Restaurant Review – Artisan Manchester Speedy Lunch Menu

This was the second time I have visited Artisan for the Express lunch menu – the first time was just before Christmas, due to the hectic schedule around the festive season I forgot to write up my review on that occasion! So here goes 2nd time lucky!

  • Name of Restaurant

Artisan Avenue North, 18-22 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BZ

  • Reason for Visit

A late lunchtime catch up with 4 girlfriends – we’re all young at heart over 50’s. We had pre booked for 2pm

  • First Impression

You enter the restaurant from the Avenue by a small doorway – once inside you have to climb stairs and there is a choice of 2 directions – this can be a bit confusing as to which direction is for the restaurant one of our party ended up in the bar and not the restaurant, and for the record she isn’t someone who regularly gets lost! Once you reach the restaurant there is a welcome area with a desk where a lovely girl took our details and invited us to enter the bar and waiting area. Artisan is very rustic looking lots of reclaimed wood and furniture on display. I have to say we really liked the look instantly. The restaurant area continues with this theme and again it is a very pleasant setting – a long expanse of windows allow lots of light in, although the view from the windows are not the greatest.

  • Time to get served/attention

As stated earlier there is a member of staff already in place to meet and greet, once seated and having a pre lunch drink a waitress came promptly to take us to our table.

  • Food

We ate from the Express lunch menu I chose the red pepper houmous and wood fired flat bread, the flattened rump steak (well done) with chimichurri, rocket and courgette salad and a glass of white wine. There was a choice of 2 house whites which was a nice touch.

The starter came on a wooden platter – 2 vary large slices of flatbread and a portion of red pepper houmous and a selection of sliced vegetables. The flat bread was delicious – thin and crispy perfect for my tastes, although I could only eat one! The houmous was a bit bland in my opinion I couldn’t really taste the garlic, although there must have been an adequate amount as Mr Fitz commented on it when I greeted him with a kiss when I got home.

My steak was tasty and cooked how I like it – yes I know, well done meat is so old fashioned but hey I don’t follow every trend! It was served with the simple green salad which I felt was just enough. I chose a glass of Pinot to wash it down with, having already had a pre lunch Three Rivers Gin and tonic from the bar. Note I stayed loyal to my proud Mancunian roots by choosing a local gin from the extensive Gin menu.

  • Service

Our waiter was very warm and friendly – he did have to attempt to take our order twice due to us chatting and not choosing, but that was not a problem for him, he was patient with us. Food arrived promptly and the all important wine!

The only downsides to the service on this occasion was obtaining our bill, after 15 minutes we had not seen any staff to ask for the bill. I had to go out to reception to ask the girl there if she could find us someone. A waiter then appeared and promptly fulfilled our request.

  • Evaluation

This is a nice setting for lunch, I cannot comment on any other time of the day. I love the decor and surroundings. Apart from the hitch with the bill I do think the service is speedy when seated. If you wish to have a pre or post meal drink the upstairs bar area is very comfortable and inviting and the choice of drinks available are many and displayed well. The food is tasty and in adequate proportions for a lunch portion.

Myself and my friends would definitely return again. Great surroundings and value for money

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Manchester Restaurant Review – Piccolino Manchester #FreedomFriday

I have discussed before that I am retired and my husband now only works part – time. That means we have every Friday free – our weekend starts early! Yippee!

I refer to these days as #FreedomFriday

We try to spend quality time together. I like to share some of the activities we do and places we visit. Last Friday was a day into Manchester for drinks and food. We visited a couple of bars – which I will discuss in later posts about favourite bars in Manchester.

We chose to eat in Piccolino’s – Clarence Street just off AlbertSquare.

  • Name of venue visited


  • Reason for visit

Early dinner with husband

  • Time and day of visit

Friday 5pm -no prior booking

  • First impression
  • Greeted and seated immediately. Has been updated since our last visit. Lovely  vibe straight away, lively hum of chatter and activity. Love the cool blue leather, oak fittings and chandeliers. It looks much more than your average pizzeria.
    Sorry its a bit blurred!
  • Time to get servers attention/service

Met at the door by friendly staff – immediate attention.

  • Food quality


The food was delicious -We had garlic bread and olives for starters. For mains John chose the Linguine al gamberetti  – King Prawns, courgettes and chilli, he tends to chose a shellfish linguine. He thought this was one of the better ones he’s eaten.

I chose one of the seasonal specials – Pumpkin Risotto – I’d never eaten pumpkin before so wasn’t sure what to expect. It was lovely – the risotto was fabulous – creamy and perfect consistency. Again I eat a lot of risotto’s and this was one of the better ones.

We rarely eat desserts but we did on this occasions Afogata for John – a favourite for both of us – I ate a pear in chocolate sauce – Mmmmm- divine.

For drinks John had Moretti and a glass of Red Wine (house) for me.

  • Quality of Service

Service was prompt and business like. Not too many pleasantries exchanged. When the bill was presented it was £83 -on closer inspection there was 3 rounds of drinks on the bill that weren’t ours – a Negroni, a glass of Prosecco and an Aperol Spritz. I pointed this out and it was amended – did need two attempts though – the Aperol Spritz was still showing the second time. Again this was amended with no quibble. The new total was just a little over £54. Reasonable for the quality of food and surroundings.

  • Evaluation

Really pleasing visit. In fact I think this our new favourite Italian Restaurant.                   Would be suitable just to visit for a drink or cocktail

  • Would I visit again?

Yes, definitely.

Sample menu

If you’ve visited one of the Piccolino Restaurants – was your experience as good?

What’s your favourite choice in an Italian Restaurant.


Please comment or contact me via

Mummy in a Tutu

Neighbourhood Manchester – Restaurant Review

Myself and OH are foodies and regularly eat out or just visit venues for drinks – I think we’re trying to work our way around most Manchester haunts – a hard task we know as the number of new places to eat and drink are multiplying every week – a tough job but we’re tough enough and ugly enough to try it!


I’m going to post reviews of places we visit, some reviews will be retrospective – but I will use the same format for each review and hopefully have accompanying photos for most – yes I confess I’m one of those people who can’t eat a meal or have a drink without taking a photo!

I also will judge each bar against my husbands 10 second rule – if no-one at the bar acknowledges our presence within that time we leave! Harsh maybe but my OH is right in saying that in most places the cost of 2 drinks is more than the average working persons hourly rate so custom should be valued – yes the staff can be very busy and be serving other customers – that’s not a problem, however he likes the server to at least make eye contact and state they will be with us soon. I’m pleased to say that most places do pass this test!

I recently visited Neighbourhood in Spinningfields Manchester for lunch with my husband. The venue describes itself as an all day eatery and late bar. It’s a popular venue for the smartly dressed customer.

The following paragraph is a quote from it’s own Web page

Neighbourhood is a restaurant and bar inspired by the vibrancy and accessibility of the food and drink scene you typically see in New York, Las Vegas or Miami. It’s a place where you can grab brunch, coffee and a quick snack, afternoon tea, cocktails or dinner – it literally caters for all, offering something for everybody.”

We received a nice welcome at the door, our table was ready but we asked if we could have a drink at the bar first. What my opinion was is covered in my template. Anyway here goes with my first Manchester Restaurant Review

  • Name of venue visited

         Neighbourhood Manchester 

  • Reason for visit

Late lunch with husband

  • Time and day of visit

Friday 3pm

  • First impression

Friendly welcome, looks and feels like a New York restaurant/bar. Great decor – loved            the Emerald  green leather chairs

  • Time to get servers attention/service

Met at the door by friendly staff – immediate attention.

  • Food quality

Good menu and choice. I had the tempura prawn starter – was delicious, OH had the               Lil burgers as a starter – 3 small burgers on a platter – he said they were really                          good.

Tempura Prawns
Lil Burgers

For mains we both had salads – Cobb Salad for me and a Chicken  Caesar for OH Nicely presented but nothing out of the ordinary.

We washed it down with a bottle of house white which was very nice indeed. Above             average taste for a house wine.

  • Quality of Service

service when seated was average, some delay for food and drinks service, but on the                whole good. Some friendly conversation and interaction – an important factor for us.

  • Evaluation

Nice venue – drinks pricey, looks like a venue where people want to be ‘seen’. There                were a few guests enjoying afternoon tea – the selection on offer looked good.                          From looking at the venue and the  other guests, we would say it is somewhere for a                treat or a special occasion. Not somewhere to visit  regularly.

  • Would I visit again?

Yes. Would definitely take girlfriends for a treat.

As a footnote I must state that we visited as a prize win from a twitter competition run by Neighbourhood and the food and a bottle of wine was free. Thank you Neighbourhood very generous. Special thanks to Jake for arranging and hosting.