Mr Cooper’s is no more, as The Midland’s restaurant space has rebranded to become Mount Street Dining Room & Bar.
The grand room has had a sleek new makeover with new dark wood panelling, new floors, soft leather chairs in the bar and marble-topped tables.
It looks handsome and suitably grown up, though still settling into its new home – a flickering light was a tad distracting during our dinner.
But it doesn’t feel stuffy. The playlist is full of Manchester classics from Joy Division to The Stone Roses – taking a leaf out of neighbour Adam Reid’s book, perhaps?
And when it comes to food and drink, it’s all about celebrating the best of British produce, with classic dishes that suit the elegant hotel dining room.
The restaurant is currently open for dinner only, though will start serving lunch from next month. There’s a midweek dinner menu (Sunday to Wednesday), as well as a more extensive full evening menu served Thursday to Saturday. A separate kids menu is available.
And you can get 50% off food Monday – Wednesday through September, too.
Executive chef Brian Spark, who has been at the hotel for five years, has designed a series of menus including chargrilled fish and lobster, steaks and grill dishes, and homemade pies.
We started our midweek dinner with a snack of pickled quails eggs with celery salt (£7). Sweet and sharp and utterly delicious dipped into the punchy salt, we liked them so much we promptly ordered another portion.
When it comes to starters, the smoked salmon was the standout for us. It’s smoked in-house and not cut too thinly, beautifully delicate, served with wild fennel and a hit of horseradish granite.
The full evening menu also includes lobster crumpets, a whole pork pie and steak tartare to start – though these don’t appear on the midweek menu, so it’s worth checking the menus in advance if there’s something specific you wanted to try.
Mount Street’s meat, including Yorkshire Limousin beef, comes from the hotel’s in-house butcher, and is smoked and charred using the in-house Bailey’s smoker.
Steaks range from £27 to £42 depending on cut and weight, with daily specials available, with other options including spatchcock Goosnargh chicken (£18) and, on the full dinner menu only, a three-bone rack of lamb (£26).
Our 300g ribeye steak had been treated simply and with respect, buttery soft, deftly seasoned and pleasingly pink with a flavourful char on the outside.
A garnish of a tiny chip barm, served on buttery brioche, was a cute touch (some might find it gimmicky, but it made us smile) – though you’ll want to order more triple cooked chips on the side, too.
Bearnaise (£2.50) was suitably rich and creamy flecked with fragrant tarragon, while a side of cauliflower cheese was nicely smoky.
The homemade hand-raised individual pies, made using a hot water pastry and including wild mushroom pithivier (£15) and chicken, bacon and leek (£15.50) as well as a “wow factor” beef wellington to share (£80, not available on the midweek menu), are a speciality at Mount Street.
Our chicken, bacon and leek pie was a beauty, hand crafted and hearty, served with mash and an intensely savoury chicken and thyme gravy.
There’s no skimping on size when it comes to mains – and there’s nothing too fussy or fiddly about them. It’s all about the kind of food you just really want to eat, done simply and done well.
Puddings include Eccles cakes with Lancashire cheese (£7), but we can’t resist a slab of suitably warming ginger loaf with sticky sweet butterscotch sauce (£6).
A glass of layered blackberry and mascarpone curd and chocolate comes with miniature warm Bramley apple-filled doughnuts (£7.50).
And there’s also a Sunday roast option, including sharing roasts or traditional roast aged Limousin beef topside (£16).
The hotel restaurant originally planned to open earlier in the year, but was delayed by the pandemic. And some of the dishes have had to be modified as a result – meaning sadly we won’t get to see things carved at the table or the planned big cheese trolley just yet.
Maybe they will be able to make an appearance down the line.
In the meantime, this is a confident start for the new restaurant.
Mount Street Dining Room & Bar is open now, for dinner service only this month.