Loved forever by savvy locals, Manchester’s gorgeous alpine restaurant The Spärrows has made it into the Michelin Guide for 2023.
The French tyre company’s barometer of gastronomy is the handbook of the most discerning of diners looking for restaurants that are several levels above good. Top scoring restaurants receive the famous stars (one to three) that are sparingly doled out in a slap up ceremony each year and can make or break a restaurant. Michelin also dishes out Green Stars for the most eco friendly of fine restaurants as well as Bib Gourmands and Plates to those that are exceptional while not quite stellar – according to their notoriously fussy inspectors.
This year’s ceremony handing out all of the above awards takes place on 27 March at Silverstone (and if you’re reading, Michelin, we’d love an invite).
But today, Michelin announced 24 new additions to the restaurant guide. Just one Manchester restaurant was among the 24, The Spärrows. Michelin said, “Manchester’s dumpling and pasta lovers should make haste to The Spärrows in the city’s Green Quarter.”
Not many words there from Michelin but we can tell you that The Spärrows very much deserves this accolade. A truly unique place to eat, the team somehow manages to make a cavernous space inside a railway arch feel intimate and cosy. It’s an absolute sure fire hit for a date night, trust us.
This is not a brand new restaurant to Manchester, starting out in 2019 in another tiny arch near Umezushi, The Spärrows moved to its current location in Red Bank a year or two later, significantly increasing its covers – but it’s still tricky to get a table.
Describing itself as continental pasta and spätzle, this humble description belies the joy to be found in its menu of largely Tyrolean dishes – from the mountainous region of Europe that straddles Austria and Northern Italy – as well as a few other nearby faves.
Spatzle, thick scraggy threads of pasta bathing in your choice of rich sauces, are the focal point of things and a must-try but there’s more. Goulash Tyrolean is a treat every time, rich hunks of slow cooked beef, relaxing into a rich stew topped with livening lemon zest and herbs with a shard of sharp homemade gherkin on the side.
Do not miss the focaccia, a pillow for the most well behaved of fairies, tear it and share it with your dining pals and use it to dunk up some of that goulash. But it’s the dumplings that win us over every time: Russian pelmeni, Polish Pierogi and Italian ravioli or tortellini with ever changing fillings will stick to your tummy and keep you warm even in the current freezing temperatures. If you’ve room to pair some Swiss cheeses with your Ukrainian wine or go all wobbly for a bergamot pannacotta, you absolutely should.
We’re so pleased to see The Spärrows added to the Michelin Guide for 2023. Absolutely deserved.