Occupying the 19th-floor rooftop of No.1 Spinningfields, 20 Stories is the first Manchester project from the D&D London restaurant group, which already operates a handful of sites in London such as 14 Hills and Bluebird Chelsea, as well as locations in Leeds, Paris and New York.
20 Stories is split between a glamorous restaurant and more casual grill, which offer distinct and locally sourced menus at different price points, with a cocktail bar and roof terrace boasting 360-degree views of the city skyline.
The restaurant offers an à la carte menu which might not come cheap but is stuffed full of luxurious ingredients such as truffle, wild turbot and game, while a pre-theatre menu offers excellent value at two courses for under £20. A starter of squab pigeon with cherries and violet mustard saw the breast cooked pink with a tender confit leg on the side, while a main of John Dory was perfectly poached, served with foamy langoustine velouté and white asparagus, with crispy chicken skin adding textural contrast.
Over in the grill section, everyday favourites such as cottage pie topped with celeriac purée and buttery mash or cod cheeks and chips are joined by a selection of 32-day dry-aged rare-breed steaks. A 10oz Galloway rib eye was beautifully marbled, juicy and full of flavour, served with beef dripping chips and bone marrow gravy.
Aside from the à la carte, guests can also indulge in a classic afternoon tea, which begins with a selection of finger sandwiches such as cucumber and cream cheese, and corn-fed chicken with truffle mayonnaise. Sandwiches are followed by freshly-baked scones which can be slathered in clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam, while the afternoon tea culminates with a range of sweet treats – think Manchester Victoria sponge and Vimto macarons.
All in all, a stunning venue, with service to match.