"Being fans of France and especially its restaurants, we love Cafe Rouge. Most of all the decor, a recreation of a Parisian back street bistro that this huge chain has successfully transferred up and down Britain. The branch on Deansgate seems to pull it off better than most, largely down to the smaller size of the unit. The classic French jazz music adds to the atmosphere although the UK smoking ban thankfully takes away that side of French culture and allows you to taste the ingredients in the food. The impressive wine list and choice of French ales complements the charm in a way that somehow avoids being plastic and franchisey (if there is such a word).
The service is efficient and the prices are reasonable, whilst, as you'd expect for a chain restaurant, the food is nice without being spectacular - it's enough to keep hungry shoppers, lunch time diners and concert goers happy and, in many cases, returning for more. And this is what Cafe Rouge does best, they can identify what their customers want, highlighted by their Menu Plats Rapides (or 'Quick Dish Menu' to moi et vous) acknowledging most people only have an hour for lunch or a show to get to. Having a more lesiurely occupation, I opted for the Steak Frites, their classic dish - a seven ounce prime sirloin steak with garlic & herb butter, French fries and melted Roquefort cheese sauce (£14.20). Whilst it would win no awards, it was certainly value for money and I would return again." ~ Restaurants Of Manchester (5/3/08 ~ visited on a Weds, lunch)