What is your beef? It is a good question and one I learned the answer to earlier this week when I went along to a Steak School and wine tasting press evening at Grill on the Alley, a stalwart of the Manchester restaurant scene for over ten years which has recently reopened following a mini makeover. Grill on the Alley is part of the Blackhouse group from Living Ventures and it has a warm and contemporary ambience thanks to exposed brickwork, soft lighting and a stylish bar area. A pianist played as we sampled a selection of cocktails such as Vanilla Duchess, which lent a tropical flavour to the evening with a garnish of fresh pineapple. The evening was all about unveiling the new menu too, which has several interesting twists such as a cocktail menu designed to pair with certain dishes (more on that later).
We took our seats, eager to sample the delights which lay ahead and after a welcome speech from MD Scott Grimbleby, we were given a masterclass in beef and wine; Grill on the Alley works with premium beef suppliers Fairfax and wine expert Chris Cooper was also on hand to treat us to a selection of wines chosen to complement the meal.
We had several cuts and varieties of beef throughout the evening, such as tender Galician sirloin and Australian Aberdeen black fillet, paired with wines which served to enhance the dishes. A Tannat wine from Uruguay was a personal favourite of mine, I had not tried a wine from Uruguay before and I was drawn to its fruity blackberry flavour.
Another innovation at Grill on the Alley is the Perfect Pair cocktail menu, with choices of Aperitif, Main and Digestif cocktails. I like the idea of starters, mains and desserts in cocktail format and some of them have been created to partner with certain dishes such as the Steak Holder cocktail, blended to be the ideal companion to the Australian fillet. We tried this and it tasted irresistible with the combination of Bombay gin, black grapes, Plymouth Sloe gin, star anise, maple syrup, blueberries and lactic acid working perfectly with the intensity of the meat.
A trio of desserts rounded off the evening on a sweet note and it was great to learn so much about steak and wine. Grill on the Alley is a favourite of the Manchester restaurant scene for a reason; it delivers a mix of sophistication and home comfort as well as impressive food, drinks and service. This place takes steak seriously, but there is also plenty on the menu if you prefer another dish, such as seafood and vegetarian dishes.
Grill on the Alley
What do you all think, do you like the idea of a steak and wine masterclass? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.
Until next time,