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Gordo Recommends 08/03/11

An on-going series in which Gordo recommends four of his faves

Written by . Published on March 10th 2011.


Gordo Recommends 08/03/11

Café Istanbul
You can’t go wrong with Cafe Istanbul: its looks smart, provides good quality food at reasonable prices and makes its guests feel superbly comfortable. That’s why it’s usually busy. The exterior hides a bazaar-like interior with classic Turkish dishes such as minced lamb meatballs, oven baked lamb in fresh tomato and herb sauce, chicken stuffed with spinach and feta in an orange sauce, chargrilled seafood feast and lovelies such as aubergine lamb - lean lamb slowly cooked in red wine served on a bed of aubergine pureé. Yummy. Cafe Istanbul is great for an evening out or letting a wine-laden afternoon foggily slip by.

79/81 Bridge Street M3 2RH. T: 0161 833 9942

Strada, Spinningfields
Strada is a swash-buckling addition to Manchester food in a fine riverside location. The Leftbank at Spinningfields overlooks the River Irwell and Strada takes full advantage with a huge terrace. The place, as the name implies, concentrates on Italian nosh from the sunshine Amalfi region. And fine fodder it is too including hand-made pastas, fresh sauces, chargrilled meat and fish dishes, and classic Italian desserts. Signature dishes include seared yellow tuna, fillet of beef with a creamy shallot and peppercorn sauce and Risotto Primavera. You’ll find Strada more than worth the short walk from Bridge Street or Deansgate. And if the weather’s good, it has that lovely terrace too.

4a Left Bank M3 3AN. T: 0161 819 5691

Rosso
Rosso has a spectacular setting in a former bank: it’s an explosion of marble, stained glass and sensory overload. The name gives away its ownership link to that other Red, Rio Ferdinand, who can often be seen chowing down the underneath Rosso’s gilded domes. The theme is obviously Italian and dishes include all those desirable pasta, meat and fish dishes delivered with swagger and panache, such as the coniglia all mustardi, slow cooked rabbit fricassee, root veg, mustard cream and spinach. This place is great for people watching while working your way through the trendy wine of the moment, a fine Amarone.

43-45 Spring Gardens M2 2BG. T: 0161 832 1400

City cafe
Sharp sassy place, that brings an extra dimension to dining in the Piccadilly area. Efficient amiable staff add to the very modern atmosphere that still retains traditional values when it comes to sound cooking. Food comes from the skilled and refined mitts of Phil Green. Things we’ve liked include the prawn cocktail with tempura king prawns, avocado and salsa or the fish and chips in 'bitter and twisted beer batter' or the herb-crusted rump of lamb with lamb cannelloni. Other stars have been quails eggs with roast wood pigeon and onion tart or hand-picked crab salad with baby leaves and a lime and chilli dressing.

If you want an elegant night out, City Cafe is just perfect and very conveniently located. Rosso Rosso has a spectacular setting in a former bank: it’s an explosion of marble, stained glass and sensory overload. The name gives away its ownership link to that other Red, Rio Ferdinand, who can often be seen chowing down the underneath Rosso’s gilded domes. The theme is obviously Italian and dishes include all those desirable pasta, meat and fish dishes delivered with swagger and panache, such as the coniglia all mustardi, slow cooked rabbit fricassee, root veg, mustard cream and spinach. This place is great for people watching while working your way through the trendy wine of the moment, a fine Amarone.

1 Auburn Street Piccadilly Place M1 3DG. T: 0161 242 1000

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