Visit: 1 June 2018, dinner for two.
Review: This is an Ivy Collection Restaurant, newly opened in Birmingham city centre. There are approximately 26 of these restaurants scattered over the UK. The decor and theme are based on the original, iconic Covent Garden based Ivy Restaurant, serving dishes similar to their famous brasserie style menu.
They serve breakfasts, brunches, lunches, afternoon teas, diners and the most fantastic cocktails. Their dry martini cocktail is possibly the best served in Birmingham.
This is a new restaurant, but the staff are already very competent. There is a buzz in the restaurant and diners are happy to be there, many of whom have made the effort to dress up, which is unheard of now.
If you are not dining, you can only drink at the bar if there is a stool available for you to sit down, so this is thankfully not going to be a drinkers’ haunt. I am very impressed with the bar staff.
There are some minor criticisms – the tables are too close together, and many of them are too small. We were shown to one of these small tables, and it was the same size as a side table, barely sufficient for one person let alone two. I asked to switch to a larger table, and after a short wait the waitress happily accommodated us. The food is good, the service is excellent. But why oh why did they put the toilets on the top floor near the kitchens!
I’m definitely returning for another martini.
There is a nice wine list, although it is a bit pricey compared to other restaurants of a similar level in Birmingham.
We chose a 2016 Gavi di Gavi, Morgassi Superiore, Volo Riserva, from Piedmont, Italy to accompany our starters (priced at £49); a 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Truchard, from California to accompany the steak (priced at £64); and a Sauternes, Perle d’Arche, from Bordeaux, France, to accompany the chocolate bomb.