20 Stories – Manchester

Following my review of London’s Highest 24 Hr Restaurant (Duck and Waffle) last weekend, I was now going to experience Manchester’s new Highest Restaurant.

20 Stories is being launched by D&D London under the watchful eye of Aiden Byrne, who was previously at Manchester House, and I was lucky enough to secure a booking at their soft launch on Friday.

20 Stories is located on the 19th floor (20th Story) of the newly built No1 Spinningfield off of Deansgate, Manchester. – Although I’m being corrected that the name relates to the ‘stories’ of the food being served there, and not in relation to the height.

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Access to the restaurant is through a private entrance to the side of the building, easily located by the large illuminated 20 stories sign.

Warmly greeted at the front desk, we were then shown into the lifts and up to the 19th Floor. Then on entering the actual bar, I was immediately impressed by the high quality apperance, we were again greeted by a host, we asked if we could grab a cocktail from the bar first.

The bar itself is fairly large, with an impressive white marble bar top. However there isn’t much space to sit or stand, as they are hoping people have their drinks outside on the terrace. To one side of the bar is the Grill and to the other the Restaurant. Two restaurants with their own menus, both located in the same restaurant (you following)!

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I opted for their signature cocktail at the bar, also named 20Stories. A mix of Grape, Vermouth, Gin, Herbs and a wine float, I could have drunk these all night, it was fruity and easy drinking.

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We wanted to have a look at the terrace outside. I have to say the views are stunning, however even with heaters and blankets, it was pretty Baltic with the current cold snap, so we weren’t prepared to brave the cold just yet. I can however see this being a favorite hangout when it’s slightly warmer.

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We had opted to dine in the Restaurant area and were seated at 7pm. At this time it was very quiet due to it being a Soft Launch however I’m sure this won’t slwsys be the case. Unfortunately we didn’t have a seat right up to the windows as we had experienced in London, but the views were still good from our table and as the night progressed the atmosphere improved as it got busier and busier.

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For Starters I chose the Pigeon with Cherry and a Violet Mustard Sauce. I had mainly eaten pigeon whilst living in Egypt, so this dish was completely different and I loved every mouthful. The skin was charred and crispy while the meat was pink and succulent.

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India chose the Scallops on a bed of Pearl Barley. Having only tried Scallops once before she was very happy with these, almost licking the plate clean. These were cooked perfectly with a good caramalisation, the Pearl Barley being so flavoursome and filling.

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On to main and I went for the Lamb with Gnocchi with a red wine reduction. Again I could not fault this dish. The lights had been dimmed by now and so the photo quality wasn’t as good though! Although the photo quality was lacking, the quality in the dish was not. Once again perfectly cooked and pink lamb, tasty gnocchi and Girolle.

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India opted for the John Dory with Lobster Consomme. If she almost licked the starter plate.. she definitely licked this one clean. Again the fish was cooked perfectly bad the dish was bursting with flavour.

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we also opted for shared the sides of Mash and Chips cooked in Dripping. The Mash was creamy and smooth, while the Chips were LARGE, crispy and so full of flavour.

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Dessert for me was a Chocolate and Peanut Praline with Caramel Mousse and Banana Ice Cream – here came my only negative. The banana ice cream really didn’t do it for me, being like a banana puree and so strong in flavour, this wasnt to my liking. However the rest of the dish was superb. – Again the lights had been dimmer even more by now……  really not the best for photographing the dishes, so I apologise there!

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India loved her Manchester Tart dessert, having eaten the same named dish only 2 days before somewhere else in Manchester, she preferred this one immensely.

We really loved the restaurant and every dish that we tried. The prices are more than reasonable for a restaurant of this caliber. The real test was India – she ‘doesnt do posh food’. however it got the double thumbs up (Whilst licking the Lobster Consomme) and she wants to go back.

I would go as to say that this is the best meal I’ve had for a while and can see this place being a real success.

next time I want to try to sample the Grill Menu

20 Stories is located at No1 Spinningfields and bookings are available through their website http://20stories.co.uk

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