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Food & Drink Round-Up: May 2014

Lawn Club, TNQ excellence, new wine shop and more Restaurant Wars fall-out

Written by . Published on May 7th 2014.

Food & Drink Round-Up: May 2014

David Gale’s Most Excellent Summer Food

Full review later this week but chef David Gale has transformed summer eating in Spinningfields. Gale recently left the Hilton Hotel and is presently looking for a Manchester kitchen to take over. In the meantime his menu at The Lawn Club is a model of its kind. The series of light bites are delivered exquisitely and with great subtlety. Over the top praise? Nope. Try the salted and poached cod dish and you’ll understand the plaudits. The steak sandwich pictured above is equally good. 

Northern Quarter Restaurant And Bar Still Shines

More compliments now. Anthony Fielden is a fine chef in a similar mould to Gale. Based in TNQ (aka The Northern Quarter Restaurant and Bar) his modern British menu is exemplary. Full report soon but Confidential thinks everybody should rush down there and sample the lamb sweetbreads done simply with broad beans, peas and gentle salsa verde. They cost £7 and are utterly delicious. The rest of the menu has highlights too including a cracking suckling pig for £19.75.

Sweetbreads from heaven

Sweetbreads from heaven

El Rincon De Rafa

Reports keep coming in saying that after a dip a couple of years ago, the food in El Rincon (the hardest to find restaurant in Manchester) is back on form. Located at the junction of Artillery Street and Longworth Street, off Deansgate, the atmospheric Spanish restaurant remains popular too, its basement location filled with diners at lunchtime and evening. A seabass with a good beurre (below) recently showed how straightforward and healthy Mediterranean cooking can be.

Sweet fishSweet fish

Quays Food Festival Returns

The Lowry Outlet is hosting an array of high profile figures this May bank holiday with the return of its Food Festival. The Lowry Outlet Food Festival 2014 will take place on the Centre’s Plaza and the MediaCityUK Piazza from 24 to 26 May 2014. ‘Celebrity chefs’ including hyperactive Italian favourite Gennaro Contaldo, Irish TV chef and author, Rachel Allen and professional Yorkshireman James Martin, will be hosting a series of live cookery demonstrations in an undercover marquee. There’s over 100 food & drink stalls and pop-up eateries as well plus a live music stage with local acts and an installed green lawn. For more information visit here.

Lowry Outlet plaza

Lowry Outlet plaza

Another Bank Holiday Food Festival

Two or so miles away from The Quays, down on Chorlton Green, another festival will be swinging into action. This is the Sup-Up & Eat festival on Saturday 24 May. The free festival organised by the Horse and Jockey pub will ‘showcase new and independent producers of fine food and drink. The day will be filled with free demonstrations and tastings.’ More specifically, there’ll be a chilli-eating contest using the world’s hottest chillies. The day will finish with a whisky and food pairing session lead by The Whisky Shop. A warm-up three course meal with Prosecco reception is hosted by the Horse & Jockey pub on 23 May called 'A Taste of Italian Opera'. Full line up here.

More Caribbean Food

Last week Turtle Bay (see here) and now Island Grill and Takeaway. If you like Caribbean food this newcomer on Seymour Grove in Old Trafford ticks all the boxes - read the menu on the window in the picture below. It may not be as grand as Turtle Bay but Confidential will be in to give Island a going over very soon.

Island GrillIsland Grill

The Cooper Street Quarter

Salut wines is opening in the former Oddbins unit opposite Beef & Pudding later this year. This will be a wine bar and wine store, although details are sketchy as to the exact nature of the establishment. With the veggie 1847 Bistro, food pub Beef & Pudding and the venerable City Arms and Vines pubs are we seeing the development of a new Manchester food quarter?

License applied forLicense applied for

Michael Caines At War With The BBC

The three part Restaurant Wars: The Battle for Manchester TV show has annoyed many people. For starters, the situation between Rogan and Byrne, in The French and Manchester House respectively, was neither a war nor a battle. Meanwhile, the way the show kept harping on about how fine dining chefs such as Raymond Blanc and Gary Rhodes came to the city and then abandoned it (although neither of their outlets here were fine dining) has irked a fine dining chef and one of the best in the country who's been in Manchester for years.

Confidential hears that Michael Caines has been stamping his feet at the telly while watching the programme. Two-starred Caines has been operating his MC at Abode restaurant for six years and is not leaving anytime soon. Still, the truth would have hurt the conceit of the TV show and the producers couldn’t have let that happen. They wanted to paint Manchester as a food wasteland to highlight Rogan and Byrne opening here. In otherwords tell porkies. Naughty. 

MC at AbodeMC at Abode

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13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousMay 7th 2014.

The whole Brasserie Blanc thing annoys me, we went once and it was a disaster, the manager actually offered us a discount before we'd even complained such was his embarrassment. Numerous mistakes made by the rude waiting staff and the food that actually arrived was inconsistent. After they closed and said Manchester wasn't ready, ha!

1 Response: Reply To This...
MaggieMay 8th 2014.

I dined there several times and was never disappointed!

AnonymousMay 7th 2014.

Ha Ha I worked in Le Petit Blanc as a student - I can confirm it was crap! That said I wasn't a model employee and probably didn't help matters much!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Calum McGMay 8th 2014.

I like your honesty!

AnonymousMay 8th 2014.

Cooper Street Quarter! City Co ought to start selling us as, "Manchester, the city with more quarters than mathematically possible!"

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Domynyk GoonanMay 8th 2014.

Quarter: "a part of a town or city having a particular character or use." You fail at pedantry.

AnonymousMay 9th 2014.

It was light hearted you prat.

Poster BoyMay 8th 2014.

Aren't Michelin stars awarded to a restaurants, not a chef, or more particularly, not a mid market restaurant in a hotel chain part owned by a chef...? Perhaps the BBC producers were mindful of the Fat One's recent experience at MC at Abode? Wake up and smell the truffles...

AnonymousMay 8th 2014.

Food at El Rincon, good: wine at El Rincon, not so good. A Spanish restaurant that gets flustered when you ask for Manzanilla needs a kick up the pantalones

AnonymousMay 8th 2014.

El Rincon is awful, I went a few months ago for some tapas and got some microwaved prawns and jarred olives. Will not be going again. If you want decent Spanish food then go to Evuna. La Tasca is probably better than El Rincon.

AnonymousMay 9th 2014.

Nothing beats Bar San Juan in Chorlton when it comes to authentic Spanish tapas, although they have taken my favourite bottle of red off the menu :-(

Pedro1874May 11th 2014.

Why are our avatars missing?!

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