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Saturday, 13 March 2010

Still The Best....Grinch Wine Bar, Manchester

I'm not particularly known for fidelity when it comes to restaurants; my head is constantly being turned by fancy new favourite places, with their shiny novelty and unexplored menus.

There are, however, a few to whom I remain largely faithful; one of these is Grinch in central Manchester, whose menu no longer holds any novelty whatsoever but still lures me in time after time. Why? Well.....

Firstly, Happy Hour runs from 5pm till 7pm every night, with all cocktails at £3.50 each and very decent house wine at £9.95 a bottle. My drink of choice is Amaretto Sour (my friend Clare served me one of these at 12 noon on New Year's Day that actually made me fall over - mercifully those at Grinch are just as delicious but not quite as lethal) and my husband's is Jack Russian, a vile sounding concoction of Jack Daniels, Kahlua, Pepsi and Guinness - I'm sure he only persists in ordering it because he knows I won't want to try any of it.

Secondly, the food is great. The menu concentrates on a few things done really well: I fluctuate between the Beef Chilli Nachos and the Cheeseburger - both amazing and both under a tenner - while my husband (something of a pizza connoisseur) refuses to try anything other than the Americano pizza, proclaiming it perfection.

Thirdly, its location on Chapel Walks is pretty handy for virtually anywhere you might be going to in central Manchester, making it ideal for pre-theatre snaffling, although I would advise not attempting a whole bottle of wine before anything too high-brow, happy hour or not....

- Grinch is at 5 - 7 Chapel Walks, Manchester M2 1HN, tel 0161 9073210.

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