Restaurants & Bars

Ice Storm report--Manchvegas


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Restaurants & Bars 6

Ice Storm report--Manchvegas

whs | Dec 18, 2008 06:34 PM

The ice storm made us refugees at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester—could have been worse, we had room service! We also had the opportunity to revisit some old favorites, and try some new places, all within walking distance. We had dinner Friday night at Z Bistro, and enjoyed our cocktails—a Hendricks gin concoction with a dash of rosewater and cucumber “noodle” relish, and Meekins martini with a splash of Lillet. We had the Asian nachos and flatbread with fontina, Serrano ham, and truffle oil, followed by veal cheek stew and mustard-coated pork loin with red cabbage. All delicious, and excellent service from Sean. These are items we’ve had before and enjoyed them again. Lunch on Saturday at the Athens—if just for the décor, this place is worth a visit. It’s a time capsule of fine dining Manchester-style circa 1977. The avgolomeno soup is always tasty, and the spanakopita plate could feed a small family.

We tried Hanover Street Chophouse Saturday night, which was a first visit. A handsome room packed with customers coming in well past 10pm—so much for the recession. Our white-coated waiter Richard was a study in professionalism. Gigantic martinis served in individual shakers, a nice touch. Bluepoint oysters were briny, fresh and the size of small Portobello mushrooms. The escargots in a Pernod butter sauce were fantastic and a Caesar salad was nice and garlicky but could have used some more anchovies. The steaks, a porterhouse and a Delmonico, were roasted rather than grilled and cooked rare as requested, the truffled ‘tater tots’ are a must try. At Cotton we had split pea soup—delicious once it was sent back to the kitchen to be heated up, forgettable pasta with lobster and a decent turkey schnitzel. Biggest gripe about Cotton is the nasty, chemical smell of toilet freshener that greets you as you walk through the door. Cotton promises so much but usually manages to disappoint. We went to Margaritas for the drinks (we could stagger back to the hotel); totally forgettable food--let’s face it, Manch-Mex will never replace Tex-Mex. We also had decent burgers at the Radisson, though everything else tasted like it fell off the back of a Sysco truck.

So we’re back home—going through the fridge, throwing out dubious containers of pad thai sauce and veal demiglace…

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