English restaurant in Castlefield
18 - 25 Castle Street, Castlefield, Manchester, M3 4LZ
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Dukes 92 seems to be growing on a regular basis and now with Dukes Grill, it has this casual dining section to compliment the touch smarter Albertís Shed restaurant that was built onto the canalside of Dukes in 2004. Dukes Grill is effectively an extension that has its own entrance but can also be accessed from the bar in Dukes 92.
The interior is dominated by earthy, natural tones with mid-brown, wooden furniture, plenty of natural light and discreet lighting. Any drinks before we order from the grill menu? A strong wine list (priced from £12.95 to £39.95) is supported by several champagnes, bottled beers such as Budvar (3.50) and draught beers including Erdinger (£3.80). The menu is stuffed with favourites and standards that have an air of the American about them. Burgers, pasta, risotto, steaks, pizzas, salads and fajitas all feature. The intention isnít to dazzle with culinary experimentation, but to feed Castlefieldís residents, employment force and visitors. The devil is in the details however, as the carbonara (£7.50) proves to have smoked haddock as an ingredient, the cheeseburger (£8.95) uses brie and the sea bass (£10.95) is coated with Moroccan spices. All desserts are priced at £4.50 and a cheese board, sticky toffee pudding and white chocolate cheesecake are all options.
For the most part itís a fairly predictable menu of safe modern pub/bar food, although itís pleasing to see a dish such as whole lobster sneak into the selection. It might not be entirely sensible for the owners to have another dining option so close by but this gives Barca a great deal of work to do an The Ox a fresh challenge.
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