Curly crisps. The letter D. Steaming hot coffee. Cupcakes. Just a few of my favourite things in the whole wide world. And a more recent addition to the list, Neighbourhood’s Porn Star Martini.
Before I launch into a bit of a eulogy, I’d just like to say that Manchester is one of my favourite places in the world. I could live in Spinningfields – seriously. So, imagine my burgeoning enthusiasm at hearing about the opening of a new restaurant in one of the coolest spaces in the city. I was lucky enough (merci beaucoup Manchester Confidential) to wine and dine at Neighbourhood, an NYC inspired eatery that launched earlier this year. So, me and Gal Pal L rocked up one wintry Wednesday night to check out the yummy food and seek shelter from the blistering cold.
You know as soon as you’ve entered the premises that it’s going to be a special experience. Neighbourhood is that rare combination of cosy yet expansive, mainly due to the sprawling layout and décor in warm honey and chocolate tones. We kicked off the night with a few of the Pornstar Martinis, served alongside a shot of delectably punchy Prosecco. Now, there are cocktails, and there are cocktails, capiche? Neighbourhood has the latter and I can say hand on heart that they officially serve the best Pornstar Martinis in Manchester. It was sweet without being cloying, with the vanilla vodka complimenting the lemon zest to sublime perfection. The food didn’t disappoint either. Neighbourhood boasts a diverse menu, catering for the all day crowd. Whether you’re up for breakfast, lunch or dinner (I personally cannot wait to check out their brunch menu), the guys at Neighbourhood will sate your appetite no matter what time of day it is.
Back to the evening; after umming and ahhing over the eclectic menu, we ordered the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail from the Raw Bar. Four words to describe it: heaven on a plate. I was dangerously close to re-enacting the Meg Ryan diner scene in When Harry Met Sally much to Gal Pal’s amusement, because I couldn’t get over the beautifully plump shrimp and how moreish it was. It came nestled on chunks of ice with a ramekin of delicious cocktail sauce which was really rather yum and it had a nice kick to it (a shot of Tabasco sauce can do that). The Seared Scallops with sweet corn salsa and popcorn shoots were a slightly odd combo, but surprisingly worked and the Shitake umami gave it a nice twist. The Crab Fried Oysters were nice, but just a little too salty for my liking (and I love my salt, so that’s saying something). We were so stuffed by the various appetizers, that we couldn’t manage a main. So we plumped for dessert (it would be rude not to).
The Bucket of Biscuits served alongside luxurious vanilla ice-cream was the highlight for me, whilst the Box of Doughnuts served with a scrummy chocolate dip alongside fluffier than air marshmallows did the trick for the Gal Pal. The home-made biscuits and marshmallows had that fresh, rustic quality, prompting a well deserved hat-tip to the chefs for a delicious dessert menu (and for those scrummy, yummy, positively marvellous mallows).
Now, a special mention goes to the staff. We were served by the delectable Daneche, who was our superstar server for the night. She was attentive, courteous, knowledgeable and just downright awesome. A note to Neighbourhood; this young whippersnapper is one to watch, look after this gem. I’ll be checking out the brunch menu imminently (I can’t stop thinking about their Breakfast Martini, of marmalade, vodka and fresh citrus juices), so do check back soon for a standalone blog on the back of that.
Laters peeps and have an awesome Friday!