Fans of the sorely missed Ramsbottom tapas spot Levanter, rejoice. Some of the restaurant’s ‘greatest hits’ will be landing in the city centre this week.
Baratxuri, the basque-inspired cooking project from Levanter founders Joe and Fiona Botham, will be taking up residence at Beeswing, the terrace wine bar at Kampus, from this Friday (12 January).
And with it will come a host of dishes that brought joy to many – from slow-cooked Iberico pork collar to the much-ordered crispy chickpeas with spinach, which comes adorned with a perfectly fried egg laid on top.
“It’ll be based around a Levanter-style menu,” Joe told Manchester’s Finest. “Dead small, very authentic, like a proper typical Spanish tapas bar, rather than too restaurant-ey.
“There are loads of Levanter classics on there, dishes people might recognise. There’s the chickpea spinach and fried egg, cod fillet sealed on the plancha and made with a vermouth and cream sauce, meatballs with morcilla, chorizo and pork.
“And we have a beautiful Iberico cabacero, a pork collar from the Bellota Iberico pigs, and it’s braised in red wine and made into a really rich sauce and served with crushed garlic chickpeas. That was a very popular dish that we had in Ramsbottom too.
“We’ll be doing patatas a lo pobre – poor man’s potatoes – so potatoes with garlic, a white wine and garlic stock, green peppers, and then it’s all roasted in the oven with the stock. It’s a really rich, lovely soft potato dish. And a great vegan dish.”
Throw in a proper tortilla, padron peppers and some great charcuterie too, and the job, as they say, is a good’un.
Levanter sadly closed its doors in January 2023, after nine years of trading.
It’s sister project Baratxuri lived on, however, popping up at the likes of Freight Island, before opening at Exhibition last year. It also hosted a pop-up at Kampus a couple of years back, where they connected with Beeswing co-owner Anna Tutton.
“Anna wanted to redevelop their food offering, and she’s very knowledgeable about Spanish food, so she asked if we could come and help develop a menu,” he added.
“This is very much Beeswing’s thing, and they’re really well known for their wine, so we’re very much working the menu to fit to the wines as well, so she’s got some quite specialist Spanish wines to go with the dishes.
“The space itself, you walk in and it feels like a tapas bar. A modern stylish one, rather than your typical rustic vibe, but it has the beautiful terrace out the front and it will be amazing in the summer.”
The collab will be ‘ongoing’, Joe says, meaning that the chances of a cold glass of sherry and a few great dishes in the sun are assured.
Baratxuri at Beeswing will run from Tuesday to Sunday, from 4pm during the week, and from lunchtime at weekends.
You can also catch them at Exhibition.