A recent trip to the theatre gave me the perfect opportunity to visit a restaurant from my ‘On my radar’ section, Vice and Virtue.
Blink and you miss it, Vice and Virtue is situated in a building in the Northern Quarter over the road from Sandanista. The building used to be home to a strip club and although they have done their best with it, there are still some reminders left behind in the bar, such as the stage and the rope barrier.
That said, the bar is cosy and well stocked. The cocktail list is good, varied and creative. We had a strawberry and basil gin cocktail and a rhubarb flavoured gin cocktail, which was called Yorkshire Lass. Both were dreamy! The barman was very friendly and enthusiastic and offered to make us whatever our hearts desired.
Being pushed for time, we moved quite quickly to the restaurant upstairs. The friendly barman happily gathered our drinks and carried them upstairs to our table for us. The dining room was also cosy and well laid out. It was pretty quiet as we were the only people there, but it was only 5.30pm. The staff upstairs were just as friendly and enthusiastic as the barman downstairs. We were presented with several tasting menus at various prices to peruse. They do an extremely reasonable pre-theatre menu at £23 per person. I was, however, tempted by the classic menu at £35 per person. There were also two other more ‘prestige’ menus available.
Let’s start with the food -tastes great, looks great, creative, exciting. I love it when a meal surprises me (in a good way!) and this didn’t fail. The amuse bouche paired quails scotch egg with a blackberry coulis. Egg and blackberry you say? together? but wait…it works! Smoked oyster – delicious. The first dessert came with half the plate covered in red powder. I fast reverted to a child and had to dip my finger in it and taste it. I was smacked in the face with a blast of zing raspberry, just delightful. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Thyme ice cream but it was actually really nice and went well with the treacle pave. The pave itself I wasn’t that keen on. It was well executed but just not for me. The orange curd was absolutely gorgeous.
The staff here really stand out as being friendly, passionate and creative. I wanted a gin and tonic and asked the staff to surprise me with which gin they brought. The waiter immediately took on the challenge and with a look of excitement expressed that they relish the opportunity to get creative. I was assured that they were working on something special for me at the bar. Moments later I was presented with a beautiful copa glass of Old tom gin with rose liqueur and elderflower tonic, decorated with a rose head and petals. It looked and tasted absolutely beautiful.
I really liked it here. It’s different and it’s creative and it has a good vibe. Furthermore, it has potential to be even better and I would bet that the staff know that and embrace the challenge with passion and excitement. I’m looking forward to seeing how this place develops. My only concern is that it’s not somewhere you would walk past and drop in so it relies on people actively seeking it out. I’ll be doing my best to recommend it to people, I’d love to see this place a bit more busy.