PLUS: a Pesky new opening, a GRUB dinner with a good cause and Cork's sixth b-day
Before you start, we know. No food and drink news last week, apologies. Blame it on technical difficulties. We know you were all chomping at the bit, gagging for your fix. Luckily, we’ve got a bumper edition this week to make up for it with everything from bagels to Radcliffe pizza history, so buckle up.
Elsewhere, there’s a lot to catch up on, from rave-inspired gin to Deansgate pop-ups. Also hats off to GRUB for their fundraising efforts, with 100% of their profits from an upcoming event going to help Ukrainians caught up in the conflict. Scroll down for our dispatches from a recent trip to Stockport as well as a round-up of the week’s stories.
Enjoy yourselves out there, take care and be kind to one another.
Read on for this week's tasty, bite-sized, Manchester food and drink news.
Primo bagels popping up at Cloudwater
There’s a new bagel purveyor on the block and we can vouch for it. Primo is a California inspired, long-fermented bagel bakery with a “lab-like methodology” when it comes to the goods. Bakers Scott, Niall and Fay are bringing experimentation and modern takes to the bagel world and from what we’ve sampled so far they look and taste the part. Although Primo is currently limited to Instagram orders, there is a chance to see and eat its bagels in the flesh this Saturday from 2-8pm at Cloudwater Unit 9 taproom. There are also rumours of a one-off pretzel bagel and a specially-made cookie with birthday stout in.
GRUB 4 Ukraine
It's been a tough week for the world and the Ukraine crisis is on everybody's minds. One way to handle the feeling of helplessness is to do something, however seemingly small, to help. So here's just one idea, head to GRUB on Wednesday 9 March from 6pm til late and buy some food and booze to help raise funds for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The ICRC responds to the humanitarian needs of those affected by the conflict, providing food, medicine, shelter and water to those who need it most and 100% of turnover from drinks, a raffle and any other donations will go towards this cause. GRUB is appealing for DJs, solo artists, bands, traders, entertainers and volunteers that would like to get involved to give them a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be a pizza Radcliffe history
Radcliffe might not be a place that first pops to mind when you think of foodie neighbourhoods but you'd be surprised. Cultivated by the hugely popular Radcliffe market, pizza place Luisa's began as a pop-up and quickly won over the hearts and bellies of the local community. The team are now ready for their own bricks n mortar affair and have already raised £70k but need a little help to kick them over the finish line. Like supporting indies? Put your money where your mouth is by contributing to Luisa's Kickstarter and in return you can get a voucher for date night, pizza making lessons or even unlimited pizza for a year. These are not just any old pizzas, with ingredients including black truffle honey, white anchovies and blue gorgonzola. There's also a fine line in plant-based pies. Get you, Radcliffe.
Happy birthday cork
The best-named wine shop in Manchester, Cork of the North is celebrating the 6th birthday of its Sale branch. The wine shop will be popping more corks than usual to a soundtrack of owner Marc's bessie mates from the music scene. DJs include Martin Moscrop from Manc legends A Certain Ratio, "Northern Balearic legend" GOFF and "a certain someone who plays for New Order". The birthday bash takes place on 20 March 3-10pm and there's no need to book, just rock up, grab a bottle and have a boogie.
Let the rave be-gin
Gin, The Hacienda, and Vinyl Exchange, the big three. Manchester Gin already has some pretty cool flavours and collabs up its juniper-infused sleeves, but this one takes the disco biscuit. Although gin probably wasn’t the social lubricant of choice at the post-punk raves of the 90s, Manchester Gin has released two new limited edition bottles of its classic Hacienda gin in collaboration with Peter Hook. The gin is infused with, it sez ere, "dandelion and burdock root with lemon and lime peel creating a refreshing zestiness (a nod to The Haçienda’s legendary acid house scene)." Winky face.
To celebrate the launch of all things black, yellow, and alcohol-based, there’s a record store takeover launch at Vinyl Exchange on Saturday 5 March from 1pm til 4pm. Hook himself will be spinnin’ some discs on the decks and signing bottles all day, and guests can taste some of the Manc-themed elixirs or buy a bottle to take home. Who knows, you might have a New Order for the perfect G&T after this whole ordeal?
A Pesky pop-up at Deansgate Square
A pop-up bringing “seafood”, “landfood” and “drinks” has thrown down its anchor at Deansgate Square. Zaide O’Rourke, a former Alchemist bartender, apparently won a contest to launch a pop up with funding by the restaurant group. Under the Pesky Boy moniker, he will be bringing nibbles and small plates (£4-10 each) to the pop-up space opposite General Store, with oysters set to be a main focus. As well as oyster shot pairings, dishes include panko cod cheeks with tartare sauce, king prawn pancakes with okonomiyaki and bonito as well as corn ribs and a green apple sorbet. Cocktails will also be on the agenda, which given the Alchemist's rep, should prove to be productive sipping. Pesky Bar runs from Monday 3 - Sunday 27 March. Bookings are open via DM on Instagram.
Hasta pronto, Abeja
In a January edition on Food & Drink News, we made the sad announcement that a Confidentials favourite and real Manchester gem was closing its doors. Tapas bar Abeja may have served its last croqueta from Hatch on Oxford Road, but from Wednesday 2 March - Sunday 13 March owner Ana and the team will set up shop in Sale Foodhall at Stanley Square.
We’ll be popping in to say hola and getting our Andalusian tapas fix. Croquetas, squid and Padron peppers will all be on the menu, bringing some sunshine to (probably) another blustery day in Manchester.
Born to be mild
There’s been a revolution happening in beer of late and it’s one your da has been waiting for since he was a wee’un. Mild is back. It’s everywhere. Just proper beef chipping chips left on his bingo card and it’s a full house of things your da misses from his soot-covered youth. Bundobust Brewery continues to lead the charge when it comes to pints. Last week the Indian streetfood purveyors launched a limited-edition vegan cask ale Dark Mild and an equally limited-edition vegan cream ale Manak.
The two new beers have arrived just in time for Bundo’s new three third pint beer flights. Any three beers, in satisfying third glass form, delivered on a tray made out of recycled plastic bottles. Saving the world one third at a time.
There's no place like Rome
If you missed the Six by Nico Once Upon a Time menu inspired by children's stories like Beauty and the Beast and Paddington Bear, there’s no need to get your tablecloths in a twist. The new menu starting Tuesday 15 March has been announced and it's an altogether more grown-up affair.
The chefs at the popular restaurant just off King Street have been reading the world’s oldest cookbook and been inspired by the food of Ancient Rome. Olives and extra virgin olive oil feature heavily on the Roman menu, with classic dishes like cacio e pepe getting an ancient makeover.
The fifth course is a tribute to “the grand feast of AD14” featuring belly of pork, braised fennel and date and apple compote. Finish with a honey parfait with ricotta cheese mousse and fizzy muscat grape.
This menu will only be around until Sunday 24 April so don’t fiddle while Rome burns.
Home, new home
If you've missed the sweet sweet pang of toothache and a good old mid-weekend sugar crash, fear not because the NQ's Home Sweet Home is back in business with a new menu, a new name (it's called Home Sweet NQ now) and a freshly decorated venue. There are sarnies, waffles, hash 'n eggs, and everything sweet with cream and sprinkles on, our favourite.
If you need a spot for gram-worthy pancakes on Tuesday, this is the spot to hit up, or if a negroni in your lunch hour is absolutely necessary, they're served all day long. The spot is still situated in its usual Edge Street haven, it's just had a bit of a re-vamp.
NRB22 announcements, NRB22 announcements everywhere
This year’s Northern Restaurant and Bar show is shaping up to be a cracker. Debates, stalls, special events, charity dinners, you name it, it’s happening. The big news out of the NRB camp is the announcement of the chefs partaking in this year’s NRB x Eat Well MCR fundraising dinner (Monday 14 March). It's £120 a head (industry only) will give you the chance to sample courses from the likes of Stosie Madi (Parkers Arms), Luke Payne (the Packhorse, Hayfield), Tom Parker (the White Swan at Fence), Ben Humphreys (District), Rachel Stockley (Baratxuri) and Caroline Martins (The Sao Paulo Project) at Grand Pacific in Spring Gardens.
This year’s headline speaker will be Soho House founder and chief exec Nick Jones. Thom Hetherington, CEO of the NRB, will be squeezing as many deets as possible out of Nick on Soho House’s upcoming Manchester outpost, as well as picking his brain on the art and business of hospitality. Tickets for NRB and its associated special events are available now.
Header image: @dghntmcr
Still room for more? Come this way. Our curated recommendations for best things to eat and drink this month are very much out and in the drinks especially, there’s a medicinal theme. Of course we couldn’t leave Stockport without checking out The Mekong Cat. Meanwhile, stats fans, the Confidential Guides Top 50 is out, Another Hand has opened its sweet, sweet doors and if that’s not enough for you there’s a freshly-baked eating out deals article ready to dig into.
Adventures in: Stockport
Our weekly wanderings took us to the ever-developing and super exciting hub of Stockport last week, and we had a very informed tour guide in the form of Where The Light Gets In's Sam Buckley.
We managed to find our way from the station to the Underbanks without his help though, and we split up for brekkie with one half of the team going to Laco Cafe & Bistro for a full English, and the other half visiting the wonder that is Cafe San Juan for a taste of Colombia.
Then we found Sam, who took us to his "favourite record shop in the world", SK1 Records, the iconic Stage Door fancy dress shop, and Rare Mags, a spot that has everything from zines about the footie to books about baking.
Back to food and drink though, we popped into The Queen's Head for a half, where there's supposedly the body of a cavalier buried in the walls, went up to The Landing for some sorrel tastings, and had a sneak peek inside Sam's latest venture, Yellowhammer. Which, just for the record, is "not a fucking pizza place".
Other shout-outs go to the vegan red velvet cake at Hillgate Cakery, the bramble we supped in The Good Rebel, and the cat-friendly plants that we purchased from Plant Shop Manchester on Mealhouse Brow.
Finishing the day off with, you guessed it, more food, some of us went to The Mekong Cat for dinner after some pretty hefty recommendations, and the rest indulged in Kambuja fried rice and Mamma G's jerk chicken at The Produce Hall. We then rolled home via the cobbles and haven't stopped buzzing about Stockport since.
As always, our tired legs didn't cover the full length and breadth of Stocky-P, so if we've missed some of your favourite spots to eat, shop, chat, or get sloshed, get in touch and we'll hop back on the train. You don't have to ask us twice.
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