Metro Bar & Grill
by Karen Jones
The enduring popularity of the Metro Bar and Grill: the place to be seen
It’s no surprise that Metro Bar and Grill continues to be one of the most popular venues in Birmingham, says Karen Jones.
The Metro Bar and Grill in Birmingham has long been a favourite meeting place for the business community.
Whether it’s for lunch, or after-work drinks or dinner, there is always an air of anticipation as you walk through the door as you wonder who you will bump into. It’s no surprise, then, that it continues to be one of the places in the city centre where you should be seen.
When we visited, the atmosphere in this classic yet contemporary restaurant was buzzing.
The Metro Bar has recently undergone a refurbishment and is now even more stylish, with a wall of floor-to-ceiling mirrors. It is spacious anyway, but this design trick lends itself to making it look even bigger.
We had booked a table for our lunchtime visit and I’m glad we had, as the restaurant was very busy. Daylight streamed through the glass atrium, which created a lovely light in the dining area.
The tables are well spaced and it is always a delight to see pristine white linen tablecloths and napkins. The navy blue velvet seating and the tan leather chairs offer the diner comfort and style combined.
The three of us ordered a glass of the house Sauvignon Blanc, which was very good, as we perused the excellent spring menu.
We ordered some delicious rustic bread, roasted garlic, and olive oil with aged balsamic vinegar while we read though the menu and made our choices.
The starters were very good. The twice-baked cheese soufflé, served with mixed leaves to cut through the richness, was light and tasty. The baked butternut squash, spinach and mushroom pancakes with Gruyere sauce sounded quite hearty but was, in fact, perfectly proportioned for a starter and the flavours were excellent. We also had the very comforting corned beef hash with poached egg; it is an old favourite on the menu and it is not hard to see why.
There’s a great choice of main courses, including the old favourite of seared scallops, pea purée and crispy pancetta, chargrilled chicken Caesar salad with parmesan croutons, and the excellent chargrilled steaks, served with homemade chips and peppercorn sauce or herb butter. These never fail to please.
We wanted something fairly light, so chose from the fish dishes. We were not disappointed.
The fillet of Norwegian Skrei cod with braised lentils, celeriac purée and tempura chicory was a delight, while the sea bass from the specials menu was beautifully presented and cooked to perfection.
We were in the mood to treat ourselves, so didn’t refuse the puddings menu – and the desserts at Metro are always wonderfully tempting and fabulous.
We tried the Bakewell tart, which was light, while the stem ginger ice cream that accompanied it was deliciously creamy and offset the sweetness of the tart. Those with a sweet tooth would also be tempted by the Keylime pie and Cointreau satsumas, sticky toffee pudding with caramelised pear and vanilla ice cream, and the ultimate white chocolate cheesecake with pineapple carpaccio.
It is not hard to see why this stylish venue continues to draw in the regulars and attracts new diners. Our meal was perfectly judged and the staff also ensure that customers are well looked after. In fact, all the staff are very professional and attentive here, which enhances the whole dining experience. Whether for business or pleasure, Metro Bar and Grill is consistently good.
Metro Bar & Grill,
73 Cornwall St
Tel: 0121 200 1911