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Food and Drink Round-up 25/06/2010

Fortnum and Mason move north, Palmiro and the Armenian disappear and wine tasting shenanigans

Published on June 24th 2010.

Food and Drink Round-up 25/06/2010

Palmiro fades away
Palmiro is about to disappear. The award-winning and very distinctive restaurant in Whalley Range – one could argue the only restaurant in Whalley Range – is to become a bar and casual dining outlet after being let to new operators. Confidential has had many great meals at Palmiro and a couple less good ones, but it will be a much missed restaurant. Good luck to Stefano Bagnoli who opened and ran the place this past decade. Let’s hope the new venue can emulate the quality of nearby Hilary Step and Jam Street Cafe. It should open within the month, we don’t have the name yet.

Don’t cry for me Armenia
A potential farewell to the Armenian Taverna in Albert Square too. Owner Mafif Alamyan has decided to put it on the market citing his age, increase in rents and a hike in service charges. Speaking of farewell’s we got that news from the last edition of Crain’s Manchester Business (click here). The 31 year old restaurant was a right charmer with decor that maybe should be listed as a perfect example of the ludicrous nature of 1970s taste. It features ill-drawn but sweet murals and Artex ladled on to the walls like whipped cream.

Booth fires up the Engine House
Meanwhile in the splendid new International Anthony Burgess Foundation at the corner of Cambridge Street and Hulme Street, one of Peter Booth’s delightful Modern Caterer outlets will be open by the weekend. Booth runs the excellent cafe in The Whitworth Art Gallery and Gabriel’s Kitchen(click here) on Upper Brook Street. The new place will be called the Engine House and feature Booth’s trademark clever cooking of trad dishes and new stuff: Goosnargh chicken liver pate, slow cooked shoulder of pork sandwiches, beans on toasts and egg with soldiers. It will open during the day with breakfasts and lunches as the main features.

Scoring in tongues
We’re breaking the mould with some of our World Cup footy articles by having match reports in the language of the teams being watched. We’ve done this with Spain (click here) and South Africa (click here). The Lass’o’Gowrie on Charles Street behind the BBC has had the same idea. Go along there if you want to watch a match in a language other than English. It’s all very internationalist and radical. Like us.

Northern Quarter in the news
This is a curious one. Look here in the Canadian Globe and Mail paper. Here’s the Northern Quarter splashed all over the travel section with a big focus on food and drink and a quote from the Confidential publisher, Mark Garner, click here.

Fortnum and Mason move North
Fortnum & Mason for the first time in its 303 year history, will be bringing (as it says on its own press release) ‘its exquisite dining 180 miles from its home at 181 Piccadilly London, to the RHS Show Tatton Park from 21-25 July 2010’. There will be three F&M restaurants: The Brasserie, The Tatton Club and The Parlour. The latter looks really interesting being a mirror of the Piccadilly restaurant of the same name. It will be serving Viennoiserie partnered with espresso-based coffees and the ‘Ultimate Hot Chocolate’. We could do with one of those Parlours in Central Manchester. Anyone want to persuade Fortnum and Mason to stay on up north?

Bugs and Buds Summer Festival
The Lost Plot, a community allotment at Southern Allotments, off Nell Lane in Chorlton will be hosting a summer festival on Sunday 27 June from 1pm onwards to celebrate the summer growing season. Refreshments will be provided, including a BBQ between 1pm and 3pm, and some homemade goodies made with produce from The Lost Plot’s very own allotment. There’ll be workshops suitable for all ages and as always, something to take home at the end of the day. How very, very lovely.

Bekaa Beckons at Dimitris
Dimitris on Deansgate held a wine tasting last night - gallery of pics below. It was a showcase for the Lebanese producer Chateau Musar. The 1994 red was so lush, fruity and complex it could have epic poems written about it. In fact here’s Omar Khayyam for you: ‘Here with a Book of Verse beneath the Bough/ A Flask of Wine, a Loaf of Bread,--and Thou/ Beside me singing in the Wilderness-/ And Wilderness is Paradise enow.’ Khayyam was from Persia which isn’t very close to the Bekaa Valley, but the wine was so good it put us in a mood for poetry. Apparently the 1994 was produced following an intensely hot summer and has changed its character in the bottle becoming, unexpectedly, the glory it presently is. Get your hands on some.

An apology to Dimitri from the editor
‘Dear Dimitri, I was a little too merry at your wine event last night (featured in the story above) but I feel it only right and proper to blame England for not scoring a second goal and therefore forcing me to drink pint after pint in the marquee at Castlefield. If England had scored again I would have been less tense and therefore paced my drinking. So while I regret being silly during the wine-tasting - even going so far as to draw a rather good and flattering caricature of you - the blame really lies with the national team. I promise to buy you lunch soon at a venue of your choice to make up. Yours, Jonathan Schofield, Editor.’

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

RobJune 25th 2010.

A shame about Palmiro, this used to be one of my favourite restaurants but was somehow never the same again after that brutal extension. Stefano really tried to do something different and it worked for a while, but patchy quality and frequently awful service meant that my visits became infrequent and then non-existent. A sad loss, but I guess it had run its course. Good luck Stefano.

TimeOutManchesterJune 25th 2010.

Being an exiled Manc and having to live in this shithole called London, can I just tell you how toe-curlingly embarrassing it is when Northerners get excited about a 'posh' business venture deigning to come up North? Oh, we've got a Harvey Nicks. Ooh, Fortnum and Masons. Pathetic social climbing that is beneath all of us. It's a f*cking food shop. Get over yourself.

Cara14181June 25th 2010.

Can't say I am bothered about Palmiro going, I only live round the corner and have been there 3 times as I really wanted to give it a good go. Food was over-priced, usually cold and there was no atmosphere in the place as it always empty. I am really hoping this new place gets it right and compliments the existing great bars on that stretch as there is a definite market for a decent, neighbourhood place.

D KesslerJune 25th 2010.

It's easy - just change the lighting...

NortherngeezerJune 25th 2010.

Do they have a Harry Ramsdens darn sarf?

AnonymousJune 25th 2010.

Please to hear about F&M coming to the flowers show. I shall be there among the begonias Only tea is worthwhile but I need a very attractive women of a certain age with a hat to set the scene for my tea F&M

ElpollolocoJune 25th 2010.

Love the old chateau Musar Gordo, bet that was a good night. Just had a very average meal at Michael Reinesheider's Highwayman..is it possible to be ignored by 3 staff when there are only 5 customers...it is here!! By the way...it seems they are passing off a Neil Sowerby review as a ManCon review on their website.

TimmiTreeJune 25th 2010.

I too blame the England team for you getting drunk before the Musar tasting. I blamed my birthday for my state at the last Castlefield meeting. So we're quits. Did Gordo enjoy the lamb and the garlic as much as I did? It appeared so... By the way the '86, '91, '93, '95, '99 and 2001 were all amazing. Maybe the '82 was just too old. I'm going to take my anarak off now and get in the sun...

ChurlJune 26th 2010.

I like the sound of these wine tastings. Can I come next time?

GordoJune 26th 2010.

That lamb at the Musar tasting was fantastic as it happens. Sensibly I left early, having polished off eight pints of bitter during the game; I had forgotten that Dimitri had invited me to the tasting in all the excitement. Even that lot couldn't dim the quality of the Musar, nor indeed the lamb and we mustn't forget Shifty Ed's missus whom Gordo fell in love with. A top day. Finally a nightcap at Carluccio's where he was abused by Jon Drape's other half, the fragrant Rebecca, who sensibly thinks Gordo to be an arse hole. Gordo has sent her a Devo album via I Tunes to try and win her over.

UN Peace Keeping EnvoyJune 28th 2010.

Ouch, I guess Mr Schofield is just another example of the English being bad losers. Who says football chavs are all working class...it is a most splendid rebuke all the same and has softened my rotten mood this morning. Big up Dimitri.

Jonathan Schofield - editorJune 28th 2010.

UN person, lovely comments, but sadly the drunkenness happened after England had beaten Slovenia, so being a bad loser had nothing to do with it - check the dates on the articles would you before jumping in. And the English aren't bad losers, we're brilliant at losing. Well the footy team is anyway. We're good at darts and snooker, cycling and presently cricket. And if there were a world championship for binge drinking......

UN Apologies and Retraction DivisionJune 28th 2010.

Please accept my sincerest apologies. 5 days at Glasto has altered my mind, body and vision in a permanent and blissfully football ignorant way. I retract my above statement forthwith, albeit I suspect you may still be a closet football hooligan masquerading as a food critic to avoid ASBO sanctions. On this basis I reserve the right to enjoy Dimitris succinct riposte.

Jonathan Schofield - editorJune 28th 2010.

UN APOLOGIES, you're right, I am a closet football hooligan. I completely wrecked someone's wardrobe the other day.

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