat eaters would be in food heaven with this one. This for me was the dish of the day amongst a showcase of wonderful, imaginative dishes using modern techniques and superb, diligently sourced seasonal British ingredients, keeping provenance at the forefront. All in all producing some quality cooking. Simon Rogan definitely has respect for ingredients delivered with careful balance between textures and tastes. Slightly too heavy on the foams for my taste, but otherwise superb.

The dessert of pear, meadowsweet and rye, buttermilk and linseeds continued the intricate story behind Rogan’s cooking. Not too sweet, but full of wonderful flavour. To finish the afternoon, a play on wafers and ice-cream from years gone by. The Sarsaparilla tipple on the side with rasperry meringue and a sarsaparilla parfait worked for me, but for my partner was much too sweet accompanied by a ‘languid’ tasting root drink.

At the end of the meal we felt satisfied we had tasted some perfectly executed food, some a little rich for our taste, but overall exquisite cooking. Although we were pleased with the majority of our plates we were left with a sense of uncertainty about returning to give the French a second visit. I would say the food is hot, but the environment left me cold. With rather premium price tags, for some, this palatial Parisian feel restaurant will definitely work. For me, however, the outlandish decor and unusual serving bowls and plates distorted my view somewhat. I found it difficult to disentangle the lack of ambience, the elaborate, elegant food and the dining experience intended.

 



For more visit www.flanagansfoodtravel.com

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1  Thank Nextadventure33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013

The French was always good in the past but probably belonged in a different era. Now the guys from L'Enclume in Cumbria have taken it over with an obvious attempt to be the first Michelin starred restaurant in city centre Manchester in absolute ages.

They've made a very good job on the decor without spoiling the grandeur of the superb room with a unique carpet that looks like hardwood flooring.

The food is absolutely top class. There's no point in me trying to describe the many courses that are in the menu and the lots of little extras you get, but don't worry as you will adore every single one of them.

The service is good, but to be honest they'll never get a star at this rate and they need to up their game a little. I know it seems a little old fashioned, but I really like a Maitre D' in a fine restaurant and I think that The French would benefit from someone taking charge without having too many other duties.

How good is it compared with any local competition?

Nothing comes anywhere near it unless you manage to get a table at Fraiche in Birkenhead which is a completely different sort of place.

Enjoy.

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3  Thank Cookiemonster171
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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