The middle of the week just got a whole lot more interesting
Wednesday. It can be a tricky day. Stuck between last weekend and the next, it’s like the ultimate school night. It’s even known as humpday because it sits there, right in the middle of the week like a stubborn obstacle. The bright sparks behind Wood Restaurant on First Street have worked out that what the mid-week blues really need is a little more colour, and by that, they specifically mean red, white and rosé.
Chef patron Simon Wood and his team have come up with a fantastic offer to help make Wednesdays a day to actually look forward to; three delicious courses with unlimited wine for £39.95. Confidential went along to see if there was a catch. There isn’t.
We’ve made no secret that Wood has become one of our favourite city centre dining destinations since it opened late last summer, but this deal is genuinely one of the best we’ve come across. The special #Winesday menu has a choice of three starters and three main courses.
Starters include pigeon salad with dried figs and endive and Belazu lardons offers an opportunity to sample one of the dishes that helped Simon Wood to become the Masterchefchampion 2015. Tomato consommé, is like all the intense flavours of a Mediterranean summer condensed into a light soup – don’t worry if that sounds too virtuous, in the middle, you’ll find a very indulgent cheesy rarebit croute to balance things out. Finally, regular customers will be relieved to discover that the Winesday menu includes mackerel with beetroot and goats curd - a starter so popular, it’s been on the menu since day one.
Main courses are hearty – just because this menu is part of a special midweek deal, doesn’t mean that they’ve compromised on portion size or range of ingredients. We were pleasantly surprised by a hearty tranche of stone bass sat on roast salsify, artichokes and stir fried baby gem in a pool of perfectly crafted red wine sauce studded with piquant capers. Simon’s signature flair for flavour combinations is clear with a meaty main of duck with Sauterne, hazelnut and chard while vegetarians are practically spoiled thanks to a delicious meat free main matching asparagus with mushroom, potato and a crispy hen’s egg.
These courses alone (along with the wine of course – which we’ll get to in a moment) would be more than generous for the Wednesday price tag, but Simon’s generous nature prevents him from allowing his guests to miss out on pudding. Once again, #Winesday diners are offered another opportunity to try a dessert which wowed the Masterchefjudges; a sharp and smooth lemon posset topped with citrus tutti-frutti, and tiny meringues to cleanse the palate. The second dessert choice comes by the slightly mysterious name ‘rum & raisin’ which only hints at a gorgeous hot cold pineapple pudding with the exotic fruit appearing three different ways, topped with a quenelle of indulgent cream.
Now onto the special feature which is destined to make Winesdays at Wood the highlight of the week – the unlimited wine. To match the special menu, Simon and his talented front of house team have chosen three bottles which complement the food brilliantly; a light South African Chenin Blanc, a refreshing Italian Pinot Grigio ‘Blush’ and an onomatopoeic Merry Mole Merlot made in Moldova, a wine which is exclusive to Wood’s suppliers (with a quirky little label that was designed by students from Salford University.) Continuing on the same lines as the food, the wines have been carefully chosen to balance quality with affordability – in carrying with Wood’s overarching theme of ‘unintimidating high end dining’.
Obviously there are minor rules and caveats to ensure that customers can strike a balance between having a wonderful dining experience and perhaps overdoing it a little on the booze front. You’ll find the full (small but fair) list of terms and conditions here, but just to mention, the unlimited wine offer begins once the order is taken and lasts for two hours or until dessert is complete (whichever is the sooner). And of course the highly professional serving staff at Wood, whose desire it is for all guests to have a pleasant experience, has the right to withdraw the supply of ‘unlimited wine’ as they see appropriate.
So the middle of the week is now a peak rather than a trough. Thanks to Winesdays at Wood, with a generous three course feed and an unlimited wine offer at an exceptionally good price, Wednesdays just became something to really look forward to.