on January 4, 2008
I have walked past the Brasserie Chez Gerard on several occasions and decided to start the New Year off with a visit to this stylish looking restaurant. My resolution was to be a little more sensible when eating out (quite how long it will last only time will tell) and this was the kind of place where I thought I could enjoy a tasty meal without being tempted with “too much bulk”.I’d studied the menu in the outside seating area (in the summer months this Manchester restaurant takes on all the appearances of a French Brasserie) and had decided to try one of the special tajines that were on the menu. These were all reasonably priced (ranging from £10 for the vegetable and chick pea tajine up to £14 for the lamb) and I’d worked up an appetite for the Chicken.I took the plunge and although I initially felt underdressed (the restaurant seemed to catering for well-dressed theatre goers and I was tieless and jacketless) I was soon made to feel at ease by the young waitress who showed me a choice of small tables. This apron clad waitress (continuing the French theme in her working attire) was prompt with the menu and in inviting me to choose a drink. For a change I decided on a small glass of merlot (I’d normally drink beer when out on my own) and almost simultaneously confirmed my order for the main course.Although there is a chef’s recommendation to accompany the tajine the server was happy to confirm that, unless I had a huge appetite, there would be plenty to eat with the chicken and the accompanying couscous. The chicken was brought to the table after I’d had time to sample the fruity Merlot and take in some of the ambiance of the restaurant. The restaurant has a good feel good factor and although it has a chic boutique appearance it’s not in the least bit stand-offish. The place is extremely well lit (not the dark “intimate lighting associated with upmarket bistro) and I think it is more the better because of it. Functional, but stylish and comfortable tables are neatly arranged with classy cutlery and gleaming glassware.What a tasty Moroccan dish nicely presented on a wooden platter in a white tajine with a matching bowl of couscous. There was certainly enough here to sate my appetite and the infusion of herbs and the delicate hint of garlic and paprika made it a super tasty meal. Having devoured it I was tempted to check out the desert menu, but thankfully nothing “really grabbed me” and I gently reminded myself (well there was no one else to offer the cautionary word!) that I was intending to eat well but light. With a self satisfied smile I declined the pudding and asked for the bill.Will I return? I think so, but next time I’ll be less casually dressed and perhaps with company.
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