Napoleons Casino burst onto the Manchester scene last autumn, bringing its glamorous casino atmosphere to the city centre.
Alongside a range of timeless gaming tables and state of the art machines, this £8m venue also showcases a striking cocktail bar and elegant restaurant, both of which look over the main casino space.
The dining area is a relaxing, open space, with pitch-perfect lighting that gives off a James Bond-style sophistication without ever feeling stuffy.
Similarly, the waiting staff possess that easy charm that Manchester does so well – engaging and friendly, while never feeling like they’re intruding.
The evening menu is season-appropriate, taking in various fresh spring-and-summertime flavours, with enough choice to satisfy all-comers, refined down to a dozen or so well-crafted dishes.
Expect modern British cooking with inspiration from the best elements of French and Italian cuisine.
The classic Niçoise salad is an ideal place to start. Fresh olives, salad leaves and tangy tart tomatoes set the scene, working perfectly with a thick high-quality cut of seared smoked salmon.
It’s a smart twist on the traditional tuna version and works beautifully, tied together with a subtle but aromatic drizzle of roasted lemon and caper oil.
For a cold starter to share, the trio of bruschetta is a fine choice, thanks to the unique array of toppings.
The prosciutto ham, ricotta and cherry is the standout selection, thanks to the inspired addition of a hint of dark fruit to the traditional elements, but the crushed avocado, smoked chicken and balsamic is another lively combination of flavours, demonstrating the inventiveness of the chef.
For meat-lovers, the roasted rack of lamb won’t disappoint.
Artfully arranged, these delicious cutlets come coated with a powerful tomato jus that brings out the delicate flavours of the meat without overpowering it.
Underneath, you’ll find seasonal cooked vegetables such as courgette and impressively plump spring onions, coated with a light garlic-infused olive oil.
The butternut squash main is another highlight of an great meal.
Perfect for vegetarians, this consists of squash risotto baked into a lightly-crispy cake, similar to arancini, paired with thick slices of spicy chargrilled halloumi.
Fresh peas and crunchy toasted hazelnuts are sprinkled across the lot, along with a welcome dollop of nicely-balanced Harissa yoghurt.
It’s an impressive plate that shows off both the versatility of the kitchen at Napoleons Casino and the commitment to fresh produce.
It’s difficult to choose which dessert is best. The warm lemon and almond drizzle cake is a comforting way to end the meal, thanks to the exquisite lemon curd crème anglaise, but if you have a sweet tooth, the banoffee cheesecake is something truly special.
It’s a deconstructed take on the classic dessert, with crunchy caramelised chunks of banana, strawberries and flapjack crumble scattered around the silky smooth cheesecake – every mouthful is a delight.
Far from being an afterthought, it’s clear that both the restaurant and the dishes on the menu have had as much care and attention as the design of the casino itself.
If you’re looking to add a touch of high-end dining to a stylish evening of gaming, a meal at the Napoleons Casino restaurant is a sure bet.