A PM at MPW’s in HI BHX
Not so very long ago we popped over to Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport. We weren’t staying on this occasion; instead we had heard that this hotel has a rather special restaurant - Marco’s New York Italian - in partnership with (arguably the first) celebrity chef and now restaurateur Marco Pierre White and Black and White Hospitality.
Thematically the menu was, any guesses? Yup you got it, Italian American – think burgers, pasta, steaks, seafood, meatballs, steaks, mmm steaks, steak.
Steak. We were soon seated in a new section of the restaurant, a boothed area with a view out of the restaurant's large windows - talking of large glass; we soon had two large glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon, Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks, California in our hands. With a setting sun as a backdrop, and the promise of some top notch food, the evening was looking up.
Delicious rustic bread, mixed olives and balsamic were soon delivered and an indication of the quality food that was to come...
Paul (that’s me) - Garlic & Lemon Prawns on toasted rustic bread
Extremely fresh tasting prawns were just the right consistency and swimming in a delectable garlic and lemon butter. Highly recommended.
Louise’s choice - Crab Cakes, tomato & chilli salsa - unfortunately I can’t comment on these as either:
- Louise was unwilling to share
- I was so engrossed in my own dish to give two hoots
However I hear retrospectively that they were ‘lovely and crispy on the outside and very well flavoured’.
Paul - I opted for the 10oz Rump Steak – this hefty chunk of heifer was cooked rare to my liking and was melt-in-the-mouth sublime, and, considering its size it was a long lived moment of ecstasy – the seasoned fries were amongst some of the best I’ve tasted – and believe me being a single chap, I am quite a connoisseur of the chip.
They were called Lazy Fries – I don’t know why, other than the fact I didn’t cook them myself? Perhaps they had been cooked slowly? My money’s on the latter. I am told they are also cooked in a secret salt.
A garlic roasted tomato was a welcome addition - There were plenty of sides to choose from, however, for some reason I failed to order any, not that I hadn’t been asked - I think I was too eager to get steak.
I did however order an accompanying sauce - Mushroom, Peppercorn and BBQ were options, but I am a sucker for spice so opted for the Calabrian Chilli & Garlic – I love a bit of chilli and I didn’t think I had eaten enough garlic already.
Louise - my dining colleague opted for the New York Rack of Ribs in BBQ sauce with the lovely Lazy fries and crunchy slaw.
Look at the mess she made! That’s what you get for eating ribs with a knife and fork! I would have gone feral (as in ditched the cutlery) straight away.
Again, as with the Primi we didn’t sample each other’s – too wrapped up in our own little world of flavours – again very high praise from Louise ‘succulent’ and considering she used cutlery she had stripped those ribs bare!
And now we were in trouble – full of cow and pork we were offered the dessert menu – as the staff themselves said ‘it would be rude not to’.
I was torn – I’d heard the Tirimisu was one of Marco’s signature dishes (it’s even called Marco’s Tiramisu) – but thankfully I knew Louise would opt for that and there was no way in hell she was finishing it. Win Win!
Now, Brownies and ice-cream are my all time favourite pudding, if I were (heaven forbid) on death row, this would definitely be the pudding I would choose for my final meal.
So imagine my elation when I saw this Ice Cream Chocolate Sundae on the menu which comprised of warm brownies, Swiss dark chocolate, white chocolate & honeycomb ice creams in chocolate sauce – oh, the flashbacks. Is it lunchtime yet?
After a 15 minute hiatus we ordered, we needed some downtime to compose ourselves - belt down a notch, top button unbuttoned, outstretched knuckle crack here we go #Ding #Ding
I dug in, literally, to my sundae – it delivered big time, warm squidgy brownie and heavenly ice cream – if this were my last meal I would have gone out very happy indeed – well as happy as one could be in those circumstances!
And then K.O. Louise had thrown in the towel (as predicted) mwa ha haaa on Marco’s Tirimasu. I’d say she faltered about 35% of the way in to the delicious dish of creamy loveliness - to be fair to her it was a sizeable portion. How I tried to finish it! But my sundae had me conquered too.
Look, I even mushed it all up to look as though I had consumed more than the actual truth! Travesty – oh, to have it here now – I’d make swift work of that.
The service throughout was impeccable and special mention to our waiter Jay who was very helpful - whether it was with food options, wine flavours and general conversation.
The newly refurbished restaurant is very appealing - deep reds and greys and with subtle lighting make for a very cosy ambience - artistic pictures of the mop haired chef adorn the walls to remind you of the prestige – there is also a lively atmosphere in the restaurant, but not overbearing.
Although you might think it’s not as easy to reach as a city centre restaurant, you’d be wrong… it is an extremely accessible location whether by road, rail (10 mins from New Street Station with a free shuttle bus to and from the hotel) and not surprisingly air!
In fact it was so gosh darn good, that before we took our leave, I booked a table for my mom and her partner on the way out. I am sure they will be as impressed as we were - and if they're not, then they’re mamalukes!
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