Plus ideas for celebrating International Women's Day (with booze) and last min Mother's Day gifts
People sometimes ask what our food and drink team are even writing about at the moment, with restaurants and bars closed.
The truth is, restaurants and bars are working harder than ever to come up with creative, adaptive ways to continue to do what they do so well. This week’s bitesize food and drink news is more stuffed than a Triple B bagel, fatter than one of Grandad’s Sausages and almost as exciting as the return of MFDF.
Read on for new delivery options from your favourite restaurants and bars, a beer hotel and some epicurean specials for International Women’s Day.
Mancunian cocktails at home
It's ages since we spoke to cocktail wiz Joe Schofield about opening his own bar in Manchester city centre. A couple of years and one pandemic later, the dream is finally becoming a reality. Schofield’s Bar opens in spring 2021 but has launched on Deliveroo in the interim. The bottled cocktails on offer are suitably chic and quirky: Rhubarb Negroni, Rose & Lavender Martini, Raspberry Espresso Martini and Dark Chocolate & Mint Old Fashioned. Each bottle pours five servings (unless you just stick a straw in it) for £24.99. Cheese and charcuterie boards start at £9.50 for three items. You can also pick up tea, coffee, pastries, sandwiches and sweet treats from the venue itself every day except Monday until 8.30pm.
It's sew good that Cottonopolis is now on Deliveroo
After a short run on the ole click n’ collect in association with sister venue The Edinburgh Castle, modern Japanese restaurant Cottonopolis has launched on Deliveroo. Now you can get your mitts on the likes of beef Tskune bao with cheese and honey mustard miso, crab California sushi rolls with orange tobiko and all manner of umami-tastic Kushiyaki from the grill. Hallelujah!
Blue Caribou to you - poutine’s back on the delivery menu
Canadian poutine peddler, Blue Caribou is relaunching for poutine delivery and DIY kits in Manchester city centre. Uber Eats will be on delivery duty and you can pick up the DIY kits at Ancoats General Store, Groceries and Beer, Sale and Stretford Foodhall. The dish of French fries, gravy and squeaky cheese curds appears in various zhuzhed up outfits (the Reuben has added pastrami and pickles and there’s another with added roast chicken and peas). With the original founder moving back tho their native Canada, the brand has been bought out by Alex Markham of the Sunday Roast Company - although we heard Alex just pinned them down and twisted their ears til they gave him the gravy recipe.
Evuna springs a new menu on us
Spanish food and wine specialist Evuna has launched a new at-home menu for spring. The teeny tiny tapas bars had it tougher than some last year as its bijou restaurants were not built with social distancing in mind. Many restaurants like this will still struggle if metre plus rules are still in place when restaurants reopen in May as they will only be able to operate at a much smaller capacity, if at all. With the likes of marinated swordfish skewers wrapped in aubergine and Spanish cheesecake on the menu, it’s certainly no great hardship to support them by putting an order in.
It's high time for a plant-based weekly recipe box
In yet more food delivery news, the founder of Manchester vegan restaurant Vertigo has launched a plant based recipe box service. Not just another cook-at-home kit, this one’s more in the vein of the likes of time and energy savers like Hello Fresh or Gousto but with an entirely vegan offering. Beetbox customers will be able to choose from a wide range recipes including Tofu Tikka Masala, Mushroom Carbonara and Cottage Pie, all delivered to the door with easy-to-follow instructions. In addition to providing the exact ingredients to reduce food wastage, Beetbox is the first recipe kit delivery service to offer fully recyclable, compostable packaging. Prices start at £3.75 per meal.
Manchester Fazenda saved, but Chester closes
Brasilian restaurant Fazenda has been bought out of administration, saving many of its restaurants (including the one in Spinningfields) and hundreds of jobs. Two restaurants have been sadly lost in the process: Chester and Birmingham. While we’re disappointed to lose Chester, it’s good news that Manchester’s Fazenda will live to skewer another steak. Sadly, the pandemic was the cause of the Huddersfield based company’s financial troubles and it will almost certainly impact many more. Restaurants like Fazenda will be relying on you to bounce back. Get ready for a year of dining out like never before.
Manchester tarts on the gin in Didsbury
Mancunian brand Didsbury Gin has revived its popular Manchester Tart gin. Described as ‘clean, crisp and zesty’, the gin brings a touch of raspberry jam, custard and coconut to the party. For every £34.95 bottle of Manchester Tart gin sold, £5 will be donated to EMERGE 3Rs - a charity fighting food waste and poverty in Greater Manchester. Be quick if you want to nibble (well, slurp) on this particular tart. The flavour sold out in just 7 days when it first launched in 2019.
Drink to womanhood for IWD 2021
We’ve already talked about some of the (mostly virtual) activities going on in Manchester for International Women’s Day 2021, but what about on the food and drink front? Well, as mentioned last week, Salut has launched a special wine crate celebrating women winemakers in association with The People’s History Museum. Prestwich wine experts Grape To Grain are running a live online wine tasting focusing on female wine makers and donating a portion of ticket money sold to two local charities that support women.
Store Group are putting on a Girls Who Grind event with 100 discounted to £1 coffees available at all three of their F&B sites (Groceries & Beer, Stretford Mall and Ancoats General Store). They will also be selling products by some local female makers. Female-owned Diablesse Rum has commissioned Manchester-based graphic designer and illustrator Alexander Francis to create limited-edition prints of two inspirational women, Kamala Harris and Emmeline Pankhurst, in support of The Pankhurst Trust as well as putting recipes for three IWD inspired cocktails on its website.
Celebrate your mother
Another way to celebrate women is to treat your mum for Mother's Day. If you didn't find anything that tickled your fancy on our indie Mother's Day gift round-up, here are a couple more suggestions: Albert's Schloss is touting its three-course Sunday roast as a great option for gifting to mum. Alex's Bakery has all kinds of cupcake, brownie and other treat boxes. If your mum is a bit eccentric, she might like Dormouse Chocolates' anatomical heart chocolates. Evuna has a trio of wines for Mother's Day. Manchester Gin has all sorts of lovely gift sets ideal for mums partial to a G&T and Lovingly Artisan have put together a jammy breakfast in bed box for mums who are long overdue a lie in.
Win all the pies
If you enjoyed our Manchester pie chart earlier in the week, you might want to enter a competition to win a year’s supply of family-sized pies from Holland’s. The Lancastrian bakery has teamed up with Bake Off’s Briony Williams and others to crown the nations’ favourite family pie flavour’. All you have to do is vote for your favourite of Holland’s Pies to be in with a chance of winning the grand pies.