So another one bites the dust. Le Mont at the top of the Urbis has served its last-ever crème brulee, the doors are closed and the staff sent home.
Just weeks after Establishment also hung up the glass cloth of fine dining, the future for notable eateries is now looking a bit grim.
I always enjoyed Le Mont. It won plenty of critical acclaim from the outset taking the Best Newcomer award in 2002 but somehow never seemed to properly enter the Manchester psyche.
On my first visit, when it launched in a haze of Champagne, my only criticism was the rather too formal style of service.
But they listened, and subsequent visits were less pretentious – although the stark surroundings never really lent themselves to a warm celebratory meal however comforting the food. I always thought the set menu was good value – offering some of the best dining in the city for under for £25 a head.
The wine list was excellent too – if a little daunting – and they take the honour of extracting the most money I’ve ever paid for a bottle of red.
In the end maybe it was the venue that led to the downfall – towering above the city in the Urbis was a novelty when it was the most elevated restaurant but now the sky bar at Beetham Tower does it so much better.
So au revoir Le Mont, let’s hope some brave soul wants to follow where you and Establishment dared to tread.