Dakota Bar & Grill Manchester, 29 Ducie St, Manchester, M1 2JL – Visit Now
Silhouetted behind the familiar sight of Piccadilly Station is Dakota, an unapologetically classy and chic hotel with a matching grill inside. Pushing through the glass doors you’re greeted with a well-stocked bar before being taken to their candle-lit dining area.
But Dakota isn’t all about looks. No, while you may come for the aesthetics, the food is what you’ll remember it for. As we settle into March, you can find Dakota’s curated prix fixe menu at an affordable £20 for two courses or £25 for three. Each course has four options so you’ll be spoilt for choice, all of which are stunning. Deciding what to indulge in might be the greatest challenge of all.
The beef cheek is slow-cooked to a degree of tenderness you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere
I opted for their pork bonbons, savoury balls of crispy goodness around a crisp centre of celeriac with wholegrain mustard to have along with a complimentary amuse-bouché of homemade bread to be dipped in a tomato-cheese sauce, as well as a cauliflower veloute with fried truffle topping. Delightful on all fronts, I’m especially impressed with the still-warm bread and sauce which avoids the common mistake of being too salty.
Next, the main of beef cheek with truffle pomme purée and, not letting anything go to waste, a beef fat roasted carrot. Plated to be as appealing to the eye as to the palate, the beef cheek is slow-cooked to a degree of tenderness you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, falling apart at the touch of a knife. This goes beautifully with a glass of red from their extensive wine list. The dining area’s subdued tones allow the stresses of life to take a backseat. Alternatively, you might opt for a slice of their crispy-skinned pork belly that comes accompanied with a leek confit and apple purée.
The perfect night can be achieved without breaking the bank
Their desserts ensure you end on a high note. I’d highly recommend their lemon posset topped with blueberry and tarragon for a light fruitiness rather than the cloyingly over sweet desserts you might find at other restaurants. If you are more inclined toward nuts than fruit, try the equally perfect pistachio tart with a side sorbet to chill you out.
If all this somehow doesn’t satisfy you, spend the evening lounging in their gorgeous terrace. The service here is second to none, with blankets provided for the chilly nights, as well as an open fire.
Everything about Dakota screams ‘high class’ without feeling gaudy and overdone. Their generous prix fixe menu means that the perfect night can be achieved without breaking the bank and will leave you with a memorable meal if nothing else.