Remember, remember these five new openings this November...
A fistful of booze heavy restaurants are opening next month in the run up to the general Christmas hubbub. There will be mountains of martinis to shake or stir, fish tanks and Bollinger, gins with locally foraged botanicals and one place which will even wheel a drinks trolley to your table, so you can get off your trolley without getting off your backside. There’s also going to be a new pizza place to sooth your hangover woes with Great British toppings. Cheers...
Where: Corn Exchange, Cathedral Street, M4 3TR
This Glasgow-based steak and gin restaurant has decided upon Manchester’s as the venue for its first foray on English soil and the doors to their new 160-seat basement restaurant have only recently opened. Their trademark is steaks sourced from the Tweed Valley, which they say are 'selected from the top 1% of Scottish beef' and available nowhere else in Manchester. Confidential is looking forward to seeing how it stacks up against the likes of Hawksmoor and Blackhouse for quality and value.
Mother’s ruin is another speciality, with an initial selection of 58 gins, both local and international. Local brands will include Manchester Three Rivers and Manchester Gin, while a selection of ‘bespoke gin-infusions’ will also be on offer using botanicals foraged from the Manchester area.
Where: Manchester Hall, Bridge Street
When: 3rd November
Masons bar & restaurant is the first of three dining venues planned for Manchester Hall, the Grade II listed former Freemasons Hall which has been transformed into a new premium boutique conference venue. It hopes to bring a modern slant to traditional dining in Manchester, offering 'simple and playful' interpretations of classic British dishes with global influences; main courses such as pan fried salmon with an Asian coconut broth and crispy soba noodles, followed by no-nonsense puddings like lemon posset or sticky toffee pudding.
The bar will specialise in martinis and many of the drinks and cocktails will be served from a trolley and expertly mixed at the table. The interior of the 60-seat restaurant has been kept deliberately low key to create a light and informal club atmosphere with forest green velvet booth seating and greenery.
Where: 1 Peter Street, M2 5QR
When: 10th November
The Manchester opening will be the tenth Dirty Martini. Having started out in 2006 with a basement site in Covent Garden, it has since grown to eight more bars across London and one in Cardiff which opened in October last year.
A hefty £1.5m has been spent getting this premium cocktail bar ready, by converting the 6,700 sq ft three-floor site into a ‘perfect mix of spirit and sophistication’ – adding to the growing mix of food and booze outlets popping up around Manchester’s effervescent Peter Street.
It will serve an extensive menu of martinis and signature cocktails, classics and wines/champagnes in a highly stylised interior. Foodwise, Dirty Martini will also offer a selection of ‘dirty bites’ including flatbreads, falafels, skewers and, yes, burgers.
Where: 2 Booth Street, M2 4AT
This brand new two-floor restaurant and Champagne bar, on the former Avalanche site, has been inspired by the birth of Manchester’s Industrial Revolution. 1761 will be a 130 cover restaurant serving modern British food.
Downstairs, will be the opulent Lily’s Bar (named after Madame Lily Bollinger, enterprising member of the famous Champagne producing family) which has been designed as the ultimate escape from the city above. A huge 18,000 litre fish tank filled with marine water fish will dominate the room, but will contain absolutely no stingrays whatsoever.
Where: Lapwing Lane, Didsbury
The difference with this pizza place is that it uses toppings sourced mainly from the UK. It launched, five years ago, from the back of a converted 1974 VW Campervan in Margate, but soon moved into a proper restaurant on the seafront because of its popularity. Five years later, following a string of awards and national newspaper coverage, the Great British Pizza Company are ready to expand and have chosen Didsbury as their first location.
Owned by award-winning chef Rachel Seed and Lisa Richards, a food and travel writer, their Manchester branch will offer customers a chance to experience their signature recipe dough, slow-cooked tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and an array of toppings including local cheeses and British cured meats supplied by small and interesting independent producers. Pizzas include combinations such as Chandler & Dunn ham with Portabello mushroom, pear and British blue cheese, or Bath Pig British chorizo and chilli.
Make that six...
Where: Hilton Chambers, Northern Quarter
When: from 16th November
This 'modern take on the British boozer' completes the £1 million makeover of the Hilton Chambers building, on the corner of Oldham and Hilton Street. According to the press release, The Patron bar ‘will feature modern smart new glazing running the length of either side of the landmark site' (windows?), a garden courtyard and a 'real live' tree (not a dead one then).
Food comes in the form of small and large plates with a British-Middle Eastern fusion slant, with dishes including lamb fritters with smoked aubergine dip and grilled mackerel with spiced pomegranate salsa. Sunday roasts will also be a staple - using prime cuts, seasonal veg and Yorkies ‘as big as your head’. As to be expected, there's also a big focus on local craft beer and cocktails - well this is the Northern Quarter.