Food lovers turned out in force on Thursday night 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 and rillettes 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:
THE GIMLET: A combination of Plymouth Gin Navy Strength and Rose’s Lime cordial. A traditional cocktail passed down by sailors for centuries.
PINK GIN: Plymouth Navy Gin, Angostura Bitters and a lemon twist.
THE PENANT: Plymouth Gin Original, Plymouth Sloe Gin, lemon juice, orange juice, apricot liqueur, sugar syrup and soda water.
FREEZING FOG: Cointreau, sugar syrup, Citros, Plymouth Gin and hot water with fresh mint, cucumber, strawberries and orange segments.
TV presenter Alexis Bowater said: "From the moment you enter the view takes your breath away.
"It's great to see people like Pierre investing in Plymouth, especially with the Mayflower 400 celebrations coming up.
"The world will be looking at us and tonight it feels like we're really getting ready."
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.