Thanks to James winning a Twitter competition for a meal for 2 and cocktails at Black Dog Ballroom NQ, we headed down to the Northern Quarter yesterday evening for a Sunday date night. It had been a while since we’d both been to the NYC inspired venue and as we entered the stylish but warm bar space, we wondered why it had been so long, especially since it’s just down the road from our Manchester flat!
We were welcomed by the friendly bar staff, who had reserved a booth just for us and swiftly served us our first cocktails of the night – a classic Mojito for James while I went for a Passionfruit Tequila twist on the mint-based alcoholic beverage. Both were ridiculously tasty and refreshing, with just the right balance of sweetness and sharpness; you could taste the quality of the spirits used, which are stated on the Drinks menu.
Round two: while I opted for perhaps one of the best cocktails I’ve tasted, a simple but impressive Fluffy Appletini, James, as recommended by the lovely Rob, chose the Long Island Iced Tea, which again was dangerously tasty. With the likes of Foals, Chris Malinchak and Metronomy on the playlist, this set the perfect tone for a chilled-out but fun occasion; there were groups of girls laughing away over drinks, lads tucking into food and other couples enjoying an evening out together. Black Dog NQ really is the sort of place you can come at any time of the day with friends or your other half.
My Chilli Marinated Steak Salad with honey and mustard dressing was divine, offering a generous amount of salad and rocket leaves for added pepperiness, together with cucumber, red onion and perfectly cooked chunks of spicy steak. Simple but delicious! James went for the more manly choice of The Northern Quarter Pounder – 100% local Cheshire beef burger with a Jack Daniels glaze, served in a toasted brioche bun with salad, Black Dog relish and a side of fries. Again, another winner made from fresh, good quality ingredients, an upmarket twist on your standard pub/bar food.
We couldn’t leave Black Dog without playing a few rounds of pool so for the next hour, James and I fought it out and enjoyed some healthy competition potting balls, so to speak. With four tables available and £5 an hour, it’s the ideal place for settling scores with friends or work colleagues on a lunchtime, after work or well into the night. Sadly for me, while I’m not terrible at the game, James well and truly beat me but hey ho, it rounded off a fun night of food, cocktails, great music and friendly service. We’ll definitely be back again soon!
Check out the Black Dog Ballroom’s sister venue at New Wakefield Street and the awesome Dog Bowl – a bowling alley, open all day and after dark! Follow on Twitter @BlackDogNQ / @BlackDogNWS / @BlackDogBowl and like on Facebook: Black Dog NQ / Black Dog NWS / Dog Bowl..