I nervously arrived at the the swish entrance near to Artisan, and I was taken straight up to the Cocktail Bar on one of the upper floors above the restaurant. It's a great modern space with fine views over the city (bear in mind it is Manchester and not Barcelona), and probably the best smokers room in town. Everyone who dines here will take a drink in the bar first. When it goes dark and the lights go on, I'd imagine it would be even more spectacular.
|The smokers room.|
Azurmendi earlier in the year. Aiden Byrne later mentioned what an inspiration these world class Basque restaurants, had been on him (Mugaritz also), rejecting the stuffiness of the French style, I think it really suits Manchester as well and reflects how people want to eat. The round shell like dish was also similar to one from El Celler de Can Roca, in Spain but without tweezers to eat with (is Manchester ready to eat with tweezers?) The broth needed a bit more strength of flavour for me, but the oyster was fabulous.
|Love the horn gravy jug.|
Next, Manchester Tart. I really liked this pudding, pretty too.
|Behold; the £80 cup & saucer.|
All the food was of a high standard as you'd expect, but maybe I've been overly spoilt of late, with visits to some stunning world class restaurants, so honestly, it didn't totally knock my socks off yet in comparison to those, but it's a very fine start indeed. I look forward to trying the taster menu properly when I return next week.
|The man himself at work.|
Price: A little controversial for some, but they're aiming to be the very best in the city, and this simply costs more. Simple as that.
Service: Very good, friendly and informal.
Food: On the way to a Michelin star, hopefully.
Star dish: Roasted pigeon with black cherries and pistachio.
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Sountrack; Herbie Hancock - Stars In Your Eyes.