Tasting notes... Cheshire House Bar & Grill, Knutsford
- Credit: Jody Hartley
The new kid on the Knutsford dining block has nothing to prove before joining the rest of the gang on the Knutsford dining scene
Knutsford has garnered a bit of a reputation for its multitude of dining options, attracting those who love to eat from across the area. The restaurants that do best are those that offer a great all-round experience, from service to menu to atmosphere; nobody likes surprises, so we seek the venues that never let us down and, judging by our recent experience, the odds are that Knutsford’s newest dining destination, Cheshire House Bar & Grill, will join the ranks of those that last longest.
Located in the space previously occupied by Brasserie Blanc, the new restaurant’s name succinctly sums up what diners can expect – a comfortable menu packed with the kind of dishes that require little contemplation, other than which to choose. No fuss, fluff or fripperies, just great, honest food beautifully cooked and presented. The interior is very Cheshire, super smart, with a touch of luxe and no extraneous, unnecessary touches. The whole experience is underpinned by great service too, from a team that is slick, friendly but never in your face.
Feeling a little giddy about a rare evening out, we invited two good friends, Amanda and Jason, to join us. It’s that kind of place, perfect for people celebrating whatever – friendship, anniversaries, birthdays or simply surviving lockdown.
Jason opted for the Chilli and garlic squid, which looked very pretty and apparently was rather fabulous, though I didn’t go there myself. I did dig into Amanda’s Fig and walnut salad, which was excellent, and partnered very well with my Buffalo chicken bites (chicken pieces in panko breadcrumbs, a buffalo glaze and chilli jam with Asian-inspired coleslaw) which was unanimously voted the winning choice, even beating Mike’s deliciously sweet and sticky Maple glazed pork belly bites.
Main courses were harder to choose, as I dithered between a Crispy beef salad and a Cheshire House burger. The burger won, largely because I could add breaded Brie wedges, which oozed their cheesy loveliness all over the plate. It was a great choice; a soft and juicy patty, layered with smoky BBQ relish, lollo rosso lettuce, tomato, pickled cucumber and mayo, served with sweet potato fries. I did wonder at one point who would be prepared to roll me home, but soon gave up worrying and ate another fry. Mike’s steak was declared excellent, proven by his scraped clean plate. Jason and Amanda chose slightly healthier options; Jason opting for Pan-seared hake, which came with Chorizo new potatoes and samphire. The fish was excellent, though he wasn’t sure the overwhelming taste of the chorizo helped it along. Amanda’s Pan-fried fillet of seabass came with plain new potatoes, more in keeping with this lighter fish, and braised leek, garden peas and feta. Again, a clean plate said it all.
I can never resist a a look at the pudding menu, and was seduced by the Chocolate and orange tart. Oh my, so good. Rich in taste and texture, it was dessert heaven. Amanda opted for the Tangy lemon posset, a light citrussy delight accompanied with homemade shortbread. We didn’t share, both convinced we had won on the pudding choice front.
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If you’re seeking somewhere to relax with friends, eat good food and talk nonsense for hours, this is a perfect place for it. There was music, but it didn’t cause us to raise our voices so the chat ran unabated, the staff were just as present as they needed to be and the food came in good time and not one dish disappointed. We shall definitely be back.