WOOD

Thursdays are the new Fridays; or at least that’s what I tell myself as I blow my fringe upward away from my newly glistening forehead – the result of which is from seeing JUST HOW MUCH the bill has come to after my friend Dariane and I dine at WOOD on a Thursday evening.

Because what other excuse could there be for spending over £55 per head for two courses and a pair of G&T’s?

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Wood has been on my agenda ever since I heard word of its arrival following my Masterchef obsession circa 2015. A brief tease of the original menu sold me completely, as I waited for the perfect occasion to excitedly embrace a reservation.

Whilst there’s no shortage of fine dining restaurants in Manchester, there’s something about WOOD which combines homely-ness with sheer luxurious opulence. A far cry from Bunny Jackson’s Juke Joint situated next door, WOOD is worlds away from the norm and excels in a warm welcome.

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Sinking into our buttery soft, leather booth; the friendly staff buzzed around us, tending to our every need; taking our coats, detailing the menu and fixed us with a handsomely large gin, (the most important of the lot arguably).

Before ordering, we were presented with two perfectly plump buns of freshly baked bread. Still warm from the oven, the soft bites were simply heavenly when combined with the same ratio of salted butter to bread.

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Having poured over the menu previously that day; we eagerly placed our orders and awaited excellence.

To start, Wild Mushroom Raviolo cooked with sage, chestnuts and pangrattato.

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Texturally pleasing; the rich, flavourful filling was hugged by soft, slippery bites of its pasta case and crisped by a crowning crumb. A simple concept, executed marvellously, I’d have gladly eaten a trough of it.

Beef Carpaccio, which seems to be off the menu presently; regardless, it was a total delight and masterfully presented.

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On to mains, neither of us could resist the Halibut and neither of us could quite bring ourselves to share, and for very good reason.

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The most spectacular dish.

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A perfectly cooked fillet of halibut, lay atop a bed of tender stem broccoli. Smoked mussels dance around the plate, led by the enticing crunch of sweet pistachio nuts, all of which is bathed lightly in an outstanding jus-esque cream sauce.

So rich but so delicate, a show-stealer and day-maker.

We were coaxed into a side of Woodland Salad – which did it’s job providing extra greenery, but was no supporting role to this dish.

Whilst I had no desire for dessert, Dariane settled upon the Yorkshire Rhubarb and White Chocolate pudding .

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A fanfare of flavours and artistically built plate. Refreshing, sumptuous and sweet.

When it comes to fine dining, this ever-growing field seems to have new establishments popping up like mushrooms overnight; alas WOOD is a restaurant which I believe will grow and flourish with the city.

We have been spoilt somewhat in recent years, as talent increases; the opportunity to dine out lavishly is more obtainable at a more cost effective price. Dining venues such as Mackie Mayor, whilst not necessarily the same experience or quality, but arguably flavour and value mean that we’re able to get a taste of innovative and exciting dishes without worrying whether our card might get declined.

This being said, I feel WOOD should most definitely be experienced by all, while personally it might not be in the price bracket I feel most comfortable in; there is no denying the craftsmanship nor the excellence behind the dishes and those which create, cook and serve them.

If you do decide to indulge, book here, and be sure to tell me how you get on. Trust me, you wood’nt want to miss it.

*Interior photos taken from google (I was so immersed in the food I totally forgot to take them myself).

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “WOOD

  1. writingbolt says:

    I can tell why you paid so much and why you were so surprised that it made you sweat. First of all, check out the décor. You’re paying for that humble yet swanky furniture and delicate glassware. This place is putting class on a toothpick of a pedestal; one wrong move will cost plenty to replace something. And, the cost goes to the customers. Second, you focus so intently on the bread, the thing so many places use to spare the cooks some effort and potentially cost them in leftovers which may become tomorrow’s second-rate “special of the day.” Third, a “buzzing” staff that even takes your coats? I’d be a lil wary of anyone taking my coat these days. But, I know about buzzing staffs, and that usually either means you are made to feel guilty if you don’t tip or you pay your tip in the service/food price, just because the staff is trying extra hard–almost too hard–to cater to you. I suppose it benefits those who like to be pampered or have attendants with them, regularly.

    I’d also suspect the place got a boost from being televised which helped pay for some custom logo signage and such…which also transfers into pricing, usually.

    If my math is correct, 55f is too rich for my blood. No way I’d chance the place for anything other than the most special of occasions; and, even then, it seems more buck than bang. And, I don’t care for the buzzing staff treatment, either.

    The food looks delicious enough, but portions are small; and I can see they were making the effort for that “fancy French cuisine” look. But, they fell short and settled for a curl of this and a drizzle of that with a blob of something on the side. It’s like watching a painter make two strokes on a canvas and then turn to receive applause.

    This disappoints me because I have a personal connection to all things wood and expect more from a place with that name. No offense, but I’ll take my wood–paper money–elsewhere.

    And, I think you were immersed in something else that you forgot or neglected to take your own photos. 🙂 The bill.

    Like

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