While in Manchester I met some old old buddies who I worked with about 15 year’s ago – Jacqui and Helen. Of course, they are not old; we have just known each other a very long time. We try to see each other for dinner when I am home and have always managed to do something, even if it is one night only. I leave it up to them on where to go for dinner as I have absolutely no clue what is going on in the city that I grew up in any more.
The pick for this time was Croma, a contemporary pizza and pasta restaurant in the heart of Manchester. It made me smile actually as I knew of the name because there was a Croma on Newbury Street in Boston for quite a few years and a place we would go to often to celebrate birthdays with Boston friends, mainly because they served individual bottles of Sophia Bubbly. I had a quick look at it online and realized it was in fact the same chain.
Croma is located right in the center of Manchester near our Town Hall and Library. A brightly lit, white-washed, happy looking three-floor open-plan restaurant surrounded by large green plants and pretty flowers with white-clothed tables of different sizes and shapes and café style chairs. We were seated on the ground level as you walk in and in a great location for people watching. On a Friday night the place was quite busy with the after-work crowd enjoying the end of the work week with colleagues and friends. Everyone seemed happy.
We started with a lovely bottle of Obrama Prima Rosé and caught up on what’s been going on in our lives over the last nine months since our last get together. Our friendly waiter checked in on us often to see if we were ready to order but we kept getting sidetracked from reading the menu because we had so much to catch up on. The waiter made no fuss and did not rush us in any way.
After about 45 minutes we were ready to order. I decided on the Mushroom & Goat’s Cheese Penne with Chicken, Helen had the Thai Chicken Pizza – Thai chicken pieces, red pepper, fresh beansprouts, mozzarella, tomato, spring onions, sweet chilli sauce, fresh coriander and lime and Jacqui, upon my recommendation opted for the Parma Pizza – Italian prosciutto ham, olives, parmesan shavings, mozzarella, tomato and fresh rocket.
The pasta was lovely and really quite tasty, albeit nothing outrageously unique about it. It was very enjoyable and delicious for a creamy pasta dish. Both Helen and Jacqui thoroughly enjoyed their pizzas, which do have a distinct uniqueness to them in that they are so much more than just pepperoni and mushroom and perfectly sized for one.
Halfway through dinner we felt it important to order another bottle of Rosé. We had so much to catch up on and Rosé was needed for that particular task!
Towards the end of the evening I did accidentally proposition the waiter, much to mine and his embarrassment and bright red faces followed, at least mine was red. I asked him to take a photo of us, to which he of course agreed. After the first photo, he said I think I should take another one so I said to him “what position would like me to be in?” I so did not mean it the way it came out. I was jetlagged and not really thinking straight and meant to say something else, I am not sure what, something like “shall we stay in the same position?” That sounds just as bad doesn’t it? I apologized profusely and he just laughed at me. I was still red in the face.
After a few hours we left Croma having had a lovely time in this fun, casual and easy going restaurant.
Croma is super for big groups celebrating something or just a small get together with old friends. I would highly recommend it for something that offers good food, good prices and overall fun atmosphere, as well as waiters that can have a laugh.