The Black Dog Ballroom (New Wakefield Street) is one of the best night spots in Manchester. This brand new bar is styled in the fashion of New York`s Downtown speakeasies and is a really smart affair. Set across a couple of floors, there is an upper eating and drinking area which is light and airy (complete with roof terrace), there is a eating area below and also a row of bookable pool tables. The décor for these floors is slick and sharp, yet unpretentious and inviting. Traditional wooden flooring and low-lighting pave the way booths and American style seating. Although simple, the effect is pretty impressive and we appreciated the attention to detail.
We arrived early to sample some of the menu and we were really impressed by both quality and value. The food follows the atmosphere set by the décor and staff; unpretentious but of high quality. To kick off with and to get our protein fix, we tried the `Meat Platter` (£8.95) – a selection of Chilli Nachos, onion rings, chicken strips, shredded steaks, BBQ sauce, salsa, guacamole and sour cream. This hulk of a platter was more than enough for two people and the shredded steaks and Chicken strips really hit the spot. This was a great sharer for a group of friends and made for fantastic social eating.
All of the mains we tried were also top notch; not to mention the juicy and tender Gourmet Burgers (£6.95). Complete with all the typical American burger trimmings, the burgers ranged from local Chesire beef to Spicy Bean. For those looking after their waste-line we also would recommend the Mojito Jerk Chicken (£5.95), which featured Chicken marinated in jerk seasoning, rum and lime juice. The flavour combination really worked and the rum sang through. To change things up I went for the lamb kebab Skewers, which were glazed in a classic Jack Daniels glaze, served with salad & fries. You can really see the hearty American roots coming through the menu and it was a treat to try.
The Black Dog Ballroom also does a fine selection of cocktails and we tried two in the bar downstairs which really caught our imagination. The `Bloody Black Dog`, a twist on the Bloody Mary, blended Finlandia Vodka, tomato juice, lemon, spice. This drink is perfect for a winter`s night, as the spice adds a fantastic warmth to the drink. For those looking for something a little fresh, the `Candy Apple` unites Barcadi`s new spiced rum Oakheart with caramel, apple juice, lime juice. I love citrus based cocktails and this was brilliant.
Later on in the evening the bar burst into life and there was a really warm buzz around the place. Not only is the bar itself a great setting, but even in its infancy it seems to attract a positive and relaxed crowd. To top all this off, the staff are friendly, efficient and good fun to be around – so thank you to them!
When we are next in Manchester we will be making an appearance at the Black Dog Ballroom. Please also be aware that there is also a Black Dog Ball Room in the Northern quarter of the city and we hear just as good things about this one! Please click here for more information: http://www.blackdogballroom.co.uk/
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