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.
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.
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.
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