It was all happening in Stevenson Square on Tuesday with ‘slebs gathering at the opening of the new Reuben Wood Creative salon/photo studio and as we stopped by, we loved the canapés from Rosylee’s so much, we just had to pop over for dinner.
“…confident in their dishes, offering enough choice to please a tableful…”
It’s a lovely building, with Hula in the basement, pavement tables then a glass porch into a huge dining room that’s part Georgian and part Edwardian with romantic foliage, flickering candles and sparkling glassware.
There’s also The Fitzgerald on the top floor which is open from Thursdays and over the weekend and looks, with its chic sofas, clocks and curtains, like a 1920’s private club (not one of those nasty lap-dance ones though).
It reminded us of a cake with each storey like a delicious and inviting tier, with a different offer – it certainly brings the Square to life.
It also made us think of Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright who we’d left at the ‘do’ wearing matching bright blue. They are tiny. Gorgeous but tiny. When it comes to their nuptials I pondered what they would have on the top of their cake – it could be themselves, perfect little figurines that I wanted to put in my pocket.
Anyway back to Rosylee, which is probably best known as a tea room in the day and that sounds utterly indulgent with lashings of different teas, coffee ‘with love’, buns, breakfasts and other goodies – we must come back and do tea.
The evening menu was a refreshing change from all the pulled pork and burgers (personally I’ve had a bellyful) or the plethora of ‘small plates’ eateries that have spawned from Cicchetti (we worked out in one place we went to that the two scallops we got for £8 were actually more expensive than gold), whereas this had proper starters (from £7.95), mains (from £11.95) and desserts (from £5.95).
There’s a limited but good selection, a sign that they are confident in their dishes but also offering enough choice to please a tableful as we were.
The crispy halloumi (obvs veggie) was a delight in a tender light almost tempura ‘batter’ and absolutely infused with a glorious citrus flavour. Superb ham hock terrine with brioche, hollandaise and poached egg that was an earthy, meaty treat. Scallops with porky counterpoints were plump, plentiful and delicious.
Onto mains and this was the only false note of the meal as I had opted for the market fish which was billed as seabass and roasted potato. When it came, though cooked skilfully, it was two tiny fillets on a salad, which was pretty much the same salad as my starter. I wish I’d had the duck and will be back to try that.
We declared the rare lamb rump a triumph. The steak, again was a meaty knock-out, cooked to rare perfection but a little cold.
Onto puds and heaven for us was a fantastic cheese board all from England and Wales and showing what great fromage we have on our shores. The highlight was the Snowdonian Black Bomber which we will now hunt down in our deli.
The boys being boys opted for sticky toffee pud (glorious comfort and how you want it) and pecan treacle tart, which we all felt could be a bit more’ treacly tarty’ – you know, how you remember it from childhood, setting your teeth tingly with sugar but in a good way.
Service throughout from the lovely Natalie and her team was superb while the Steve and Jeff Green (not sure if they’re related) chef combo in the kitchen is definitely one to watch.
They do a 5-7pm early bird of two courses for £15.95 or three for £17.95 if you’re on a budget and want to try it out.
On the I Love’o’meter
A great first date with plenty of promise.
11 Stevenson Square, Norther Quarter, Manchester M1 1DB
0161 228 6629