Sunday, 7 July 2013

Artisan, Manchester

Artisan, Manchester
It's the new kid on the block, and too cool for school. Artisan is yet another of the Living Ventures offspring, meaning they now own about half of Manchester. Their establishments are synonymous with style and everything they touch appears to turn to gold. I went with an open mind and an empty tummy, in search of steak, and cinnamon dusted desserts.

Friday evening was hot. We arrived in Spinningfields to find a sea of sun worshipping party goers in their finest frocks, sat on every available surface. The Oast House was absolutely heaving, and you could barely see the Aperol Spritz bar.
Artisan, Manchester
We had a reservation for 8pm. It was heaving when we got inside, so we were asked to take a seat in the unusual bar area. This is constructed from solid wooden tables, where the bar staff competently create an array of impressive looking cocktails. There is also a comfortable waiting area with views over Spinningfields.

The first thing that hits you when you arrive is the sheer scale of the operation. The restaurant can serve up to 250 covers, plus the bar area. Dining areas are in 'strips' with divides between them, so it still feels quite cosy.
Artisan, Manchester
My husband was impressed with the chioce of beers too; they have the usual crowd pleasers, with a couple of good craft options in for good measure. He had the Steven's Point Pale Ale and the Thornbridge Kipling.
Artisan, Manchester - Beer
Starters come under the title of 'little plates'. Trades descriptions anyone? They are by no means little. Good job we were both starved! I had the potato wedges baked in paprika and beef dripping with sour cream and Paddy had the salt and pepper pork crackling with apple sauce. Both were fantastic.
Artisan, Manchester - Wedges
Artisan, Manchester - Crackling
Always leaning towards a burger, I picked the bone in rib eye for a change. Their butcher had supplied a cracking piece of beef to begin with, but it was treated with the love and attention required to make an amazing steak. Slightly charred on the outside with a beautiful rare centre, as requested.
Artisan, Manchester - Steak
I ordered a portion of chips and pepper sauce to accompany my main, which in hindsight was a foolish move after the carb-ageddon which was my starter! They really do excellent chips. The pepper sauce was pretty good too; the perfect chip dip.
Artisan, Manchester - Steak
Artisan, Manchester - Chips
Paddy ordered the chorizo and potato pizza with rocket, red peppers and piri piri. This is served on a beautifully home made base and comes with a pizza cutter - he liked this. He decided this is the best pizza in Manchester hands down. And yes, there is a pile of crisps in the centre.Artisan, Manchester - Pizza
If I ever see cinnamon on a dessert menu, I struggle not to order what ever is accompanying it. This apple turnover was dusted with cinnamon icing sugar and came served with vanilla ice cream. Simple, yet very pleasant indeed.
Artisan, Manchester - Apple Turnover
The salted caramel baked banana with gingerbread ice cream looks a bit of an ugly ducking, but is rather tasty indeed. That gingerbread ice cream is a pudding in its own right. I may have stolen some of this... May have.
Artisan, Manchester - Banana
Artisan, Manchester If I'm being honest, I really didn't know what to expect from Artisan. I'd seen pictures on Twitter which looked amazing, but I was a little concerned that it would be a bit too trendy for my liking. It is trendy, there's no doubt about that, but it's also friendly. You'll be just as comfortable going in your jeans and a nice top/shirt as those who do the full dolling up in a stomach constricting dress and sky scraper heals.

I'm not usually a fan of loud music in restaurants either, but there was a fantastic mix of tunes which everyone seemed pleased with! Quite a few of my guilty pleasures were there, as well as some classics. For example, TLC's 'Creep' was sandwiched between Suede's 'Beautiful Ones' and the Sugar Babes' 'Freak Like Me'!

We are definitely going back to Artisan. I've already mentally made a date with their Sunday roast, which comes with the option of ordering the entire roast for the table. Nice. We didn't have a single complaint about our food, and the service was impecable. Seamless from start to finish.

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