Belle Epoque Brasserie
60 King Street
Tel: 01565 632661
Phil and I had intended to meet for a Pub Lunch, but were surprised to find or rendez-vous was closed for refurbishment. Phil suggested we try nearby Knutsford, which we'd not been to for a long while.
Knutsford is apparently fairly well endowed with eateries, but we weren't sure which would be open for lunch.
A brief walk down King Street gave us quite a few choices, but when we saw that La Belle Epoque was open, and had a reasonably priced Lunch menu, our mind was made up.
Owned and managed by the Mooney family for more than three decades, the award winning Belle Époque has been named Cheshire Life Restaurant of the Year and secured the Hi-Life Diners Club 'Special Contribution' Award during 2006 under Head Chef, David Mooney.
The Italianate exterior and Mediterranean roof garden inspired by Richard Harding Watt,
give way to a fine, opulent Art Nouveau interior. With Venetian glass mosaic floors, period antiques and objet d’art and beautiful inglenook and alcoves.
Lunch is served in what I assume to be the bar - the main restaurant will have to wait for a future review.
From a choice of three starters, and was it three or four mains, Phil selected the Mushrooms and Cheshire Goat's Cheese Garlic Mushrooms, while I went for the Salmon Mousse with toast.
Phil thought the mushrooms excellent, but could have done with a larger portion. My Salmon, on the other hand, was tasty, but somewhat dry. Perhaps this was a concession to the trend to reduce fats in food? I left about a third of it - not because it was unpalatable, rather because I don't have as big an appetite as some, and tend to eat quite slowly and deliberately - often leading to consternation when limited to a two-hour lunch!
We both selected the Slow-Cooked Shin of Beef with dumplings, served with creamy mash and roast carrots.
This was very tasty - the beef was particularly good: succulent, slightly glutinous and rich. The mash was creamy and the carrots sweet and slightly caramelised.
Phil drank the Budvar, while I had the Boddingtons (from widget-equipped cans).
The menu, at £10.95 (2 courses) £15.95 (3 courses) was reasonably priced, but when the drinks bill adds up to nearly the same as the food, it detracts somewhat from the overall experience.
Overall, a pleasant lunch, and I'd like to try dinner there one evening.
Sandro & Phil
5th Feb 2009