the Modern above URBIS
has anyone sampled the Modern sitting astride URBIS.
following the unbridled pretension and rampant snobbery of Le Mont it would be lovely if a decent relaxed restaurant ciould rise like a phoenix from the ashes.
a focus on food and not fashion would be welcome
i would love to find a really good restaurant in manchester as i am most often left feeling as though i should have stayed in and cooked myself (a recent visit to city inn is the exception)
Not yet. But its menu looks a world away from Le Mont's. "Proper" food, locally sourced ingredients and affordable prices. Not a foam in sight. Got to wish it well.
I put off going to Mont for so long because of its pretensions and, frankly, silly prices that it closed before I got there.
To be fair to Le Mont the actual food was excellent,it was let down by the funerial atmosphere and the pretension as you said.
The Modern is certainly an improvement ambience wise and the service,while still overly attentive at times,has been ratcheted down a couple of notches(no white gloved waiters hovering waiting to pounce if you attempted to touch your wine bottle!),as for the food,well in my three visits i have found that although its not as good as Le Mont was it is still very good,especially in this price range.
As i said earlier i have eaten at the modern three times now,once for lunch and twice for dinner,i dont like to judge a restaurant on one visit only,especially a newly opened restaurant,as there can be so many teething problems in the early days/weeks.
The room itself has been split into a bar area on the mezzanine level (6th) and the restaurant on the 5th level,the ambience has been improved immeasurably by the addition of the bar which gives the room a buzz that Le Mont never had.
The menu is pretty simple with a good selection of locally sourced ingredients and is reasonably seasonal.
The artichoke and rosemary soup starter is an utter delight,creamy yet impossibly light and fragrant,the oysters were as good as i've had away from the coast and the potted shrimp was another winning dish,i also tasted the ubiquitous scallop and black pudding starter which was fine and the smoked duck starter which was only ok.
On to the mains,the lamb entree was a little disappointing imho(I had it twice) but the Rib eye and especially the John Dory mains were excellent,in fact i would go so far as to say that the John Dory in Champagne sauce is as good a dish as i've had in Manchester for a long time,i also tasted the monkfish which was a lovely balanced dish and the Venison stew which wasnt my cup of tea but was a big hit with others at the table.My veggie friend is still raving about his pumpkin and goats cheese tart.
Im not a dessert person but my other half,who most definetly is a dessert person,proclaimed the quince tart as "divine" and the Parkin as"heavenly",she was less impressed with the marmalade sponge,others at the table vouched for the bread and butter pudding.
The wine list is very well balanced imho,a rarity in Manchester i find,and the mark ups arent as heart attack inducing as they can be in Manchesters dining scene these days,the grand cru riesling and the pomerol are particular favourites of mine.Also for the wine buffs out there ask the sommelier about their fine wine list,it changes regularly and includes some very,very good wine at reasonable prices.
All in all the hits far outweighed the misses on the occasions we visited and The Modern is a welcome addition to the Manchester dining scene.