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Manchester Restaurant News - The French by Simon Rogan Manchester
Manchester Restaurant News

Soul Festival - Manchester Soul Festival - Manchester

The Printworks Is Set To Bring A Whole Lotta Soul To Manchester

The Manchester Soul Festival is back bigger and better for its second year! Following a successful first year in 2015, raising over £22,500 for The Christie, The Manchester Soul Festival will be back once again
Taking place in various venues within The Printworks, as well as its very own pumpyard, the festival of Soul and Motown bands, artists and DJs, will be running from noon until late on Sunday 28th August. Though the full line up is yet to be announced, the acts gracing the main stage will be lucky enough to be performing on the ‘Frank Byrne stage,’ named in memory of the Manchester legend who worked tirelessly to get the festival started and to make it a success

Fred Booth, Centre Director for The Printworks, said “The aim this year is to put on even more of a show for visitors, make even more money for The Christie, and to do Frank Byrne proud. We’ve got a great line up in the pipeline already and a host of great offers from our tenants for throughout the day, so it promises to be a great day for all the family.”

Daniel Poole, Community Manager for The Christie, said “The Manchester Soul Festival is set to be bigger and better than last year and we are very grateful to The Printworks for hosting this fantastic event for the second year.  The money raised at the festival will go towards supporting vital services here at the Christie in Manchester.”

To purchase a wristband it is asked that you please make a minimum donation of £5 per band to the Just Giving page, where all proceeds will then go to The Christie.

Various offers will be available throughout the day to those with a wristband: 

Bierkeller - 25% off main food menu, Corona, Budweiser & Desperados only £2, Pint of Carlsberg (draught) or glass of house wine (175ml) only £2.50
The Birdcage - Happy Hour from 12-3pm including double and a mixer £3.50, £2.50 for bottle of Peroni or glass of house wine
Chiquito - 25 % off main food menu
Frankie and Benny’s - 20% off main food menu
Hard Rock Cafe - 15% off main food menu
Harvester - 20% off food on a £25 minimum spend (excluding meal deals)
Nandos - Three free chicken wings when you buy a combo meal
Peachy Keens - 20% off food and BOGOF cocktails
Tiger Tiger - 50% off food and drink all day
Walkabout - Pint of Strongbow or Fosters only £2, Mixers only £2, Bottle of Coca Cola only £1

Details on how to buy this wristband/make a donation will be on the Just Giving page here

~ June 2016 ~


The Printworks - Manchester The Printworks - Manchester

The Printworks to offer discount to military personnel for the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme

The Printworks will be recognising the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme with discount at each venue for military personnel, on Friday 1st July. To claim the discount individuals simply need to show their military ID.

The following featured venues on Restaurants of Manchester will be offering discounts to military personnel: 

Tiger Tiger - 50%
Bierkeller - 25%
Peachy Keens - 20%
Busaba - 20%
Hard Rock Cafe - 15%

The Somme Remembrance service to be held on the 1st July at Manchester Cathedral to observe, think, respect, and remember the 119 Manchester people who gave their lives for their country in the Great War. The Printworks pay tribute to those affected with two rolls of honour on their walls. One is for the staff of  E. Hulton and Co. Ltd, featuring the names of staff from their Manchester offices as well as London, Halifax and Preston. The other is for the staff of Kemsley Newspapers Ltd

~ June 2016 ~


Grafene Manchester Grafene Manchester

July 2016 King Street Opening For New Modern British Restaurant Grafene

It has been nearly a decade since they bought Losehill House near the village of Hope in the Peak District.  Now Greater Manchester born and bred Paul and Kathryn Roden, owners of the four-star Losehill House Hotel and Spa, and its award-winning restaurant, are bringing their passion for fine food into the heart of their big city.
Inspired by modern Manchester, the hospitality entrepreneurs are making a £1m investment into a 5,750 sq ft ground-floor unit at 55 King Street, formerly the home of Brasserie Blanc. Creating 50 new jobs, the 190-seat Grafene will provide a cocktail and champagne bar and restaurant, with Modern British fine dining in an informal atmosphere, with a confident, selective approach to its food and drink menus.
During the past month a fantastic management team has been assembled who are genuinely excited by the opportunity to launch a new and innovative restaurant and bar on King Street, and recruitment of the remainder of the team is now well underway. Under the direction of the group’s Executive Chef Darren Goodwin, a great new team at Grafene will offer an eclectic menu from Breakfast through to Dinner which will comprise a daily changing market based a la carte menu, a 7-course taster menu and interesting small plate options, all sourced from non-GM local or artisan suppliers.
The dramatic island bar will serve vintage champagne, local beers and cocktails inspired by the scientific innovation of Graphene. Staffed by some of the most celebrated mixologists in the North West offering an innovative approach, the bar will serve a selection of small plates and light food, and will be a destination in its own right. Grafene will offer a superb wine list, creating an opportunity for tasting sessions in the dedicated wine room, along with wine matching for the tasting menus.
An open pastry kitchen in the heart of the restaurant will offer a visual and entertaining experience from breakfast through to lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.  Two intimate private dining areas will specialise in wine tasting, either as an accompaniment to the daily changing tasting menu, or as a dedicated activity tailored to each party.

The interior of the venue is being transformed into a dramatic elegant space which will be complemented by an al-fresco dining area on the thoroughfare between King Street and Chapel Walks, featuring a sliding glass wall to bring the outside in and an innovative light box changing with the moods of the day.

Paul Roden says: “We are inspired by the world's first 2D material Graphene, first isolated at Manchester University. Grafene is our food and drink interpretation of this exciting new chapter in Manchester’s rich history, and of the excitement and energy there is around its possibilities for science and technology. While we are serious about our food, there is no need to take eating out so seriously that it stops being fun.  With private booths and a big bar space, we will create a relaxed, unstuffy atmosphere”

~ June 2016 ~


Urban Cookhouse- Manchester Urban Cookhouse- Manchester

Wouldn’t be it great if there was a place in the city where you could go for a great burger, maybe a game of pool, some top notch beers, and also cocktails at amazing prices, all in a homely, relaxed New York Loft inspired setting? Well, it just so happens that there is!

Urban Cookhouse on Princess Street have released a great new menu ahead of Summer, along with some of the best value cocktails in the city centre. You can even take your favourite four legged friend along, as Urban Cookhouse will be making dogs welcome throughout the Summer, providing free water bowls too, which as you can see our canine dining companion loved so much he wouldn’t even stop for a picture!

We were invited down to sample their new 'Build Your Own Burger' concept which allows you to completely tailor-make your own burger….[click here for full review]

~ June 2016 ~


Scene - Manchester Scene - Manchester
Scene are excited to announce the first in a series of lavish events at their Spinningfields restaurant. On July 13th from 6.30pm, guests will be transported from Manchester to India as they are taken on a journey through the sights, sounds and smells of Indian street food and Bollywood. A feast for the eyes will welcome visitors to their beautiful restaurant as they experience the authentic, colourful vibes from the sub-continent.
On arrival, guests will be offered a welcome drink before being shown through to the theatrical experience of Bollywood and embarking on a culinary route through India with an extensive street food banquet. Diners will be enlightening their senses with Onion Bhaji’s, Aloo Papri Chaat, Chicken 65, Fish Amritsari, Reshmi Kebabs, Vegetable Samosas, Chicken Makhani, Dhaba Gosht, Gajjar Methi Mattar, Punjabi Daal and Malai Kofta’s accompanied by Rice and Naan Bread’s. To compliment these traditional delights, there will be a selection of salads – Black Chick Peas and Sprout Salad, Creamy Potato and Dill Salad, Sweetcorn, Grilled Pepper, Tomato and Spring Onion Salad as well as a cooling Cucumber and Mint Raitha and a spicy Bullet Chill and Tomato Pickle. There will also be the opportunity to try a classic Indian dessert including Gulab Jamun or Kheer.

The iconic dance company, ‘Bhangracise’, who performed at the London Olympics Opening Ceremony will be entertaining guests throughout the evening with their unique and energetic dance acts whilst music is being provided by Smooth Edge, a live jazz group. There will also be Henna painters on hand to replicate a true Bollywood Street Party, Scene for the first time in Manchester.

Make the most of the Manchester summer weather by dancing the evening away within the glamorous Bollywood setting at Scene Indian Street Kitchen.

~ June 2016 ~


James Martin Manchester - Reveiw James Martin Manchester - Reveiw

In the week before our visit to James Martin, we'd eaten at a few culinary big boys. Our stomachs felt like it was December 29th, and the food wall had indeed landed.  In total truth, we just wanted to spend a wet Friday evening at home, in front of some trashy TV with the log fire raging away, over a nice bottle of New Zealand Pinot Noir wine, in our PJ's, along with that beans on toast.  Maybe some cheese on top, who knows?  Still, you've got to be a pro about these things and just get on with the job.  Could James Martin help us scale the food wall, or leave us crashing down in a heap of excess?

Anyway, duty demanded that we head down to James Martin Manchester. Now we've visited a few times every year since they launched in 2013.  Every year so far the bar has been raised very slightly, moving in the same general direction as the city's collaborative foodie credentials. Click here to read full review.

~ June 2016 ~


Splendid Kitchen - Manchester Splendid Kitchen - Manchester

American comfort food favourite Splendid Kitchen is sadly to close its doors this month after feeling the effects of the road closures in relation to  the second city tram crossing with various roads and footpaths around the unit being closed which has had a huge impact on business in the last few months.

Owners Mike and Emily will be keeping the restaurant doors open till the 18th June and hope to say goodbye to their loyal customers. If you are yet to visit Splendid Kitchen you have a little under a week to get down there and try some the best fried chicken in town… !

~ June 2016 ~


The French  - Manchester

This week has seen the return of Chef's Week at The French by Simon Rogan; an occasion which sees a showcase of chefs from the Rogan stable, ranging from Dan Cox at Fera, to Tom Barnes at the flagship L'Enclume.  We were fortunate enough to be invited to last night's event, headed up by the talented yet ever charming and always approachable Adam Reid; Head Chef at The French itself.

We sat down for a chat with Adam at L'Enclume, a few weeks before The French launched back in Spring 2013, and have seen his cooking evolve and mature ever since.  Backed up by a fantastic kitchen and front of house team, The French is now one of the region's culinary forces.

Chef's Weeks are always a great opportunity to gain a more personal insight into a Chef's mind and personality, being totally free to express themselves, away from the confines of having to completely adhere to the ethos of the restaurant which they direct.  It was fantastic to see some great northern culinary nods to Chef Reid's Manchester roots, alongside the world class produce and technique which you grow to expect from any Simon Rogan kitchen.  Standout dishes included Barbecued asparagus with soft cheese, smoked yolk and truffle, as well as the fantastic raw scallop dish, which was finished with caviar and a broth of Summer herbs, all backed up with superbly paired wines in one of Manchester's most stunning dining spaces.

The Chef's Week event is not just a chance to eat outstanding food but also a way to raise money for Hospitality Action, the industry’s benevolent charity offering vital assistance to all who work, or have worked, within hospitality in the UK and who find themselves in crisis. After having raised nearly £4,000 in 2015, they hope to surpass this figure in 2016

The French will be donating £20 per meal served during Chef's Week to Hospitality Action, with guests having the option to donate further on the night and be in with a chance of winning some great prizes including a Chef's Jacket signed by all 5 Chefs taking part in the week.

We look forward to watching Chef Reid's progress in the upcoming Great British Menu, where he represents the North West.  We will also be keeping a keen eye on September's Michelin decisions.
click here for more images of the night
The French  - Manchester

~ June 2016 ~


Forever Manchester Week - Manchester Forever Manchester Week - Manchester

Forever Manchester Week (Friday 10 June to Friday 17 June 2016) is one week of fundraising to celebrate and support community activity across Greater Manchester. Forever Manchester Week provides a fantastic opportunity for people across Greater Manchester to get involved, come together and raise a fat pile of cash for the communities where we all love, live, work and play.

Through generous contributions from individuals and businesses, Forever Manchester funds and supports community activity across Greater Manchester. Over the last 26 years they have awarded £36M to community projects, benefitting over 1.3 million people across the region. They strengthen communities and enrich local life by inspiring local people to do extraordinary things together, but above all they believe that everyone should have the opportunity to be happy. From kid’s football teams to allotment groups, older people’s clubs to disability projects, you name it, Forever Manchester has funded it.

DECASKTHLON - The DeCASKthlon is like a decathlon, but with pubs, pints and, well, more pints!  The aim is to make it to all 10 pubs in the NQ for some ‘charitable drinking!’ Each of these pubs will be taking part in Manchester Beer Week, where Forever Manchester is the charity partner. Some of these will also be serving Forever Manchester's '10 Boroughs Pale Ale', which raises money for Forever Manchester, so be sure to try it! Sunday 12th June from 1pm – 6pm. Click here for more information

GIN TASTING WITH DRINKS ENTHUSIAST AT THE PEN PENCIL - Mad men inspired bar, The Pen and Pencil NQ has teamed up with Manchester’s very own Drinks Enthusiast, Dave Marsland, to host a night of gin education and tasting with Warner Edwards. Guests will delve into the history of the Northamptonshire-based spirit and learn all about gin from the experts. Tickets cost £10, with all funds going to Forever Manchester, and include a G&T on arrival, tasting of 4 expressions of Warner Edwards gin, and the bar’s signature Warner Edwards based cocktail, ‘Alexander’s Best Friend.’ Tuesday 14th June from 7.30pm – 9pm Click here for more information

CRAZY PEDRO’S THE CURRY MILE PIZZA - Late night pizza joint, Crazy Pedro’s has masterminded its new creation, The Curry Mile, purely for Forever Manchester! The crazy creation is topped with Chicken Tikka, Poppadoms, Onion Bhajis and Mint Yoghurt. The 16” pizza costs £15, and 50p of each sale will be donated to Forever Manchester. On sale during forever manchester week, friday 10th – friday 17th June
TATTU DOES TIPPLES AND 10% - The modern Chinese restaurant Tattu, has an exclusive offer for Forever Manchester week, with a free bottle of prosecco and an extra discount available! Book a table for drinks any time before 8pm between Monday 6th June and Friday 10th June, get a seat in the famous Tattu rose garden and enjoy your drinks knowing that 10% of your final bill will be going to Forever Manchester.  To book simply call 0161 819 2060 and quote FMWeek Please note all final bills must be a minimum of £20. Offer available from Monday 6th June 12pm – Friday 10th June  11.59pm
THURSDAY NIGHT LIVE  - The best value comedy night in the country! Five comedians from the national and international comedy circuit, including one top compere, one top opener, two of the countries best new acts and one of the best headliners around will take to the Frog and Bucket stage.  For £10 a ticket, MC Barry Dodds will take you through the night, with Jonny Awsum opening, followed by George Zach, Clayton Jones and finally Daliso Chaponda to close. A real riot of laughs. Thursday 16th June from 7pm – 10pm
VAPIANO- A vote to find out who is our favourite Manc! Using donations and a ballot style ensemble, Italian casual dining restaurant, Vapiano will encourage customers to vote, with all donations going to Forever Manchester. Following a social media vote, 4 finalists were chosen and will now battle it out to be Top Manc, as Vapiano customers will be encouraged to put any donation they can afford into a box representing their favourite. Will it be Noel Gallagher, Sir Ian Mckellen, Tony Wilson or Paul Scholes? During Forever Manchester Week, Friday 10th - Friday 17th June. Any donations welcome

BIG FOREVER MANCHESTER QUIZ OF THE YEAR- Pit your wits against your peers across quiz topics as original as music, sport, general knowledge, legendary animals, knitwear and maths - with a special round dedicated to Forever Manchester and its brilliant work. Team entry for a maximum of 6 people costs £45, or £60 with food and drink included. Proceeds will be going to help the wonderful causes Forever Manchester supports throughout Greater Manchester. There will also be a raffle on the night with some VERY EXCITING prizes donated by local businesses. Wednesday 15th June, 6:30pm 10:00pm at Dive NQ

BLACK DOG BALLROOM NQ STONE ROSES COCKTAIL - A lemon based cocktail in homage to the Stone Roses’ triumphant return to Manchester this month! Easy Peasy…Lemon Squeezy’ is a specially created cocktail made with Finlandia vodka, raspberry puree, pineapple and soda. A donation of 50p will be donated from the sale of each drink. The cocktail will be on sale throughout Forever Manchester Week - Friday 10th – Friday 17th June
MANCUNIAN RAVIOLI - A specially created Manc-style ravioli dish will be on sale for the week, at Manchester’s longest standing Italian restaurant, Don Giovanni. The dish will be a Best of Mancunian beer based ravioli filled with Lancashire cheese and Cheshire venison served with an asparagus & mint sauce, priced at £14.95.  A donation of £1 from each dish sold will go to Forever Manchester week. Friday 10th – Friday 17th June
BAYNAN GIN EVENT - A fun and interactive evening of gin tasting in the name of charity! £15 per ticket including welcome drink, gin masterclass & canapes. £5 from each ticket goes to Forever Manchester. Monday 13 June, 5.30 - 8pm
Not only that, but we have supplied an easy way for busy venues to take part in Forever Manchester week, and that’s by giving the option to add and donate a pound when customers are paying the bill. Those taking part are: Tampopo (Albert Square and Corn Exchange restaurants)

Forever Manchester is inviting businesses, schools, community groups and individuals to create an amazing week of fundraising mayhem and request that you are as ‘daft, Manc and creative and you damn well like’.  So whether you want to host a ‘Manchester’s Got Talent Day’, a ‘Manc Walk around the office’, a Manchester related Food and Drink Day, a Manchester related Quiz, or organise a street party, click here for more information.

~ June 2016 ~


Urban Cookhouse- Manchester Urban Cookhouse- Manchester

Urban Cookhouse is turning up the heat with the launch of its ‘Summer Camp’, from sizzling secret club nights to hot new food and drinks, offering something for everyone, including city centre canines.

The New York inspired independent bar and restaurant in Princess Street in the heart of Manchester, has revamped the 4,500 sq ft converted shipping warehouse to offer a chilled summer vibe.

And there’s good news for the city’s dogs as they are welcoming all manner of pugs and muts -but the catch is they must be no bigger than the ‘doggy doorman’.

“We have many customers who both live and work in the city, a lot of whom have pet dogs, so we are allowing urban pooches in! They must be well-behaved and we are being sizest about it as we won’t let any puppies in that are bigger than our ‘doggy doorman’ height bar!” said 28-year-old entrepreneur and owner of Urban Cookhouse, Tim Coulston.

New features include private booths that can now be hired, new pool and foosball tables and a photo-booth for indoor fun, while its ‘sundowners’ terrace is great for outdoor play and cocktails.
The food offer has also been given a hot summer make-over with customers able to tuck in anywhere in the bar/restaurant with the chance to ‘build their burger or dog’ starting from just £8 for a beef, chicken or vegetarian spicy bean patty or hotdog, that diners can add a fantastic range of cheese, meats, veggies, pickles and sauces, to create the perfect burger for them.
What’s more there’s 50% off food throughout June so Mancunians can tuck into the new dishes as well as Urban Cookhouse’s famous ‘Urban Legend’ burgers and other classic NYC delicacies, including its hallmark  Freddy’s ribs, wings, dogs and disco fries.
Also newly launched is a £5 lunch deal that runs weekdays from noon until 3pm throughout summer and Urban Cookhouse own unique take on ‘afternoon tea’ with  its ‘New York Afternoon Tea Party’ that includes mini burgers, wraps, nachos, New York cheesecake, chocolate browines and a choice of beers or Prosecco for just £15!

“Our food has got to be some of the best authentic NYC for the best price in Manchester so we’ve tweaked our menu with new additions such as the ‘build a burger or dog’ and our  ‘New York Tea Party’ and are giving customers 50% off in June so they can see what we’re all about,” said Tim.

The cocktail menu has been given a Summer make-over starting from just £3.50, with a happy hour every day from 5pm until 8pm,  with offers including  two beers or two glasses of prosecco for £5 (bottles £15) and bottles of wine or two cocktails for £10.

With a late license (it is open until midnight weekdays and 2am Thursday through to Saturday), a trademark loft lounge and bar and extensive cocktail list, it’s a favourite destination for Manchester’s party-people including nearby offices, students and the city’s gay village and will be launching ‘pool parties’ and club nights this later this month.

~ June 2016 ~


Neighbourhood - Manchester

Friday the 3rd of June will see Neighbourhood re-open its doors after a major £1m refurbishment.

The new look all-day eatery and bar will have interiors designed by Edwin Pickett, the aficionado behind famed local restaurants ‘Australasia’ and ‘Tattu’, and of course, our original design.

Oak panels, sumptuous leather booths, marble table tops and soft lighting will offer a more comfortable, accessible venue for our guests, whilst our artwork, specially commissioned by local MCR artist Davo Howarth will provide the subtle splashes of colour and eccentricity that Neighbourhood has never been afraid of shouting about.

Neighbourhood melds a brasserie atmosphere with European and new American cuisine, offering accessible, refined all-day dining for local residents, shoppers, businesses and tourists alike.
The menu is all-encompassing, including lunch, afternoon teas, weekend brunch, cocktails, light snacks and dinner. The new menu will showcase dishes such as short rib tacos with crunchy Asian slaw, rosemary and garlic crusted lamb cutlets served with spiced olive jus and creamed mash and their classic chicken dinner with creamed mash, honey butter and white gravy.

Under the careful stewardship of our Operations Director, Ciaran Hogg, formally General Manager of Manchester House, Neighbourhood will continue its legendary status, ensuring it has something for everybody.

~ June 2016 ~


Vapiano - Manchester Vapiano - Manchester

New cocktail menu launches with 2 for 1 from 4pm-7pm, plus the best value Aperol Spritz around!

Italian casual dining restaurant, Vapiano, will launch its brand new cocktail menu on 1st June, with a ‘happy hour’ starting from 4pm until 7pm every Monday to Friday.

The menu includes its own premium twist on the classic Aperol Spritz, “The Vapiano Spritz”, with added gin and rhubarb syrup, plus much-loved favourites such as Long Island Ice Tea, Gin Bramble, Dark and Stormy, Classic Mojito and the Strawberry Bellini

Prices start at just £4.50, and with its Italian classic Aperol Spritz on the menu for just £4.95 and included in the special offer, it promises to be a very, very happy hour! 

Vikki O Neil, Marketing Manager for Vapiano, said “The menu is the perfect post-work pick me up, with great prices and many of the cocktails included in our happy hour too. We believe our Aperol Spritz is the best value in the whole of Manchester so there’s one reason to come and sample the menu already!"
And Vapiano’s kindness doesn’t stop there! As part of Forever Manchester Week, a whole seven days of Manc style fundraising for local communities, the Corn Exchange based restaurant will be hosting a week-long vote to find out your favourite Manc hero. 

Customers can simply add their money to the box with their northern icons face on it to cast your vote, in the restaurant during Friday 10th – 17th June, and all money raised will go to Forever Manchester charity. Lovely!

~ June 2016 ~


Don Giovanni - Manchester

Italy Meets France As Top Chef Signs With Don Giovanni.

Foodies prepare for the ultimate treat as multi Michelin stared and 5 out of 5 AA Rosette awarded chef Jean Christophe Novelli joins forces with Manchester’s longest standing Italian restaurant, Don Giovanni.

Novelli will work with Don Giovanni’s team to create a bespoke special menu to run alongside the restaurant’s existing offering which will launch in September 2016 plus an exciting Christmas menu for the festive season.

Plus Novelli will host a series of exclusive events at the restaurant including cooking demonstrations and “an audience with” evening where guests will be treated to an evening of food and French fancy with the chef.
Adam Karim, owner of Don Giovanni, said, “We’re honoured to welcome Jean Christophe Novelli into the restaurant, and for our teams to work so closely to develop new, unique dishes for our customers. We are constantly striving to do new and exciting things and we’re confident that he will be a huge hit with the diners of Manchester.  It’s going to be an exciting year for Don Giovanni!”
Jean Christophe Novelli mentioned “I am truly excited to be working with Adam and his Team at Don Giovanni and looking forward to creating a memorable menu based around my French/Italian roots for such a fantastic city”.
The independently owned award-winning restaurant, located on Oxford Street, was given a £400K refurbishment in 2015 to celebrate its 31 year anniversary and now boasts some stunning new features including a fresh pasta and dessert station, a spectacular new Italian marble bar, new windows, booths, tables, chairs and lighting
lso in 2015 Don Giovanni was voted the UK’s most romantic restaurant in the UK in the Italian Awards and also snapped up the Les Routiers ‘Newcomer of the Year 2016 award’.
Jean-Christophe Novelli is a 5 out of 5, AA Rosette and multi - Michelin Star award winning chef who has also been dubbed “The Nation’s Favourite French Chef”, voted Chef’s Chef of the Year and won the Egon Ronay Dessert of the Year award amongst many other titles and awards

He began his exciting career at the tender age of fourteen as a baker in his home town of Arras, Northern France before becoming the private Head Chef to Elie de Rothschild at the mere age of 19. Moving to the UK he worked in several well known establishments including The Chewton Glen but Jean-Christophe’s life changed completely in 1983 having spent a year in charge of Keith Floyd’s pub, ‘The Maltsters’ as Head Chef whilst Keith was filming his famous TV shows

He then went onto several other high class restaurants including the Gordonton Mill where he received his first of many Michelin Stars until in 1996 Jean-Christophe opened the Four Seasons restaurants in London and so began the foundations for his internationally based mini empire, only having £500 in his pocket to start his even more successful solo ventures, Maison Novelli and Novelli in the Strand
In addition to his interests in the UK, Jean-Christophe launched Novelli at the Cellars, Cape Town’s leading five-star Relais et Chateaux Hotel, Moulin de Jean in Normandy France and was Chef-Consultant on Sea France ferries.

~ June 2016 ~


The Alchemist Alderley Edge - Manchester
Alchemist Artistry Soon To Arrive in Alderley Edge

The Alchemist Bar & Restaurant expansion continues apace as this popular restaurant and cocktail bar opens in Alderley Edge, on the site where Grill on the Edge is currently situated.

Grill on the Edge will close its doors on Tuesday 31st May and work will commence on an extensive refurbishment. The restaurant will be updated with new interior furnishings and design, creating a bright and beautiful Alchemist Bar and Restaurant, somewhere that will immediately offer a feeling of familiarity.  The relaxed and welcoming vibe making guests feel as if they’re already regulars.

Simon Potts, Managing Director of The Alchemist said:  “We’re delighted to be creating a suburban vision of The Alchemist and feel that Alderley Edge, a village we’ve known and loved at Living Ventures for many years, will be the perfect place to continue our exciting expansion plans. We believe that the casual all day restaurant element of the business; serving brunch, lunch and dinner alongside our beautifully crafted cocktails, will be a perfect fit for the village and look forward to welcoming guests later this summer.”

The Alchemist in Manchester’s Spinningfields was the first of Living Ventures’ inventive cocktail bars with a focus on molecular and scientific concoctions. Today over five years later, their mixologists are renowned across the city and beyond and still pushing the boundaries. Mixing unexpected ingredients with unconventional equipment and remarkable craftsmanship, has led to the creation of cocktail concoctions worthy of a true alchemist.  Drinks such as the Smokey Old Fashioned and the sharing cocktail The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party have become firm favourites. But it doesn’t stop there, the team are constantly looking to add different twists and new ingredients for both the drinks and the food menu, to ensure that element of surprise always remains at The Alchemist.
The Alchemist today is a stand-alone business under the Living Ventures’ umbrella.  It has five sites nationwide (two in Manchester, two in Leeds and one in London) with a turnover of £11million in the last financial year, and employing over 250 people.  Liverpool is set to open in June.

~ June 2016 ~


All Star Lanes - Manchester All Star Lanes  - Manchester

All Star Lanes are calling for workers to put down their soggy sandwiches, step away from their desks and make the most of the lunch hour with their new lunch and bowl offer. Drink, dine and bowl five frames for just £15 - the perfect play to break up your day!.

The lunch and bowl deal is also a fun option for your next working lunch, meeting with difference or for client entertaining. You’re lunch break will never be the same again.

The set menu showcases our restaurants home-style American cookin’ with such dishes as The Classic Burger & Fries (6oz Dedham Vale chuck & rib beef patty, lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayo, tomato relish), Reuben grilled cheese (homemade salt beef, sauerkraut, gherkins, Mozzarella cheese and French’s mustard), Slow-Cooked Beef Chilli or Roasted Veg & Bean Chilli (on baked sweet potato with cheese, nachos, sour cream and salad) and for those on a health kick, the Superfood Salad (quinoa, kale, spinach, pumpkin, pomegranate seeds, rocket, toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh beetroot dressing).

Want to try one of their epic Dedham Vale burgers or Grilled Cheese without bowling? The Lunch menu is £10 for a main and a drink.

Lunch rebels can bowl only with an 'Express Bowl' at £5 for half a game - ideal for lunch break speed.

~ May 2016 ~


Urban Cookhouse - Manchester Urban Cookhouse  - Manchester

The Pen and Pencil’s new menu is pure unadulterated Manchester meets Manhattan.

Cool Northern Quarter hot spot, The Pen and Pencil, is bringing a taste of Manhattan to Manchester as it launches a brand new evening menu featuring a selection of cosmopolitan New York-inspired dishes.

Those looking for a taste of the Big Apple in Manchester can choose from a range of small and large plates on the new evening menu. Amongst the larger dishes, diners can try delicacies such as the New York Strip Steak which includes steak ‘chargrilled to your liking’, served with skin-on-fries, portobello mushrooms and roasted cherry vine tomatoes, or the Buns of Anarchy sliders with a selection of fillings to choose from including Atlantic cod, prime beef, king prawn or grilled halloumi. Other dishes include the mouth-watering Lamb Rump, grilled and servers pink with fondant potato, savoy cabbage with pancetta and redcurrant jus and the marinated fresh cod, salmon and king prawn Seafood Kebabs served with coriander and pepper pilau rice

Foodies who prefer a more pick-a-mix approach can enjoy a selection of small plates from the new menu. Classic dishes like Garlic Tiger Prawns and Spicy Pork Chorizo sausage are available alongside more unusual and enticing concoctions like the Lobster Bisque - creamy bisque with shredded lobster meat and a drizzle of chilli oil.

Regulars will be relieved to hear old favourites such as the ever-popular Jalapeño Poppers and Buffalo Wings will remain. The clean-eating crowd will also be happy to hear The Pen and Pencil now caters for all diets with extra veggie and gluten free options available, including Harissa Aubergine, Crab and Avocado, Seafood Ceviche or Raw Vegetable Salad

Dan Pollard, co-owner and Director of The Pen and Pencil, said: “We are really excited to launch our new evening menu. We wanted to offer a mix of classic and quirky dishes, so there should be something for everyone to enjoy. We’re hoping to tantalise your tastebuds the transatlantic way!”
Taking its inspiration from the infamous mid-20th Century bar on East 45th Street in New York, The Pen and Pencil offers the perfect place to chill, think, wine and dine.
Open seven days a week, The Pen & Pencil's new evening menu is served everyday from 5pm until 9pm. On Sunday evenings, diners can enjoy a special deal with 3 small plates for £12.

~ May 2016 ~


Zouk - Manchester Zouk - Manchester

Award-winning Zouk celebrated their 7th birthday last night with a spectacular party in their Manchester restaurant. The evening was a celebration of their seven years in operation and included cuisine from seven regions of India and Pakistan. Guests were welcomed by co-founders Tayub and Mudassar Amjad who served up Amritsari fish pakora from Amritsar, Gola Kebab from NWFP, Lamb Nihari from Lahore, Goan Fish Curry from Goa, Whole Sajji Roast Lamb from Baluchaistan, Dall Makhani from Deli, Kulcha Naan from Karachi.

Party goers picked up a playing card on arrival from a deck of cards which entitled them to complimentary drinks with the lucky number 7 card equalling a bottle of wine. Entertainment came courtesy of DJ Fritz, Bollywood dancers Desi Nach, a dancer with a snake plus a fabulous fire eater who was on hand to greet guests at the entrance with a spectacular performance.

Co-founder Tayub Amjad said; “We’ve had an incredible seven years in business and we were so happy to welcome loyal customers and Manchester businesses to celebrate our achievement with us. Zouk has always been about innovative food in a cool, relaxed environment and so it was perfect to sit on the sun lit terrace enjoying food and special Zouk cocktails amongst friends. We’re now looking forward to a busy summer touring the UK and taking Zouk food to Greater Manchester and beyond.  We’ll be at Glastonbury, Parklife, Secret Garden Party, Boom Town and the Southbank Alchemy Festival to name a few. I can’t wait to see what the next seven years will bring for Zouk.?

Co-founder and Creative Director Mudassar Amjad said; “I created a special menu for the party which celebrated seven regions of India and Pakistan and included my personal favourite our famous Lamb Nihari.  Over the seven years we’ve been in Manchester we’ve really defined our style and signature dishes include our famous Indian Sajji Roasts which offer a whole leg of lamb or whole roast chicken marinated in spices and served with spicy roast potatoes and delicious gravy.  We started the night in true Indian style with a chaat our much loved Samosa Chaat is already a favourite with customers and was the perfect treat to kick off the evening.  We had an amazing time with the Zouk community at our party and were overwhelmed with the fantastic turnout.  We’d like to give our heartfelt thanks to all who joined us for the celebrations and thank you to all our customers for their amazing support over these 7 years.’. 

~ May 2016 ~


Tim Bacon
Tim Bacon Loses Battle With Cancer

Tim Bacon; chairman and co-founder of Living Ventures died on Saturday April 30th, 2016  at the age of 52 following more than a decade long battle with cancer.  Tim had been fighting lymphoma for 14 years, and more recently in 2014 was diagnosed with advanced melanoma.

The Australian born businessman, who started his working life at a young age as a child actor in the popular Australian soap Sons & Daughters, came to the UK in 1986 and started working in the Hospitality industry as a TGI Fridays employee.  After rising through the ranks he left to set up on his own, with his knowledge and experience culminating in him becoming the co-founder of popular and cutting edge casual restaurant and bar group Living Ventures.

Living Ventures operates a number of venues throughout the North West including The Alchemist, Artisan, Australasia, Black House Grill, The Botanist, Gusto, Manchester House and The Oast House.

An open memorial service is being held at The Albert Hall on Peter Street in Manchester on Monday, 16 May at 1pm.

~ May 2016 ~


Don Giovanni - Manchester Don Giovanni - Manchester

Don Giovanni’s marble bar is the new hot spot for after-work drinks with a fresh range of sparkling offers.

Manchester’s most romantic Italian restaurant* Don Giovanni is not just famous for its delicious food dishes: following its £400K refurbishment last Summer, the restaurant now boasts a spectacular new Italian marble bar and lounge, where guests can sit and enjoy handcrafted cocktails or try some of the award winning wines on offer.

When it comes to winding down after work, the Italians really do know how to do it best. Combining a relaxed atmosphere with a touch of glamour Don Giovanni has got it just right. Guests can now enjoy a range of exceptional drinks deals in the bar that are sure to help to brighten up those rainy Manchester days.  The bar is offering £20 bottles of Champagne every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12pm. What better way to reward yourself for a hard day’s work than with a bottle of Champagne Drappier, served with fresh strawberries?

The bar will also be serving 241 cocktails Sunday-Wednesday before 5pm and after 7pm. Don Giovanni prides itself on making all of its cocktails completely from scratch, including making its own ingredients including syrups, garnishes and even some liqueurs too. With a flank of highly-skilled baristas on hand to help, guests are sure to find drink that suits them. The bar’s exceptionally well-stocked wine cellar contains a variety of wines from across the various regions of Italy (as well as further afield) and its spirit collection is second to none, boasting a superb selection of whiskies, gins, rums and Italian aperitifs

*As voted for in the 2015 Italian Awards

~ May 2016 ~


The French  - Manchester

Simon Rogan’s Chef Week returns to The French from 7th June – 11th June 2016.

Simon Rogan and the chefs from each of his award-winning UK restaurants– Adam Reid from Manchester’s The French, Tom Barnes from Cumbria’s L’Enclume, Dan Cox from London’s Fera at Claridge’s, and Marcus Noack, executive chef of Simon’s Umbel Restaurant Group – will each host a night to showcase their distinctive cooking styles at The French, within The Midland Hotel.

With favoured specialist suppliers and a wealth of British ingredients sourced from Simon Rogan’s farm in Cumbria, Rogan and his team of elite chefs have created 5 remarkable menus to exhibit their diverse talents.

The 2016 chef schedule is as follows:
Tuesday 7th June – Tom Barnes, L’Enclume (Cartmel, Cumbria)
Wednesday 8th June – Simon Rogan
Thursday 9th June – Adam Reid, The French (Manchester)
Friday 10th June – Dan Cox, Fera at Claridge’s (Mayfair, London)
Saturday 11th June – Marcus Noak (Umbel Restaurant Group)

The menus are all priced at £100 per person, with an accompanying wine flight available on request at £60 person.

Once again, £20 will be donated to supporting Hospitality Action, the industry’s benevolent charity offering vital assistance to all who work, or have worked, within hospitality in the UK and who find themselves in crisis. After having raised nearly £4,000 in 2015, they hope to surpass this figure in 2016.

~ May 2016 ~


Hard Rock Cafe  - Manchester

Local Legendary™ Burgers from Around the World Return for an Encore Performance. #WorldBurgerTour

Guests say bon voyage as their taste buds prepare to take flight on Hard Rock Cafe’s World Burger Tour. Hard Rock Cafe’s London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow are celebrating the start of burger season with a menu showcasing international Local Legendary™ Burgers — from the ATOMIC! Burger, which pays homage to the heat and excitement of Las Vegas, to the Jamaican Jerk Burger, which features mango jalapeño cream cheese and jerk seasoning inspired by Montego Bay. The limited-time menu is available from 1 May – 30 June 2016

Each year, Hard Rock gives chefs at their cafes the chance to create a unique Local Legendary Burger that truly captures the flavours of their city. This year, more than 160 local burgers were evaluated by Hard Rock’s culinary team with fan favourites selected to headline the 2016 World Burger Tour menu

May line-up:
ATOMIC! Burger (Las Vegas, United States) – a Beef patty topped with Atomic beer-battered peppers, pepper jack cheese, Atomic fried onions, sriracha mayo and atomic ketchup
Aloha Burger (Honolulu, United States) – a Beef patty topped with grilled Spam, Monterey Jack cheese, a grilled pineapple ring with sweet soy glaze, guacamole, pico de gallo, served with french fries 
Greek Burger (Athens, Greece) – a Beef patty topped with arugula, feta cheese and a tomato slice served with tzatziki on the side
Schnitzel Burger (Cologne, Germany) –  two stacks of tender pork schnitzel lightly breaded and made crispy to order, topped with crunchy sauerkraut, spicy brown mustard and savoury bacon

June line-up:
Tandoori Chicken Burger (Mumbai, India) – a marinated chicken breast seasoned with aromatic spices and fresh herbs, topped with cucumber planks and served with mint yoghurt
Java Lava Burger (Seattle, United States) – a Beef patty grilled and dressed in a house-made espresso rub and topped with lava sauce, crunchy java onions, bacon, melted Cheddar cheese and garnished with a fried jalapeño
Giardiniera Deli Burger (Chicago, United States) – a Beef patty topped with roast beef, melted provolone cheese, giardiniera peppers and Sriracha mayo
Jamaican Jerk Burger (Montego Bay, Jamaica) – a Beef patty topped with banana pepper rings, mango jalapeño cream cheese and jerk mayo

Hard Rock Cafe has also created cocktails to perfectly complement this year’s World Burger Tour offerings. Served in Hard Rock’s iconic mason jars, guests can order with the suggested pairing or mix it up with any other burger from the limited-time menu.

New cocktails include: 
All Jacked Up – created to balance the Jamaican Jerk Burger’s spicy flair, this cocktail features a mix of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, PJ, Orgeat and lime juice, garnished with orange and pineapple wedges and a cherry
Crisp Sipper – inspired by the Aloha Burger’s sweet and savoury taste, this cocktail features a mix of Hendrick’s, Monin Cucumber, lemon, orange and raspberry, topped with tonic and garnished with rosemary and thyme
Melonpalooza – designed to complement the fresh flavours of the Greek Burger, this cocktail features a mix of Midori Melon Liqueur, Malibu Rum, Hard Rock’s house-made sour mix and PJ, garnished with slices of pineapple and strawberry
Sweet & Fiery – inspired by the ATOMIC! Burger’s spicy flavour, this cocktail features a mix of ABSOLUT Peppar Vodka, Canton Ginger Liquor, Blue Curacao, lemonade and ginger beer, garnished with a red pepper
Black Cherry Melonade (non-alcoholic) – created to complement the rich espresso of the Java Lava Burger, this mocktail features a mix of Black Cherry Real and Monin Cucumber, topped with ginger beer, garnished with a cucumber slice and a cherry

Alex Merchan, Sr. Director, Marketing & Sales Cafes Worldwide of Hard Rock International said, “Our World Burger Tour menu was a fan-favourite last summer, so we’ve remixed the menu and added burgers with authentic, regional flavours from Athens, Mumbai, Montego Bay and more on this year’s tour. Hard Rock Cafe has been serving up burgers since its first cafe opened in London 45 years ago, and our global reach allows us to celebrate this culinary phenomenon like no other restaurant.”

Darryl Mickler, Senior Director of Research and Development for Hard Rock International commented, “Hard Rock wanted to offer a unique blend of spicy, sweet and savory flavors for our guests to enjoy on this year’s World Burger Tour. Whether we’re serving up coffee beans in Seattle or Tandoori chicken from Mumbai, there is something for every palate.”

~ April 2016 ~


Urban Cookhouse - Manchester Urban Cookhouse  - Manchester

A breath of fresh air from Urban Cookhouse this Bank Holiday Urban Cookhouse will be launching its ‘Sundowners’ terrace in time for the Bank Holiday weekend as well as offering superb deals for Manchester’s revellers.

On Bank Holiday Monday (May 2) it’s half price on food from brunch to dinner, the perfect hangover cure and throughout the weekend there’s a free glass of fizz for anyone ordering a full-priced main, with lunch offers from just £5.

And its drink deals are guaranteed to get the party started on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with bottles of Prosecco for £15 as well as two beers or two glasses of prosecco for £5 and bottles of wine or two cocktails for £10 from 5pm to 8pm, when the sun hits the terrace and cocktails from just £3.50 throughout the whole Bank Holiday period

We’ve had a taste of sunshine so we’re going to be brave and open the terrace over the Bank Holiday weekend. It’s the perfect spot for early evening drinks when the sun hits it and we have a range of great offers from 5pm to 8pm,” said Tim Coulston who owns the Princess Street venue..

Inspired by the best of the big apple, Urban Cookhouse has made its mark with Manchester foodies by offering an authentic slice of NYC cuisine. The 4,500 sq ft converted shipping warehouse is now famed for its hallmark ‘Urban Legend’ burgers, as well as Freddy’s ribs, wings, dogs and disco fries.

It caters to diners in an 85-cover,  cool restaurant  hub, serving up exclusive goodies from across the pond and was given the seal of approval by iconic hip hop band Fun Lovin’ Criminals, who headlined their recent first birthday celebrations and loved the ‘Urban Legend Burger’ as well Scooby Stacks pancake named in honour of the band. Urban Cookhouse also do carry-out and corporate catering with the mouth-watering menu of NYC delicacies.
With a late license (it is open until midnight weekdays and 2am Thursday through to Saturday), a trademark loft lounge and bar and extensive cocktail list, it’s a favourite destination for Manchester’s party-people including nearby offices, students and the city’s gay village
In fact, it was the 250-capacity loft-style site that inspired the 28-year-old to create the cool, authentic New York destination, which serves an extensive range of beers including Beavertown and Sierra Nevada, wines, spirits as well as classic and bespoke cocktails made by the Urban Cookhouse mixologists -  the popular  Rhubarb Sling Thing, Staten Island Iced Tea & Heyyy Honey
Now Tim is looking for a further three sites to open in 2016. “We’ve seen a few sites but nothing has stood out so far. We’d like to expand the Urban Cookhouse brand within the North West, and also develop some different bar concepts for Manchester.

~ April 2016 ~


Tattu - Manchester Tattu  - Manchester

Tattu Restaurant & Bar has announced the launch of a new food menu to celebrate its first anniversary at the end of this month. Launched on Saturday 23rd April, the new menu has been developed by executive chef, Clifton Muil, and his passionate team.

The new dishes showcase some of the most celebrated Chinese flavours and ingredients, blended with contemporary influences and cooking methods that promise to deliver a dynamic menu, which will sit perfectly with the new season.

Diners can expect to see new dishes such as a traditional fillet of beef ho fun noodles, soy and orange butter chicken with Szechuan salt and lily bulb, and a rich sweet potato gau.

A new dim sum lunch menu will also be introduced, including a tempting variety of dim sum and small plates that will provide the perfect accompaniment to any spring afternoon.
Clifton Muil, executive chef at Tattu, said: “Our aim with the new menu is to demonstrate the restaurant’s progression and the diversity that can be found within Chinese cuisine, using traditional ingredients as the backbone for some really innovative recipes. “The way we have interpreted these flavours and refined these new dishes will provide diners with something really special – we hope to create an experience for each guest that they will savour.”
Adam Jones, owner and managing director, added: Tattu’s first year has been both exciting and incredibly eye-opening. It was clear when we started operating. We’ve received some outstanding feedback in our first 12 months, but as a proprietor you can’t be complacent if you want to continue to grow. This new menu reflects what we’ve learnt and reinforces our commitment to keeping our offer unique.”

~ April 2016 ~


The Red Door - Manchester Splendid Kitchen - Manchester
Find Out What’s Behind The Red Door In Manchester….

The team who brought legendary split-level venue JW Johnsons to Manchester have reunited to bring Red Door to the exact location on Deansgate in Manchester, underneath The Botanist.  Leisure icon Tim Bacon has joined forces once again, with Chester based entrepreneur Dave Hinds and former Living Ventures bar expert, Lee Lynch, to bring this stylish and fun bar to the heart of the city.

A return to this site will trigger a lot of reminiscing for anyone involved with JW Johnsons.  The vibrant restaurant and bar was located on the ground floor, but it was the basement club where the happiest and possibly haziest memories were formed.  It was a melting pot of people from all walks of life (TV personalities, musicians, sports stars, journalists and office-workers) who all had a common bond, a love of good music, live music, and a zest for dancing and forming lasting friendships.

Tim and Dave’s business relationship stretches back to the early 90’s when they set up JW Johnsons, followed  by Via Vita and Life Café across the UK, at which time they were joined by business partner Jeremy Roberts.  Together, the trio spearheaded a revival of the dining scene in Manchester city centre.  Those venues were sold to Whitbread in 1999 after which Dave Hinds decided to concentrate on his property interests, leaving Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts to establish Living Ventures.

The subterranean Red Door will undergo a major overhaul costing £350k and is set to open in June 2016.   Occupying 2800 sq ft with a capacity of 250,  it will create 20 jobs.  Opening times will be 8pm-2am 7 days a week.  Red Door, 78 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2FW.
 Managing Director, Lee Lynch, who has worked with Tim Bacon and Dave Hinds since 1998 and is a partner in Red Door said “Following the huge success of our venues in Chester and Liverpool, we are delighted to bring Red Door to Manchester, our intention is to make it one of the best bars around, with highly trained bar-tenders and live music.   It will hopefully make a significant contribution to the return of a positive and thriving bar scene at that end of Deansgate".

~ April 2016 ~


Urban Cookhouse - Manchester

Hip hop legends Fun Lovin’ Criminals rocked the party to celebrate Urban Cookhouse first birthday!

Manchester’s party people celebrated in style as iconic rappers Brian ‘Fast’ Leiser and Frank Benbiri from the famous Scooby Snacks band took to the decks on Thursday 14th April 2016.

Guests tucked into infamous Urban Legend burgers, washed down with plenty of tipples including their trademark Rhubarb Sling Thing, Staten Island Iced Tea and Heyyy Honey cocktails, as the funksters played New York House and hip hop, including classic numbers from their Limelight club days until 2am.

Urban Cookhouse brings downtown Manhattan to downtown Manchester, so getting Fast and Frank from the Fun Lovin’ Criminals was a brilliant way to celebrate our first birthday,” said owner Tim Coulston.

~ April 2016 ~


Vermilion - Manchester

Vermilion is proud to announce their most exciting news since they opened their doors in 2007.

Over the last few years Vermilion has been busy creating a vast space for grand weddings and corporate events of Manchester. This new space will be located on same premises and will be able to accommodate up to 800 guests. As always with the Vermilion team, it will not be any ordinary Event Hall, this will be one of the North West's most opulent halls, with eye to detail and luxurious atmosphere. Coupled with Vermilion's renowned service, management and food, set to be one of the most exciting projects from Vermilion.

They are very excited to announce the first phase of the Hall will be complete this July and accommodate 200 guests. The second and final phase (600 guest accommodation) will be completed in December. Altogether a massive 800 people capacity.

For more information or reservations please contact 0161 202 0055.

~ April 2016 ~


Piccolino - Manchester Piccolino  - Manchester

 After 13 years at the top of the Italian restaurant scene in Manchester, Piccolino has undergone an extensive £1.3m refurbishment.

The acquisition of the adjoining premises, has seen the restaurant double in size to seat 200 guests, and the creation of an alfresco terrace overlooking Albert Square, has provided a further 40 covers.
Piccolino will reopen as Caffé Grande by Piccolino on 21st April at 7am bringing a new meaning to all day every day dining, serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner until late.

A second phase of development will follow in the extensive basement space, creating two private dining and wine tasting rooms, complete with their own private cocktail bar.

As its name suggests, the restaurant is on a grand scale, boasting a very opulent look, which brings out the best of the Victorian listed building. The use of classic, timeless materials including; Carrara and Nero marbles Imported from Italy, antique brass, English oak and oversized handmade chandeliers, are all brought to life with striking light blue leather, where inspiration was taken from the famous Italian yacht builder Riva.

The restaurant provides the feel of a Harrods food hall, bringing theatre to its food. A hand-made Italian copper pizza oven takes centre stage in the window, overlooking Clarence Street. This will no doubt be an attraction, not only to guests, but passers-by who will be able to see skilled pizza chefs and the bakery team in action.

Next to the pizzeria is a 5 metre deli which includes a salad bar, salumeria, shell fish counter and fresh market displays.
The open kitchen boasts meat, poultry, fish and shell fish counters. Most of the cooking is done on a bespoke open charcoal and wood burning grill, or handmade Italian wood burning oven. Only natural lump wood charcoal and sustainable wood specially sourced from the English countryside, is used.
Passion for provenance is at the forefront of the menu, no matter where you look. The company has close links to artisan suppliers all over Italy bringing some of the best cheeses, salamis & grocery items to the UK.
Boasting its own butchery in Cheshire where a team of nine full time skilled butchers source the very best meat & poultry direct from farms, Piccolino strives to serve the very best of the season.
All their beef is sourced direct from carefully selected farms across the British Isles and they specialise in certified Black Aberdeen Angus. Individually selected cattle are hung for 7 to 10 days and dry aged on the bone for a minimum of 35 days in their own bespoke Himalayan pink salt brick dry ageing room. Every single steak is hand cut buy their own skilled butchers
In addition to this the menu has an extensive selection of wild shellfish sourced mainly from the clear waters of the UK via small independent suppliers. Fresh handpicked crab from the Isle of Man, native lobster, wild Scottish langoustines, hand dived scallops, rope grown Scottish mussels and Mersea island rock oysters to name just a few of the amazing items on the menu.
Piccolinogoes to great lengths to bring you truly amazing fish, responsibly caught from sustainable sources, including some of the finest day boat fish from around the British Isles. The company has developed strong partnerships with small independent family run suppliers, like Chapmans of Rye on the south coast of England, to ensure the best fish direct from their boats.
Artisan filled pastas are all made in house by Marcello Ghiretti, the pasta specialist from 00’ flower, free range eggs, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt
Wherever possible, seasonal fruit, vegetables, salads and herbs are sourced from handpicked growers and organic farmers
Piccolino - Manchester Piccolino  - Manchester
The pastry counter and ice cream bar stand proud in the main dining hall and with pastry chefs in full view of guests showing off their waffle and pancake making skills, you are sure to be tempted to a dessert. Piccolino also has its own bakery run by skilled pastry cook Antoine Quentin. It prides itself on the fact that all ice cream, sorbets, cakes and desserts, are made in house.
Served weekdays from 7:00am and weekends from 9am, the new breakfast and brunch menu offers a range of early morning favourites from waffles, crepes and pancakes to panini’s, eggs and porridge.
All of the eggs served on the menu are sourced from Brookside Farm in Lancashire, so whether you choose to start the day with your eggs scrambled, fried, poached or in an omelette, you can guarantee that they’ll always be free range.
To accompany the new breakfast and brunch menu, Caffé Grande have brought in the skills of celebrity juicer Cindy Palusamy, to open a brand new organic juice bar called The Juicery.
Founded in New York, The Juicery boasts locations in LA, London and now Manchester working alongside leading nutritionists and doctors, all over the world. The Juicery will open from 7.00am weekdays and 9am at the weekend giving guests the option to “juice in or takeaway”.
Cindy comments of her collaboration with Individual Restaurants: “The mission of The Juicery has always been to bring a taste of the famous NY/LA well-being culture to all parts of the world. In Steven Walker and the team at Individual Restaurants, we found an amazing group of dedicated foodies who shared our passion for bringing our version of 'expert goodness' to life. Our truly collaborative menu for the new look Caffé Grande by Piccolino, will not only feature our signature juices and smoothies, but also booster shots that are as good as they are good for you.”
The drinks list is both extensive and very Italian, offering a diverse selection of seasonally inspired classic Italian cocktails, Italian Vermouth, Amari, sweet liquors and an impressive list of craft beers. Whether you’re enjoying a coffee on the terrace or a cocktail sat at the bar, this will no doubt be the place to be and be seen.
A white marble caviar and oyster bar overlooks the new alfresco terrace and bustling Albert Square. Caffé Grande promises to serve all its caviar at cost, to allow guests to enjoy the very best.
The wine boutique is equally as impressive, and showcases an extensive all-Italian wine and prosecco list, together with a vast selection of champagne. The boutique is run by Gabriele Alessandroni, the in-house sommelier and can be hired for wine and cocktail masterclasses.
“So keen are we for guests to try our fine and rare selection, we have only added a small markup charging a fraction of the prices compared to other restaurants”, says Dario Barbato the Head Sommelier for Piccolino. Next time you are ordering a bottle please feel free to check.
To add to the Mediterranean feel DJ Julienne Jeanne - who has worked in some of the coolest ski and beach resorts throughout the Mediterranean - and his team, will play music in the bar, every week from Thursday until Sunday, midday until late.

Ettore Cicchetti who has been the General Manager at Piccolino since the restaurant opened 13 years ago says “After acquiring the adjoining premises and seeing the transformation of Caffé Grande by Piccolino, I just can’t wait to showcase this beautiful restaurant to our loyal guests.”

Individual restaurants continues to go from strength to strength. This latest launch will be the company’s fourth opening in the last 6 months, with a further flagship restaurant under sister brand The Restaurant Bar & Grill, planned to open in Chester in early June.

Steven walker, founder of Individual Restaurants says: “It’s always exciting to be opening new restaurants but when they are in our heartland of the North West, they become even more special. “We wish Ettore all the best with his new venture and are looking forward to another grand opening in Chester.”

~ April 2016 ~


Urban Cookhouse - Manchester Urban Cookhouse  - Manchester

New York inspired independent bar and restaurant, Urban Cookhouse, is set to celebrate its first birthday in style with hip hop legends Fun Lovin’ Criminals getting the party started on Friday, April 15.

Starting from 5pm with drink offers until 8pm, including two beers or two glasses of prosecco for £5 and bottles of wine or two cocktails for £10, the iconic FCL’s Brian ‘Fast’ Leiser and Frank Benbiri, will be banging out the tunes from 8pm. They will playing New York House and of course hip hop, including classic numbers from their Limelight club days, at the chic venue until 2am.

Urban Cookhouse, owned by Tim Coulston, has had a hugely successful first year and is now planning to expand with a further three sites.

“It’s been a fantastic first year and I’m delighted Urban Cookhouse has made its mark on Manchester’s restaurant and bar scene, especially when you consider there’s been nearly 30 new sites opened in the city centre within the last 12 months” said the 28-year-old entrepreneur, who also headsexperiential catering company Violet Hospitality. “We are an authentic taste of downtown Manhattan so we just wanted to do something brilliant to celebrate our first year and getting the Fun Lovin’ Criminal’s down is the icing on the cake. It’s going to be the party of the year!”.

The 250-capacity loft-style site inspired him to create a cool, authentic New York destination, boasting an 85 cover casual dining area that offers brunch through to dinner, carry-out and corporate catering, with a mouth-watering menu of NYC delicacies, including its hallmark ‘Urban Legend’ burgers, as well as Freddy’s ribs, wings, dogs and disco fries.

With a late license (it is open until midnight weekdays and 2am Thursday through to Saturday), a trademark loft lounge and bar and extensive cocktail list, it’s a favourite destination for Manchester’s party-people including nearby offices, students and the city’s gay village.
Urban Cookhouse’s location means we tap into different markets throughout the day which is one of the reasons for our success,” said Tim. “And we’ve made some huge changes to the concept since opening to ensure we appeal to more people. We simplified the menu making the dining experience casual and on trend, and it’s gone down a storm - we actually made our milestone 10,000 urban legend burger a month ago!” Now he is looking for a further three sites to open in 2016. “We’ve seen a few sites but nothing has stood out so far. We’d like to expand the Urban Cookhouse brand within the North West, and also develop some different barconcepts for Manchester.”

~ April 2016 ~


Don Giovanni - Manchester

Manchester’s longest standing Italian restaurant, Don Giovanni, has teamed up with acclaimed chef Robert Owen Brown to host two exclusive nights of dining delights.

Taking over the private dining room in Don Giovanni, on 27th and 28th April, Robert and his team will be serving up a five-course menu with an Italian twist to 30 foodies each night.

From hand dived scallops with Morecombe Bay shrimp tortellini, to thyme smoked rabbit, customers will be treated to a unique menu of culinary delights from starters to cheeseboard, and with a fish course, main course and dessert thrown in too, there’s plenty to taste.

Adam Karim, Owner of Don Giovanni, said “We wanted to give an extra dimension to the restaurant, with a different experience for customers, but still with our Don Giovanni style, and that’s where using the private dining area came in. Rob’s ideas fitted perfectly with what we had in mind, so for us this is the perfect partnership and we hope the customers enjoy it.”. 

Robert Owen Brown said “The space in Don Giovanni is perfect for this unique experience. I lived in Italy for a short time and have always loved the cuisine, so this sounded like a great opportunity. I really enjoyed creating this menu and am looking forward to cooking it for the customers later this month!”

Tickets cost £45 and include five courses with wine pairings with each course. They are on sale now for both Wednesday 27th April and Thursday 28th April. Click here for more information

~ April 2016 ~


Other Manchester Restaurant News...
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Albert's Shed Manchester

Less than a year after opening King Street based fine dining restaurant and bar Quill has closed its doors to the public. The restaurant closed quietly over the weekend with just a note on the door confirming the closure. Quills head chef Curtis Stewart had tweeted : "Hopefully we can find something were we can continue the concept. Absolutely gutted." _ June 2016

The team behind Dockyard have announced new plans for their latest site The Gasworks Brewbar which is set to open on First Street in August. The craft beer specialists will be adding 6 barrels to the bar for their very own in house micro brewery.  The micro brewery will be set up behind the bar allowing customers to witness the brewing process in full flow. The bar will also be supporting local favourite brewers with Brightside and Shindigger also available on site _ June 2016

Grafene is the latest restaurant to find a home on King Street and will be neighbour to El Gato Negro.  The new modern British fine dining restaurant set up by Paul and Kathryn Roden who are behind the Orangery at Losehill House in the Peak District will open its doors in mid July _ June 2016

The Grinch is the latest restaurant to point the blame of the road closures behind the tram works in and around the restaurant for loss of custom resulting in them having to close its doors after 22 years serving the Manchester people and visitors to the city. _ June 2016

Michelin Guide-recommended eatery specialists Shoryu is to open it's first restaurant outside London in Manchester. Specialising in Japanese ramen the unit is to be located in  Piccadilly Gardens. _ May 2016

Highly renowned chef Paul Heathcote has sold his final restaurant in Preston city centre to Manchester burger and steak chain Solita for £250,000. The unit is based on the lower ground floor of a four-storey mid-terrace Victorian building overlooking Winckley Square, and provides seating for 200 customers. _ May 2016

Drake & Morgan has lined up two in sites to open in Manchester which are scheduled to open over the next 12 months. As part of Drake & Morgan’s strategy to expand The Refinery brand regionally, the first will open in Spinningfields Manchester this Autumn. The second bar and restaurant will be located at One St Peter’s Square. _ May 2016

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Disclaimer: All information correct 1/1/2011. and can not be held responsible for any differences experienced at the premises listed. All images and information + 2002-18 Pride Of Manchester