We like Manchester. Having lived in London for quite a long time, it is good to get a dose of city life now and again, with the added benefit of coming back home to Leafy Lytham.
Given how depressing the first week in January is, we decided to book a couple of nights at the Crowne Plaza in Manchester to take the edge of going back to work. Its a very good Crowne Plaza and in a great spot on Shudehill, near the Arndale, the Printworks and The Northern Quarter with all its bars and restaurants.
Wanting to try somewhere new a bit of googling came up with the Pasta Factory, handily located directly across the road from the hotel. Housed in one of Manchester’s many old buildings, this one a bank, the restaurant has a small deli counter and makes all its own pasta in house.
We were warmly greeted, despite being very early for our table (er 1.5 hours – we were starving!) and sat to peruse the menu and fantastic wine list. Having had my first holiday ever in Italy in 2015, the memories of the hills and villages of Piemonte in Northern Italy are still very fond, as is the incredible wine from the region. We ordered a Gavi de Gavi and I went with an Italian craft beer to start. Both were excellent and the beer list here is one of the best i’ve seen in an Italian making a nice change from Peroni, or Birra Moretti (both of which I was told whilst in Italy, arent the beers of choice for the discerning beer drinker).
To start we went with the Bruschetta with n’duja and gorgonzola, and the panella con salsa rustica. The bruschetta was good – another piece of bread would not have gone amiss and the gorgonzola was at the outer limits of my blue cheese range, but we ate the lot! The panella, small Sicilian pancakes were light with rich tomato salsa and a perfect appetiser.
For main course we went for the speical, which was homemade Lasagne, and also the Triangoli Di Funghi in salsa al tartufo., which was a ravioli served with mushroom and truffle sauce. The Lasagne was good and tasty as you would expect with a delicious bechamel. Unfortunately we made a bad choice with the second dish. It was too rich for us and I think we had read the menu wrongly as I had expected some truffle shavings as opposed to the truffle being the main taste of the sauce. A change of dish wasn’t offered. It would have been nice if it had. These things happen.
We enjoyed our visit to the Pasta Factory. It is a nice space with friendly staff and was playing great music. It’s just a shame we went for the wrong dish for main. If you are a truffle lover I am sure this would be your dish!
If you like fresh authentic pasta, give it a go.