Monday, 22 October 2018

Levanter, Ramsbottom

Levanter, Ramsbottom
I gave a huge cheer as Ramsbottom's Levanter won 'Casual Restaurant of the Year' at the Manchester Food and Drink Awards. I don't mind telling you that they got my vote after our visit a few weeks ago. Hidden behind the main flurry of shops and restaurants, Levanter and sister restaurant Baratxuri are nestled on Square Street, which feels like a peaceful little place to spend an afternoon eating tapas. 

First rule of tapas - staring blankly at the menu, fully aware of the fact that I will be unable to choose an adequate amount of dishes, owing to the fact 'they all sound so nice'. Cue a meat platter! Happy days. Lots of carnivorous 'bits' to keep me happy. Look at this meat!
Levanter, Ramsbottom
I will always over-order carbs. Every time. However, Levanter's sourdough comes with these nice salsa and oil/vinegar dipping pots, which made me feel continental rather than greedy. 
Levanter, Ramsbottom
Levanter, Ramsbottom
Garbanzos - chickpeas, spinach and egg with cumin seeds, garlic and breadcrumbs: A festival of textures awaits in this dish. Not only is it packed with flavour, but the breadcrumbs and slightly toasted edges on the chickpeas gave a nice crunch too. Pop open that yolk!
Levanter, Ramsbottom
Rabo de Toro - ox tail braised in Rioja, served with tomatoes, celery, carrots, butter beans and garlic: Star of the show. Beef in red wine will always be a hearty little number, but add in those smooth butter beans, which seem to have been steeped in the flavour of the dish, and it's sent to another stratosphere.
Levanter, Ramsbottom
Merluza Y Salsa de Tomate - Hake fillet seared on the plancha, with sun-dried tomato and anchovy salsa: I'm not a fan of seafood but Phil is, so we always get at least one fish dish. He loved this one, which came served on a generous bed of salsa. This was a little too fishy for me, but even I loved the meaty hake.
Levanter, Ramsbottom
It's always nice to have a ride out to Ramsbottom at the weekend, especially when wonderful food like this awaits. All the staff were warm and friendly, spoke about the dishes with some vigour, and seemed genuinely pleased to serve their guests. We got chatting to a nice couple who were sat next to us too, who were already planning their next trip, which would involve staying over and lots of wine! 

Go here for a relaxed dining experience when you have lots of time. Do not rush this one. Your food comes when it's ready, so you could happily spend all afternoon here without even noticing the time. We're also plotting an evening trip, and a visit to sister restaurant Baratxuri. 

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