The Lowry Hotel, Manchester restaurant review

The Lowry Hotel, 50 Dearman's Place, Chapel Wharf, Manchester M3 5LH. 0870 7653847

MIGUEL Torres, head of the Spanish winemaking family, is considered an international superstar in serious quaffing circles, so lunch with him at the Lowry Hotel had to be just so. And executive chef Eyck Zimmer and his team made sure that the stuff on the plates was as good as what went in the glasses.

The Torres family have been making wine in Penedes for generations, but here the focus was on their Chilean production, begun in 1979. Chile is 'a paradise for viticulture', Mr Torres told us, and we had a chance to decide for ourselves.

A starter of tender, lightly smoked salmon with citrus fruits and red onion went well with a fresh, light Santa Digna Sauvignon Blanc 2006 (�5.99 in the shops), followed by a huge piece of herb roasted lamb rump, firm and pink, on cous cous tabouleh with oddly contrasting petits pois and carrots. The Santa Digna Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 (�5.99 in the shops) was strong and rich enough to cope with the lamb, a contrast with the more delicate flavours of the next wine, a Manso de Velasco 2001 (�15.99), from century-old vines (quite impressive when you realise that most vines are finished by the time they're 40).

The cheeses that came with it were good, but still overshadowed by this silky, complex red. Dessert was lemon grass panacotta with guillotines cherries, a comforting milky pudding, paired with the equally soothing honey flavours of the dessert wine, Venimia Tardia Riesling 2004 (�8.99 for a half bottle in the shops). And to round off the lunch, hosted by wine shippers John E Fells, who also supplied the refreshments, a glass of Torres 20 brandy with our coffee and petits fours.

A la carte prices at the Lowry's River restaurant, awarded two AA rosettes, are around �10 for starters, main courses �20 and desserts �7, or fixed menus at �20 for two courses, �25 for three courses. Naming the hotel after Salford's famous painter was a great idea, but the matchstick men would soon lose their figures after a lunch like this.

Andrew Hobbs

Most Read

The Lowry Hotel, 50 Dearman's Place, Chapel Wharf, Manchester M3 5LH. 0870 7653847

Comments powered by Disqus