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Food and Drink Round-up 22/10/2010

Mancini opens sandwich shop, Jack Spratt arrives, deals at Sam’s, Podium, Circle, Circus, Band on the Wall and a new menu for the Castle

Published on November 24th 2010.

Food and Drink Round-up 22/10/2010

Mancini offers food for thought
Mancini has opened a sandwich bar in town on Booth Street (off Fountain Street, down from the Art Gallery on Mosley Street). No not that Mancini, he’s presently trying to garnish his stodgy filling into something more attractive, but Victoria Mancini, proper Mancunian and the grand-daughter of Rudi Mancini. Rudi emigrated from Italy to Manchester and ended up playing the piano at the Cheshire Cheese on Oldham Road before becoming a millionaire hotelier in Blackpool. His ancestor Victoria claims to have the cheapest prices in the city centre - and who’s to argue with bacon butties for £1.40 and an epic meatball special for £2.95. Nice lass Victoria too, why not give her a whirl. Even if you are a Red.

Jack Spratt likes lean and fat
We’re getting a new food and drink venue on John Dalton Street. This will be called Jack Spratt. The folk there say that the place is going to provide ‘restaurant quality food on the go’ with its fourteen ‘gourmet’ sandwiches, salads, soups and carvery featuring joints of Aberdeen Angus, locally reared turkey and freshly caught fish. They have low calorie, vegan plus dairy and gluten free meals and use no additives not even sugar and salt. They also claim that they’ll have the best coffee – a house roast – in town. We’ll go in and judge the place later this week when it opens. By the way next year Jack Spratt will also open in MediaCity.

Podium parties
It’s that time of the year again. The New Year’s Eve Party at the Hilton at Podium will include a drinks reception and a four-course dinner with coffee and delights such as rib of roast beef. It’ll have a ‘celebratory atmosphere’ (that’s good then) with a DJ to-boot. Tickets are £52 including a four course meal, arrival drink and coffee. For people who book before December there’s also a half bottle of wine per person. 0161 870 1688 or email sophie.williams@hilton.com. They’re working with us on this so quote Manchester Confidential for the wine deal.

Four course delight at Sam’s Chop House
Sam’s Chop House, on Chapel Walks in the city centre (0161 834 3210), has a fabulous reading Christmas offer. The Large Party Menu guarantees four festive courses for groups of eight people or more. The price is £29.95 per person with a £10 deposit required. Menu choices include an appetiser of winter vegetable soup and starters such as Sam’s famous crispy corned beef hash cake. One of the main course choices of traditional turkey dinner looks superb with Lincolnshire turkey breast, sprouts and chestnuts – served with home-made cranberry and chestnut stuffing, goose fat roast potatoes, chipolatas wrapped in bacon and a jug of turkey gravy. Puddings also look good with dishes such as mulled wine jelly - mulled wine infused with spices and set with mandarin pieces and served with an orange ice-cream.

Narnian food – no, really
The GastroClub in Manchester has teamed up with the Mark Addy for a fantasy menu to mark the latest Narnia film, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. This takes place on 7 December and is £40 per head. The menu includes Stuffed Unicorn Horn, Mr Tumnus' special herb soup, Mice and Cheese, Seafood of Narnia, Roast Mythical Beast and Turkish Delight. Weirdly you get in touch with this lot by Twitter: gastroclub_mcr

Fully rounded deal
Another Christmas offer is a three course Christmas evening meal from Kitchen at the Circle in Barton Arcade (0161 817 4921) including a glass of bubbly costing £29.50. Lunch from the Christmas menu is £15.50 (two courses) or £19.50 (three courses). There are four choices for mains: a pancetta-wrapped turkey breast with pork and chestnut stuffing, oven roasted salmon and black olive crumble with cauliflower purée, wild mushroom lasagne with tarragon cream and parmesan and seared duck breast atop richly flavoured braised red cabbage, with a tangy fig and damson jus on the side. These are just some of the choices from head chef Emma Saville, Manchester's brightest rising female chef.

Meat is magic
An interesting event at Gaucho Leeds is coming up – possibly one of the most expensive this Christmas. The Argentinian meat specialist has teamed up with Northern Ballet on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 December for the Nutcracker Suite at the Grand Theatre, Leeds. Guests begin their evening at Gaucho with a champagne reception followed by a three course dinner and a bottle of wine. Transport will then whisk guests to the theatre. Post performance, folk will be given the opportunity to meet the cast and stage director. The price? Tickets are available from £115 per person. Phew.(for more info email here)

More musical festive meals
Band on the Wall, Manchester’s lovable and lovely live music venue, will prove a bit cheaper than Gaucho Leeds this Christmas (see story above). By booking their special £10 for two courses offer, customers receive a free concert ticket for selected Band on the Wall shows with their meal. Contact Simon Webbon, Marketing and Press Officer on 0161 830 2807 or simonwebbon@bandonthewall.org for details. Highlights of the Christmas concert season include Femi Kuti, the son of legendary Fela Kuti, plus they're hosting a winter folk festival at Green Room, with Pentangle guitarist John Renbourn and rising star of contemporary British folk John Smith. BoTW are also presenting the last ever tour of Acoustic Ladyland, the young ensemble who have turned the notion of jazz upside down and inside out.

Castle lays siege to food
Round the corner from the Band on the Wall on Oldham Street our old new favourite pub The Castle (click here) has launched a menu. It’s wholesome pub fare with a bit of flaire, to complement the notion of a modern pub with traditional values that the Castle embodies. We’ll be reviewing soon.

Modern thinking
The Modern has a good-looking Christmas 2010 menu. The restaurant on top of Urbis offers a three course festive menu with after dinner coffee featuring, amongst others, braised blade of Cheshire beef, roasted winter vegetables and caramelised onion puree and desserts of warm dark chocolate and chestnut tart with honeycomb ice cream. The price is £39.50 and the meal can be booked on 0161 605 8282.

Casino’s down under menu
On the mail out we’ve got from the Circus Casino at the junction of Oxford and Portland Streets the returning chef is monikered, the ‘beloved Head Chef James Lunham’. Eh? Anyway James is back from Australia with lots of new ideas. These include pan seared king scallops and strawberries and grilled John Dory fillets. There’s also talk of croc and kangaroo, so let’s also hope there’s no talk of ‘locally sourced’. The prices at the Casino’s 110 restaurant are reasonable offering a selection of deals including any two-courses for £15 and any three courses for £18. There is a three-course menu for £12.50 available Sunday to Thursday. To book a table please contact 0161 228 0077.

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

D KesslerNovember 23rd 2010.

Jack Sprat? Is that a chain store based on the original on Treasure Beach/ Jamaica? See link below:


JimNovember 23rd 2010.

As a regular at the 110 Restaurant at the Circus, I'm glad to see James back. His new menu looks fantastic and you can't beat 3 courses (inc Fillet steak suppliment) for £20

AnonymousNovember 23rd 2010.

Food & Drink Round-up or tiresome list of adverts?

It''s a round-upNovember 23rd 2010.

It's a round-up

DaveNovember 23rd 2010.

I thought that Sams had fully booked for Christmas weeks ago? We were the last group from our work to manage a booking :)

WhitesidesOnsideNovember 23rd 2010.

Anonymous 23 November 2010, 12:08:46

Food & Drink Round-up or tiresome list of adverts?

Couldn't agree more.

gjhNovember 23rd 2010.

a round up of adverts. whoop whoop!

AvoNovember 23rd 2010.

So Jack Spratt are going to be offering gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads and carvery. Don't Katsouris who are already well established on John Dalton Street already do all of those things and more?

EddiesNovember 24th 2010.

Pub food with a bit of flare? That'll be flambeed then.

EditorialNovember 24th 2010.

Thanks Eddies, we've changed that now.

Bacon Butty BoyNovember 24th 2010.

"Victoria claims to have the cheapest prices in the city centre" Victoria didnt do much research then. Cheaper in my daily butty shop. Loaf on St Mary's Street next to Prohibition. Bacon or Sausage Barm £1

bigearsNovember 24th 2010.

there's loads of butty shops that are cheaper than mancini's but to be honest, none as good! Anyone know when Jack Spratt opens? Nice to see a new independent opening in town, fingers crossed it lasts!

DJBlandNovember 26th 2010.

Band on the Wall Meal Deal is the best value offer in town, I think.
Me an my mate use it to "roll over" gigs and its great !!!!
The Food is fine - no michelin stars will ever be awarded, but its decent enough midweek bistro grub, and in effect ITS FREE (!) ....if you factor in the FOC £12 gig ticket to another gig we got when there last month....so we will be at Sleepy Sun gig next week, and we will eat before the gig for £10 each....and we get next months gig for nowt !!!


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