Living in Manchester has it’s advantages. It’s a big city with an extraordinary amount of bars and restaurants, with new eateries popping up left, right and centre. Although I like to try new places, I always find myself back in my favourite haunts. One of those places happens to be Artisan, located in Spinningfields, Manchester. A thriving and bustling area, filled with high end luxury shops and some fabulous places to grab a cocktail or four, Spinningfields is the area to be in when heading out. Artisan opened in 2013, within a 12,000 sq ft industrial space. Bare brick walls, and a laid back vibe, it’s cosy and comfortable with no element of pretentiousness. Warm and welcoming, artwork covers the stripped back walls, whilst you dine in front of two wood burning ovens that take centre stage. I called in for a catch up with a friend last week and took full advantage of the new menu.
Seated by the window, I relaxed into a plump cushion whilst perusing the menu. Traditional English fayre, handmade rustic dishes and food served straight from the fire. Whilst deciding on food, we nibbled on olives and crispy kale, which was absolutely delicious. Sipping on raspberry lemonade, the conversation was flowing, whilst our very attentive waiter Greg ensured our experience was to the highest standard.
I delved into a classic starter of chicken liver and rum paté with golden raisins and chia seed butter. Served with thick slices of toasted granary bread, it was comforting and filling. The flavours of the paté danced on my tongue, whilst it’s smoothness complimented the rough texture of the toast. A beetroot salad intensified the flavours, with its sharp yet vibrant tartness. Steph chose the prosciutto and watermelon salad with a beetroot dressing, that looked really fresh and mouthwatering.
Artisan is famous for it’s wood burning ovens so it was natural that I was to choose something straight from the flame. Handmade flatbread topped with beetroot, avocado and Gorgonzola jumped straight off the menu. I do have a bit of an obsession with avocados and I may indulge in them rather frequently, but they are good for you. As avocados are quite bland, the robust and aromatic flavours of the Gorgonzola melted perfectly together, with just the perfect amount of sweetness from the beetroot. Popular with everyone, a bowl of sweet potato fries accompanied my flatbread. The paprika salt which coated the fries gave them a warming and slightly spicy finish. A casear salad with poached salmon was the meal of choice for Steph, and I would almost certainly order this for myself next time.
Unbelievably, we managed to fit in dessert and I was really tempted by the chocolate brownie but at the last minute, I changed my mind for the pistachio meringue filled with lemon Chantilly cream. Decorated with rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries and pomegranate, I definitely made the right choice. The sweetness of the strawberries were offset against the tartness of the the rhubarb and light zest of the lemon cream, whilst the pomegranate and pistaschio flavours, although subtle, worked really well together. As the meringue was so sweet, the tangy bursts of pomegranate popped in the mouth. It was simply divine. Steph chose the classic lemon posset, which looked extremely indulgent.
If you are heading into Manchester this weekend, I really do recommend that you head to Artisan, whether it be for a cocktail at the 20ft long bar or to indulge in some beautiful food. With reasonable prices, a casual yet trendy setting and right in the heart of Manchester, Artisan is in the ideal location for a mid shop stop. You can find Artisan on The Avenue North of Spinningfields.
*Meal provided FOC however all opinions are my own.