Somebody once told me, never start a review with logic. So I won't but I will come close. The Lime Tree in West Didsbury is the best restaurant in Manchester. That isn't my opinion. That is your opinion. Almost every internet site that ranks restaurants, ranks The Lime Tree as number one. Trip advisor, for example, ranks it at number one. Actually, Number one is Sapporo Teppanyaki, but having been reviewed by drunkards and hen night veterans, it can be ignored. The Lime Tree is number one. As far as I can tell, it is number one for a variety of reasons: the food is amazing; the service is top notch; the atmosphere is pitched just right; they manage to squeeze people in even when it's full; it'll be the best duck you've ever eaten; the list never ends. Trying to find a bad review for The Lime Tree is impossible. Until now.
Call me what you will but when I am presented with an overcooked trout that has had its head removed I am not a happy bunny. What kind of chef would take a knife to the head of a fish? Does he know nothing of presentation? Do it with a chicken, by all means. They are best served headless. Not trout. The trout, with its pretty features and happy expression, is a joy to behold.
I realise, of course, that most people are not weird and I am able, happily for you, to jump into your shoes and experience the restaurant as if you had stepped through its doors. So, the Lime Tree is never empty. The people who populate its tables are a decent looking crowd too. One will hear words that have never been spoken before; flagitious, incomprehensibility, splenetic, materfamilias. These are clever people and clever people never gather, en masse, in a place that serves shit food. They're beautifully presented too, like trouts. They smell like they've bathed in a country meadow for weeks. They look like they've had happy expressions etched permanently across their faces, which is quite possibly true. They sound educated; they pronounce their ts and never use an apostrophised word. This will be you. A feeling of joy and knowledge will sweep through your body as if you've sipped water from the cup of Christ; you'll look in the mirror and you'll see the most attractive person beaming back; And all before you've tasted the food.
And what food? All the words, all the adjectives that you have read on other websites are true: the wood pigeon is to die for; the trout (even without its head) is cooked perfectly; the lemon tart is the right blend of sweet and sour; everything is delicious, delicious, delicious. You won't remember the last time you were so impressed. Leaving The Lime Tree will become something distressing. How can anything ever be this good ever again? You can't afford this every week. What will you do for the next six months? Eat waffles? Never!
And that is why I try to put you off; for the sake of your wallet or purse, for the sake of your sanity. Going to The Lime Tree is an expensive business; leaving it, a traumatic one; it's a pity it is so darn good.