Updated: Saturday, 21st July 2018 @ 8:06am

Neighbourhood @ Avenue North, Spinningfields

Neighbourhood @ Avenue North, Spinningfields

By Barrie White

To get over those post-Christmas and New Year blues – back at work and tightening the belt – then make Spinningfields’ Neighbourhood your January treat.

The New York City-themed eatery, in Avenue North, opened shortly before the festive period, and blends the best of the Big Apple and Manchester to provide a fantastic dining environment.

You'd be forgiven for thinking the pictures that adorn the walls were shots from across New York, but in fact feature Manchester’s cultural havens such as the Northern Quarter, while the menu will excite meat and fish lovers equally.

For the starter, the option of chicken lollipops seemed too good to turn down, while my companions opted for shrimp crackle and pop, with a clear nod to the childhood cereal favourite Rice Krispies, and lobster tacos.

The chicken, with a coriander and lime dip, was a good size for a starter, with enough meat on the bone to be enjoyed, but not trouble the approaching main course.

The dip proved to be a cooling and delightful mix to the chicken, and served as a more than pleasant start for what was to come.

The shrimps really were impressivegiants in fact and with the entertainment of listening to the crackle of the rice krispies, a perfect option for a seafood lover.

But they were pipped to the post by the lobster tacos, which had beer-battered lobster with red cabbage slaw and sweet pepper ketchup, with soft flour tortillas.

Again, the portion size was perfect for a starter, and the taco fillings provided fine flavour accompaniments alongside the sweet lobster meat.

For the mains – with a good amount of time allowed between the two courses by the service staff – it was another mix of fish and meat.

Neighbourhood’s very own burger, on a toasted brioche bun with cheese, ‘mac sauce’ and bacon with a side of fries, was excellently cooked with the meat standing out as clearly being minced from a fine cut of beef.

The grilled stone bass, with creamed spinach and clam sauce, served with lime, looked and tasted exceptional – wonderfully flaky, moist yet with a crisp skin, while the body of the fish was thick.

My own order of the 8oz fillet steak was delightful – my medium order cooked to perfection, providing a sensational taste, mixed in with the superbly made fries and pepper sauce.

We decided upon two puddings between the three of us, plumping for the bucket of biscuits – a selection of homemade cookies, including a selection of chocolate and peanut butter.

The blueberry and apple crumble, with ice cream, thyme sugar and granola, provided a super mix of hot and cold, and was lovely to mix in with cookies.

We thought we were being conservative choosing two puddings between three, but when your biscuits come by the bucket load, it soon proved the sensible option.

We were told Neighbourhood's menu is designed so that the food is something to chat over, offering a venue to meet friends you perhaps haven't seen for a while and the dishes themselves offer a point of conversation. The starters suit this purpose with aplomb, boasting character and making for genuinely interesting sharing dishesan obvious example being the shrimp, crackle and pop.

The mains don't quite offer the same level of intrigue – but when it is straight up good quality food, excellently presented, it certainly isn't something to complain about.

Finally, Neighbourhood’s staff and service were of the highest level – something you’d expect due to where the restaurant takes its inspiration from.

But Manchester is still at the heart of what Neighbourhood provides: a high-class dining experience.

To book a table call 0161 8326334 or visit their website here.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.