Manchester Stories and Tips

Artisan Restaurant

Artisan Photo, Manchester, England

We ate here as a party of 4 (including our 9 year old son) on a Thursday evening in summer - pre-theatre so we were dining quite early. We had made a reservation - the restaurant was not packed but was pleasantly busy.

This is one of the newest restaurants in the trendy Spinningfields area of Manchester. It is easy to find and seems to be one of the "in places."

From the moment we stepped through the door, I loved the decor and environment - it is stylish, cool and modern. It looked as if no expense has been spared to create this restaurant. It is huge - 12,000 square feet and feels semi-industrial. There are big windows overlooking the street below and it has an airy, light feeling. Everything has been stripped back in the building to industrial concrete and brick. Contrast this with lots of modern art on the walls and it felt like a mixture of a warehouse and a cool loft. I loved the feel of the restaurant.

We chose to have drinks at the bar before our meal. This is also a quirky area - the bar is a whole series of rustic wooden tables pushed together, with beautiful, exotic flower displays and bottles sitting on the tables. It is waist height and has a great informal feel - as if you are at a cool friend's house for drinks. We had cocktails before dinner - the choice was huge, but my Apple Pie Cooler was perfect. It was so tasty and delicious, just like apple pie but with a kick, I highly recommend it.

Service in the restaurant was friendly and the staff were warm and hospitable. One little criticism was that the food took a long time to appear and we started to worry we would be late for the theatre (we should have had ample time). During our visit it was a very hot day outside, but the temperature at our table with the air conditioning was icy. We were fairly uncomfortable and cold.

The menu was wonderful - a lot of dishes to choose from but we were drawn to the pizzas. They had quirky and unusual toppings - lamb and orange or doner kebab were a couple of the offerings. I went for the latter and was not disappointed - the flavours were mouthwateringly delicious. 3 of our party ordered pizzas - all were great. One ordered a T-Bone steak which was juicy, succulent and perfection too. They have 2 wood fired ovens and apparently all the food is cooked there.

When the bill arrived, we were very pleasantly surprised - the food is so reasonably priced and definitely does not break the bank.

We loved it here - it is a huge space, but has a great, cool, funky atmosphere and wonderful decor. The menu is innovative and inventive - we loved our choices, would highly recommend and will definitely be back.

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