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Several local publications in Manchester raved about this little place so we phoned our reservation in and made our way there.

The cab driver had a little bit of trouble finding it but it was no big deal and it was well worth tracking down.

It's kind of difficult to describe the atmosphere here.  Upon entering the place, there were a couple of old, worn armchairs in the small lobby.  We immediately asked directions to the toilets because we wanted to wash up.  In Europe, they're nearly always upstairs or downstairs.  In this case they were upstairs.  At the top of the stairs, a couple of more worn chairs.  It felt like being in somebody's house.

Back downstairs on the floor of the restaurant, there were a small number of tables and as I recall, the floor was linoleum.   It wasn't exactly a posh environment.  It was more "rustic."

A younger woman was our server although another woman also talked with us about menu selections and a man was also helpful.  Wonder if they were a family?  Possibly but probably not.

The hand-written menu was a little bit hard to read but had some interesting choices.

For my starter, I ordered a bowl of olives.  There were at least three different kinds and all of them were savory and wonderful.  Something caught my wife's eye on the menu - "Michael Palin's Wild Mushroom Pancakes."  We asked our hosts about this and they said the actor was in town filming a movie and enjoyed dining there.  And his favorite dish was the Wild Mushroom Pancake starter.  So they asked him if they could attach his name to the dish and he graciously  give them the green light.  The pancakes were delicious.

For my main meal, I went with a filet with tarragon and mustard butter.  My wife had the salmon with tomato and eggplant.  Both of our dishes were excellent although the filet wasn't too big.

My wife was eager to dive into a dessert and for a change, I too, ordered one.  She got the chocolate and mocha iced pudding.  I tried the hazelnut pavlova pudding with apricots and whipped cream.

It was a most enjoyable meal.  And I almost forgot to tell you about the amazing beer on the menu.  It was described as the world's strongest lager with an alcohol content of 14% or more. It's brewed by an Austrian company and is only brewed on one day of the year in December thus it's nickname "Santa Claus Bier."


You read more about Samichlaus Beer here

For details on the address and phone number, the restaurant has a nice web site here.


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