Almost a Manchester institution - although not as much so as its more pubby cousin across the road (Mr Thomas' Chophouse) which has genuinely been there since Victorian times.
However, Sam's is a city centre gastropub, although they're not keen on the description, decorated in a Victorian style and done quite well. It's in the basement of the building and you come across the pub bit first. Good selection of beer including the local J W Lees and , of course, Sam (Smith's).
Food is served in a separate restaurant section at the back. The menu is best described as classic British food and service is excellent. We hadnt been for a couple of years and Mrs H wanted to check it out as a possible venue for a forthcoming dinner with her various European counterparts.
OK, so to food and drink. Their signature dish is corned beef hash - served either as a starter or main - with poached egg. Impossible for me to resist as a starter, particularly as it comes with HP sauce. For a main, there was much that tempted me on this winter's night. Steak and kidney pudding, with jug of gravy; Faggots (or "savoury ducks" as we call them round here); pheasant, rare breed pork chop, etc. But I settled on haunch of venison which came with root veg and spuds. It was advertised as being cooked medium rare but was past that when it arrived. Still very nice. Sauce was a very flavoursome red wine reduction with a hint of chocolate. It worked.
Herself started with an open tart of butternut squash and Yorkshire feta. She wasnt that keen on the feta. I picked at it and thought it fine. Her main was a classic fish, chips, mushy peas, tartare sauce. Good fish; crispy batter; lovely big thick chips.
We were too full for dessert but had coffee. Bill, including a 10% service charge, came to £78 - not too bad considering that £20 was Mrs H's half bottle of chablis.
We think herself's colleagues are going to love it.
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