Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Fantastic Place to Pig out ; Paris Comes to the Northern Quarter, Writes Andy Cronshaw the Blue Pig Northern Quarter

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Fantastic Place to Pig out ; Paris Comes to the Northern Quarter, Writes Andy Cronshaw the Blue Pig Northern Quarter

Article excerpt

THE Blue Pig brings a little bit of Paris to the Northern Quarter. It fits nicely into a corner block entirely suited to such a task on High Street, right in the apex of the NQ's bustling epicentre.

In keeping with owner Cleo Farman's other outlets, Odd, Odder and Oddest, the restaurant/bar has a studied mise-enscene.

The bold but slightly distressed colours, dark wooden floors and panelling bring a real Parisian feel to proceedings, as does the showpiece deli counter where the cured meats, pates and other delights are housed.

Thankfully, the Blue Pig jettisons the overpriced, substandard food and indifferent service which may have given the establishment a true sense of Paris.

The menu is a lesson in good taste and strategy. Deli meat platters, breakfasts and snacks keep things ticking over while the seasonal 333 option: Pounds 20 per head for starter, main course and dessert offers quality over content in providing a substantial meal.

Some may find the options here too limited but a menu this honed should inspire confidence.

And it delivers.

A fine goose liver pate served in the now de rigeur kilner jar with walnut bread and a delightful grape and chilli jam was excellent. The pate was gusty without being as rich as foie gras, the jam, or chutney if you prefer, was the perfect accompaniment.

Sicilian mussels brought a Mediterranean take on moules mariniere to proceedings. White wine, tomatoes, garlic and parsley topped with a couple of slices of ciabatta. As long as the mussels aren't overcooked, which they weren't, what's not to like? Gilt head bream with a chilli shallot butter, sauteed new potatoes and samphire is what good cooking is all about. Great ingredients simply prepared and presented without any attempt to be overly clever.

Bream is a much underrated fish which gives sea bass a good run for its money - coming in at cheaper price but with at least as much flavour and delicacy.

Here it was cooked beautifully, skin a little charred and the flesh moist. …

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