There has been much controversy recently over the decision of the Michelin Guide not to award any restaurant in the city of Manchester in Northwest England a star. In fact, chef Simon Rogan, who holds two stars at L’Enclume in nearby Cumbria, has just handed the reigns of The French over to head chef Adam Reid, after failing to make the Guide after three years in charge of the restaurant at the Midland Hotel.
Indeed, the last time the city was awarded a Michelin star was at The French in 1974 (it held it for three years after that) under the stewardship of late French chef Gilbert Lefevre. Now, the Manchester Evening News has unearthed a menu from the time and it makes for a fascinating time capsule.
It’s half in French, with no translation – very sophisticated at the time – with dishes including Cote de boeuf vigneronne (£4.70 for two people) and escargots (£1 for a dozen) – considered very expensive in 1974. The French was also the restaurant that famously turned away The Beatles for not wearing ties.
The menu belongs to restaurateur Liam Berney, who started as a commis chef at the restaurant in the 1970s. See more below.
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