Food and wine, wine and food – always a great combination and even better when it’s with friends. Last week’s Join Us for Supper at the North Star Deli in Chorlton was a a great catch up with chef Deanna Thomas and a lovely bunch of usual blogging faces, plus the added bonus of some new ones thrown in too.
The premise of the night is usually; go to North Star and fill up on three courses of local, seasonal, well cooked scoff, have a chat and make some friends. However this was a Join Us for Supper with a difference – having teamed up with Caillero del Diablo wines, we spent the night having wines matched to our foods and being regaled by tall tales and wine facts alike by Hans Jocham Wadsack (or Joe), who is in fact THE nicest chap slash wine buff I have ever met.
Things kicked off to a bad start with trams being delayed and our travel plans awry, but upon walking in to North Star we were met with friendly faces and three glasses of wine each – that’s a good enough start for any night; plus a rabbit empanada was thrust in each hand by the lovely Adam – which was crispy, salty and hit the spot.
Seared scallops arrived on a bed of puy lentils surrounded by a creamy champagne sauce – all light, bang on and perfectly seasoned and the sauce made a wonderful change from the umpteen usual scallop accompaniments that are turning up on menus everywhere right now ie. the bacons, peas and blackpuddings. We were given a chardonnay and a sauvingon blanc with our starter, both very good wines but the chardonnay (even though it was the cheaper wine) had the slight edge with it’s deeper, more savoury flavours.
We chatted and drank some more – well I offloaded some wine on to the very pleased boy and the very accommodating Arty Tom and then out marched the mains – ruby red, soft venison sitting atop savoy cabbage and accompanied by a celeriac and venison cottage pie and finished with a red wine sauce. One big, red, meaty hit of pure unctuous meat to chase away the chills outside. This was all washed down with a glass of big, punchy and far too tannic shiraz (apparently it would have been much better with a steak, I might have even liked it then) and a beautiful carmenere; a native French variety with a lot of interesting history and some smooth berry and chocolate flavours, which set off the venison a treat.
Full of wine I was happily buzzing along and welcomed pudding with that sweet toothed longing you get after more than half a bottle. A silky blood orange tart with Deanna’s trademark thin, crispy pastry was a little too sweet for my liking. I’m all about tart fruit flavours and it would have been nice for the orange to shine through a little more, but it was a still a good pudding. Another wine was matched and this time we were given a syrupy pudding wine, just released in the UK and we were the first to try it (get us!) – all floral honeys and orange blossoms, akin to a muscat. Lovely, but drowned out a little by the super pudding.
Join Us for Supper was once again on top form, highlighting North Star’s commitment to quality, local produce (Chorlton’s Out of the Blue and WH Frosts supplied) and great cooking. Usually PR run nights are frightful shows of posturing and lovies air-kissing, but Casillero del Diablo and their PR company, Cube, seem to have got it right – probably helps with the addition of Joe Wadsack and the fact they piggy backed on one of the best supper clubs in Manchester.
Ps – North Star have now opened a new deli on Dale Street in Manchester, a great place to stop on your way to and from the station or get a decent bite to eat at lunch.
Food – 8/10
Atmosphere – 8/10 (bonus booze points)
Service – 8/10
Value for money – no score as this was a promotional event
Total – 24/30
Go again – yes, they’re a friendly bunch at the deli and it’s a pleasure to see them – and supper club is always a good place to meet new people.
Please note – I was invited to this event for free, however all thoughts are my own. The usual price for Join Us for Supper is £25, tickets available from the deli/website.