I’ve had a rather foodie January so far and I am not complaining! I used to be the go-to person to ask where to eat or drink in Manchester, but since having Flo, I just don’t get the time to get out as much and the things I look for in a restaurant are slightly different as I usually have a toddler date! So it’s nice to get back “on the scene” and try some new places, sans toddler. One of those places was 1761 Manchester, somewhere that’s been on my radar for a couple of months, but I’ve only just got round to visiting. So I nabbed a friend and we scheduled in a lunch mate-date!
1761 Manchester – A Mancunian Eatery
We had a full-on day of work and business strategising, so an hour or two out of the office for a lovely leisurely lunch was very welcomed by Kat and I and we strolled along to 1761, which is just a stones-throw from Alberts Square.
It’s just tucked-away on a side street, so doesn’t get the walk-past foot traffic, but is well worth the 10 metre detour off Cross Street to discover…it’s a gem and here’s why…
1761 Manchester is a decent sized restaurant and bar taking up the corner plot on a Mancunian side-street, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering plenty of people-watching opportunities – and our table was perfect for that! (We were nestled in the spot under the neon sign you can see in the following photo).
There’s lovely and obvious nods to its hometown immediately, with the Manchester Bee adorning the entrance door handles and forming part of the logo design too – always a welcoming and comforting symbol of this wonderful city.
So time wasn’t an issue for us and we perused the drinks and food menus before deciding we’d go the whole-hog and have a 3-course lunch…why the hell not ‘ey?!
Being pregnant, I do often find the drinks selections boring when it comes to eating out…juice, water, diet coke…so was pleased to see that 1761 Manchester had a few lovely-sounding mocktails on their drinks list. I opted for something, which I think was called a Tropical Fizz and was a delightful long drink incorporating mango and passion fruit. I could close my eyes and almost imagine it was a Pornstar Martini….I digress…
I am so a savoury-over-sweet girl and always relish looking at the starters or nibbles/snacks on a menu, as I often think this is the most exciting course. I wasn’t disappointed when I saw two items right up my street – the Popcorn Cockles and the Frickles (deep fried pickles!). They were ordered immediately and when they came to the table on a long wooden board and accompanied by a creamy aioli, I knew I was in good hands.
The cockles were light and pleasantly salty-sea tasting and the Frickles were coated in the most light and crispy tempura batter, so didn’t feel nearly half as naughty as I’m sure they were! The aioli was the perfect choice of dip for both actually and me and Kat agreed it was lucky we were spending the afternoon together (*cough* garlic breath alert!).
The Main Show
1761 Manchester have a dedicated Lunch menu with some lighter-bite options, but you can also order off their full A-La Carte menu too…we did the latter (I rarely order a sandwich or salad when there’s other delights on offer!).
I wanted to try something that sounded a bit different and went for the Bubble and Squeak Risotto with parmesan and crispy egg. The menu doesn’t overdo it with descriptions, but our lovely waiter Danny nodded approvingly and said it was one of the most popular dishes on the menu and I’d chosen well…that was enough for me! Kat went for Angus Steak Burger with skin on fries and we couldn’t resist trying the Beef Dripping Chips either (it’d be rude not to!).
When my risotto arrived, I thought it wasn’t the biggest portion in the world at first…however, once I began to tuck into it, I realised that the presentation of the dish was deceptive and in fact it was a perfect amount of risotto, with lovely chunks of vegetables running throughout (the carrots were outstanding!). The soft-boiled egg, coated in bread-crumbs and deep-fried was the perfect addition and a fun twist on the dish and I was pleased to see that it oozed a lovely yellow yolk when I cut into it. Bravo!
Kat’s burger boasted a double-patty and was, and I quote, “glazed in beef dripping”…I mean, what’s not to love?! The chips were proper chips and well accompanied with a good dollop of ketchup, so all in all, we were very happy diners!
Now, I’ll admit, I could have left it at that and been quite satisfied and happily full-up. But Danny (oh Danny) made the mistake of asking if we were having a coffee before we went or “our hot sticky toffee pudding, with a treacle ice-cream and toffee dipping sauce”…well, what were we supposed to say?! We decided a happy medium would be to share the dessert and boy, I’m glad we did! I mean it was a hefty slab of pudding! Perfectly spongey and moist, with sticky dates adorning the top and just the right amount of ice-cream and sauce to go with it. Not a bad way to round-off our lunch at 1761 Manchester at all!
I think it’s probably safe to say we enjoyed our dining experience at 1761 Manchester. The food was the ideal balance of delicious simplicity with just the right amount of flare, the menu was impressive but not overwhelming and the taste shone through on every dish.
I also want to give a special nod to the staff, who were incredibly welcoming, helpful and knowledgable from the moment we walked in. John (the Bar Manager) and Danny (our Waiter), who looked after us, talked us through the menu and made sure we had a fantastic time. I can’t wait to go back for dinner with the hubby and probably another “work-lunch” very soon.
I’m pretty sure I spotted a January dining deal, so head over soon to make the most of that – and they also do Sunday Roasts, which I’m sure wouldn’t disappoint.
Where should I be eating next? Suggestions please!