When I received a gift certificate for my birthday for dinner at The Copper Grouse in the Taconc Hotel in Manchester, I was thrilled. In fact, my husband and I had discussed where to go to celebrate our birthdays (we have birthdays 6 days apart) and The Copper Grouse was actually the top of our list. Nevertheless, due to a number of circumstances, it took us a month to finally find an appropriate date to make the reservation. Perhaps had I known what I was missing, I would have found a way to get there sooner. The entire experience – from setting to service to food – was wonderful.
Always afraid to fill up too quickly, I began with Caesar salad. The romaine was so crisp and cold. The grilled lemon a nice touch. My husband, who at 6’4” clearly has more capacity for food than I, has no fear of starting with even the richest of foods. He ordered the corn and smoked mussel bisque which he enjoyed immensely. For my entrée, I opted for the arctic char which was cooked beautifully and served over a puree of beet and cauliflower “rice” with kumquat gremolata and roasted fennel. My husband, Bob, was very tempted to try the burger (“in house ground New England raised beef”), but decided on something more in keeping with the formality of of our “date night.” He ordered “Adam’s Farm Grilled Chicken Breast” with potato rosti, haricot vert, caramelized shallots and truffle madeira sauce. Not a morsel was left on his plate which is praise enough for the meal. Although my stomach was very close to capacity, I couldn’t resist dessert. I chose the brown sugar molasses cheesecake with poached peaches. Wonderful! Bob ordered the Portuguese baked custard cake with whipped cream and macerated mixed berries. He loved it.
Dining out is most often about more than just the food. The Copper Grouse did not disappoint. The room itself is somewhat tavern-like with bar and large fireplace while at the same time offering the intimacy and warmth of a country inn. Service was impeccable and the tempo of the meal perfectly paced. I suppose the answer to the question “Would you go again?” ultimately defines the experience. I, therefore, answer, “Yes! And include some friends next time.”