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Saturday, 1 March 2008

Where Can You Eat the Best Steaks in Manchester?

Well, until recently, The Gaucho Grill was the undisputed master of all things bovine. Situated in a hugely impressive building just off Deansgate, this temple to Argentine beef and wine has ruled the roost (cowshed?) for the last few years, thanks to an impressive range of steaks cooked perfectly to order. On my last couple of visits, though, I've noticed a change in atmosphere - a bit rushed, a bit corporate, a bit "well we're not really that bothered whether you eat here or not".

So I've defected. The Grill on the Alley is tucked away on Ridgefield, just off John Dalton Street, and although less visually stunning than The Gaucho Grill, this place has a real buzz about it. The tiny bar at the front always seems to be packed with cheery after-work drinkers, and the restaurant section has been full both upstairs and down on every occasion I have visited. Despite this, the attitude of the staff suggests that nothing is too much trouble, and although the selection of steaks on offer is not huge, it is perfectly formed. Go for the melt-in-the-mouth fillet steak with a side order of horseradish mash, or if you're feeling particularly flush, the Kobe beef fillet - from a cow that has been fed on beer and massaged daily since birth. A £50 for an 8oz fillet, maybe next time...

The Grill on the Alley is at 5 Ridgefield, Manchester M2.

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