After a leisurely afternoon at the 2018 Manchester Beer & Cider Festival sampling delights with names like Cerial Killer, Ravenous Romp, New Zealand Pale, Knocker Upper, Whatever!, Dirty Rucker, Cohoperative, Absolute Banker and Triple Chocoholic Stout amonst others it only seemed fitting that we moved on to Pie & Ale over in the Northern Quarter.
Locating Pie & Ale wasn’t the easiest, with it tucked behind Stephenson’s Square but a table and a menu full of pies was waiting for us when we arrived, and like the Beer festival had dazzled us with a myriad of choices so did this menu.
A popular choice was the Malaysian Chicken Satay. I was torn between Lamb and Mint and the Venison and Stilton, opting finally for the Venison and Stilton which was advertised as coming with ‘ tender chunks of Wild British Deer cooked with Onion, Celery, Garlic, Woodland Mushrooms and Dijon Mustard in a rich creamy sauce’.
Presentation was excellent! A good sized deep pie presented as what I can only describe as an irregular circle, in a moat of gravy, topped with a helping of mash and the outline shape of what looked to me like an ornamental pastry dragon perched on top.
Cutting through the pastry revealed a complete filling – meat all the way through, now this looked tasty! And it proved to be so. The mushrooms and the flavours of the stilton were gentle and fully complimented the venison. The rich gravy and mash topping turned this pie feast into a complete meal.
I guess at £11.95 this is an expensive option for essentially a pie and mash tea – but on special occasions (like rounding of the day at the Beer Festival), it is fully justified as it is a good sized meal and very tasty indeed. I will be back next year.
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