The constant new openings in Manchester never cease to amaze me. Of course not everything succeeds and we’ve seen a few openings and closures over the last year or so.
One of those previously openings came in the shape of The Refinery. Located in Spinningfields, it was the first Drake and Morgan opening in Manchester. It’s mixture of Breakfast’s, after dinner drinks, Sunday Brunches and casual dinning has proved that much of a success, that they have now opened a second venue just across town.
Located in the stunning setting of St Peter’s Square, its an open and sunny spot, where the old of Manchester overlooks the new, plus with the tram stop conveniently located on its doorstep.
The Anthologist opened this week and I have been lucky enough to experience it twice both for food and for their official launch. I was booked in for their first day to try out their food as a paying customer.
Half bar and half restaurant, The Anthologist offers a causal dining experience with the menu offering up usual delights such as Burgers, Fish and Chips, Steaks and Fish Pie. It also has its sights set on the Vegetarian and Vegan diners with plenty of options being offered.
The first thing you notice is the usual upmarket feel of Drake and Morgan bars, with staff wearing the trademark D&M aprons. This isn’t an uncomfortable and stuffy environment though, with staff being welcoming and not just to the paying customers, but also to their pets. This is a Dog Friendly venue, with owners encouraged to bring their pooches along.
The restaurant area boasts an open kitchen area, beautifully decorated with encaustic tiles, which really helps to make this area stand out.
Service was attentive, even though this was the opening night, with any errors (Such as Chardonnay served instead of a Cab Sav) fixed quickly with a smile and courtesy.
First up I ordered a cocktail – the Busy Bee caught my eye. Manchester Gin, Dandelion and Burdock, Honey, Lemon and Egg White sounded intriguing. What turned up wasn’t exactly what id expected. Not sure where the dandelion and burdock came in, but what did arrive can only be described as a Lemon Meringue in a glass. Much sweeter then I would usually go for as a starting cocktail, but it was enjoyable. I have to say I also enjoyed a few more of these at the opening launch party!
Now if this sounds like a calorie overload, you’re probably right, but don’t worry, as they also have a selection of ‘diet-friendly’ zero-proof cocktails that come in at under 50 Calories – although I should be looking at those, I probably won’t!
For starter I opted for, what seems to be a real Manchester must have now, a Scotch Egg. This one was made with chorizo in the sausage meat, to give it a garlicy and spicy hit. The yolk was still beautifully soft, which is a real must for me. This dish defiantly had the thumbs up from me.
For main course I choose the daily special. This was a chicken breast, on sauteed potatoes and chorizo – yep more chorizo for me. Again, this isn’t a difficult dish or something that I couldn’t make at home myself. But who wants to cook every night!
Eating out isn’t always about the wow factor. Sometimes it’s nice to have something which is everyday food, which is cooked well, and that’s exactly what this was. Chicken that wasn’t dry, on a flavour hot of potatoes and chorizo.
India had the Fish and Chips – which was pretty standard. She described it as just ‘OK’, but she did make a point of saying how good the mushy peas were.
I was stuffed for dessert, but India as always couldn’t resist and went for the Chocolate Brownie. This came served warm with Ice Cream and a Chocolate Sauce.
Although stuffed, I did manage a couple of small mouthfuls, and the warm brownie dipped into the sauce was a chocolate delight for me.
The outdoor terrace which has a fair number of seats, is sure to be an after work favourite during this summer spell that we are currently loving. During the launch night, this was defiantly being used to full potential, with many enjoying some great cocktails in the sunshine.
The Anthologist is a welcome addition to Manchester’s bar and restaurant scene and will no doubt become a regular hangout for some.
Don’t forget that you can also get opening offers inc 25% off from 9th-15th July via M-Dog here