Cheshire Life Luncheon - Grill on the Square, Warrington
PUBLISHED: 16:32 01 September 2011 | UPDATED: 19:55 20 February 2013
The Grill on the Square's mission statement is to offer 'Great British food, served with style'. Guests at this Cheshire Life lunch enjoyed lashings of both WORDS BY RAY KING PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN COCKS
The print version of this article appeared in the September 2011 issue of Cheshire Life
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Heading from Central railway station towards the Pyramid and Parr Hall, one encounters Cairo Street, Egypt Street and Suez Street. Quite what the connection is between this corner of the bustling Cheshire town and the land of the pharaohs, I have not the foggiest clue.
But anyway it is well worth emerging in Palmyra Square just as bizarrely named after an ancient city in Syria - because here, as guests at Cheshire Lifes September luncheon discovered, one finds a very inviting oasis.
Its now the best part of 18 months since Charles Dobosz and Adam Smith opened the Grill on the Square on the northern side of the Queens Gardens, laid out to mark Victorias Diamond Jubilee. The Grade II listed building which houses this chic and popular bar and restaurant has a pedigree; it used to be Warringtons main post office, built in 1906.
In terms of hospitality, Charles and Adam have a pedigree too. The former began his career in France before arriving in Warrington to take up a post at the Park Royal Hotel and then as restaurant manager at Tom at 101 in Stockton Heath. After spells in the kitchens at Harvey Nichols and the Chester Grosvenor, Adam moved to Manchester for the opening of Michael Caines boutique Abode Hotel. It was there that restaurant manager Charles and senior sous chef Adams paths crossed and the plans for their successful current venture were laid.
The Grill on the Squares mission statement is to offer Great British food, served with style and Cheshire Life guests enjoyed lashings of both. The afternoon began in truly elegant style with welcoming flutes of Champagne Perrier-Jouet Brut Rose, courtesy of the grand marques UK representatives Philippa Scott and Cheryl Hyland, poured to accompany an array of deliciously appetising canaps including cubes of tender Chinese pork, croutons with duck liver pate, scallop and tapenade crostini and prawn toast.
The overture set the tune for a splendid summer menu to come in the restaurant: four courses full of surprises illustrating Adams inventiveness and abundant skill. We began with that refreshing seasonal Andalusian favourite, gazpacho, served chilled in a cup with iced cucumber; its delightful tomato and subtle garlic flavours blending perfectly.
Next came a slice of culinary wit that provided a real talking point: Adams signature hot scotch egg with salad and honey mustard vinaigrette. The combination of flavours was outstanding and the execution spot on the egg inside its peppery sausage meat coating being perfectly timed.
Finding a wine match for the dish had been something of a poser, admitted Francois Pages representing Chateau de Campuget, but his choice of a fine red syrah from Costires de Nimes, with notes of black olive and pepper over dark fruit, fitted the bill exceptionally well.
The main course too was an exercise in admirably innovative culinary talent. A delicious fillet of ocean trout was presented atop olive crushed potatoes, with sauce vierge and lobster reduction; the colours were fantastic and the Mediterranean flavours superb. Francois paired the dish with a young viognier white offering lovely orange blossom aromas and generous apricot fruit with just enough acidity to counterpoint the richness of the fish.
Dessert provided a spectacular finale to a memorable feast with an expertly created strawberry crme brule accompanied by marinated strawberries and delicious strawberry ice cream. The accompanying wine, sporting bags of lush, honeyed peach fruit, was another viognier but this time late harvested to maximise its sweetness. Like the other Chateau de Campuget wines, it was provided by Alex Wood, executive of importers HallgartenDruitt.
Cheshire Life Luncheon Menu
Gazpacho, iced cucumber.
Hot Scotch egg, salad, honey mustard vinaigrette
Le Campuget 1753 Syrah, 2009, Costires de Nimes, France.
Ocean trout, olive crushed potatoes, sauce vierge, lobster reduction
Viognier De Campuget Cuve Prestige, 2010, Costires de Nimes, France.
Strawberry crme brule, marinated strawberries, strawberry ice cream.
Campuget 1753 Viognier Vendange Tardive, 2010, Costires de Nimes, France.
The Grill on the Square, 7 Palmyra Square North, Warrington, WA1 1JQ. 01925 234077,