Food lovers turned out in force last night (Thursday 17th March) for the hotly anticipated grand opening of Marco Pierre White’s new Plymouth restaurant. The red carpet was unfurled outside the Steakhouse Bar & Grill to an exclusive city guest list eager to experience the city’s new gastronomy destination hot spot.
They have been waiting weeks for the new eatery, on the top floor of the Holiday Inn on Armada Way, to be finished after being completely gutted, re-fitted and redesigned. And the new look restaurant did not disappoint with a new stunningly glamourous bar area creating one of the most spectacular breath-taking views in the city.
The giant windows allow a panoramic view of the Waterfront, Hoe and out to sea, with the light seemingly changing by the second, clearly making it the South West’s new destination restaurant. Marco, who has curated the menu himself, said the atmosphere of the new Plymouth restaurant meant everything to him, adding: “The most important aspect of any restaurant is not the food – it is the environment you sit in.”
The view may have been breath taking but for most of the evening all eyes were on the food as diners sampled for the first time Marco’s mix of great, simple and locally caught ingredients cooked to perfection. He described his new Plymouth dining experience as “affordable glamour”, adding: “We hope it’s an experience our guests will want to return to again and again.”
Diners could choose from starters like crispy devilled whitebait, cream of cauliflower soup, warm baked Camembert andrillettes of duck, all for under £7.95
What steakhouse would be complete without the chance to tuck into a 16oz T-bone or buttery, melt in the mouth 8oz fillet – all priced between £23.95 and £53 for a 16oz chateaubriand for two.
Other delicious main courses – priced between £11.75 and £18.50 – included fish curry with buttered rice, an American-style cheeseburger and roast rump of lamb.
And to top it all off – for those with room – was a dessert menu including favourites like New York baked cheesecake, knickerbocker glory and rice pudding with hot apricot compote.
Joining the opening night celebrations were Plymouth Gin, who celebrated the city’s maritime roots with a selection of classic cocktails which feature on the menu:
More than six tons of new crockery, cutlery and glasses were ordered for the new restaurant, which has created 24 new jobs in the city including chefs, managers and waiting staff. Opening Marco’s latest Steakhouse Bar & Grill is part of Valor Hospitality Europe’s refurbishment and re-branding programme of the Holiday Inn to a Crowne Plaza, next month.
We turned up to the Holiday inn in our ‘Smart Glamour’ dress code. A huge projection of Marco Pierre White filled the side of the hotel! As we walked into the reception area, we were greeted by Paparazzi style photographers which really set the tone for the evening. From there, we were shown the way to the top floor. Upon arrival, we were offered a glass of prosecco with a smile from everyone we passed. We all had a wander round, taking everything in. The views of the city were breathtaking! A chemistry style bar were serving up cocktails, take a look at the pictures taken by our resident photographer Tom Coles, to see how impressive these were.
There were plenty of opportunities to try out various drinks. We made our way to the port tasting table, where we had a great chat with the host and sipped three different kinds of port! There were also Plymouth Gin tables, and a Cornish Orchard Cider stand. After sampling the drinks, we were ready for some food. We tried a bit of everything between the three of us, and it was beautiful. We can’t wait to come back and try more!
The interior was really sophisticated. We loved the black and white photos of Marco and his team in the entrance lobby. It felt very up market, and we certainly felt up market being there! The lighting set up for the evening created a great mood, and made the restaurant look amazing from the street view below.
We all had work the next day unfortunately, so we had to leave at a reasonable time! On our way out we were all given a canvas goody bag, containing a white apron for all the inspired people to get cooking, a small bottle of Plymouth Gin (Lovely!) and a fact book about Plymouth. We were also lucky enough to be given a 40% off voucher, which the team will definitely be using to treat themselves after a hard print week!
All in all, it was a really great evening, and a good opportunity for our designers to really let their hair down and enjoy something new. We were all made to feel extremely welcome, and it was a truly VIP experience.