Spare a thought for Manchester’s party planners right now. After all the new openings this year surely there’s too much choice for your Christmas do. Luckily that’s not something I’ve got to worry about, but then even just picking where to eat has got to be a lot harder right now. I suppose like a football manager with a bench full of top players, it’s probably the sort of headache you don’t mind having.
The gap everyone wants to squeeze into right now has to be the bar / restaurant, an oft elusive venue where you can eat some nice food, drink some nice drinks, but not feel out of place if you happen to hang around and get hammered. The latest place to give it a shot is Tariff and Dale, and with 20 years experience running popular Chorlton restaurant The Lead Station behind them, I was excited to go see what their NQ offering would bring to the table.
We kicked thing off with bread and some plump green olives, and to drink a delicious pisco sour with a ginger infused brandy and a fresh, frisky southside. The cocktails are definitely going to bring a few punters in, we were both well impressed with ours. Starters came in the form of a chicken terrine on toast with raisin chutney, it was fairly simple but tasty nonetheless. I had the more complex charred mackerel with smoked herring caviar, coleslaw, cucumber and gin & tonic jelly. The plate had some interesting flavours which cut through that oily, blackened fish nicely.
I went for seafood again with the cod fillet main. It was another generous portion and topped confit anya potatoes, samphire, charred gem lettuce and smoked eel croquette. The dish was wholesome and well balanced but needed a bit of gravy or sauce for me. Maybe I just had a bit of food envy for the short rib of beef at the other end of the table. It was beautifully tender and again came with a cavalcade of sides- cavolo nero, smoked mash, shiitake mushrooms and porcini mushroom ketchup. All that combined to make me just a little jealous to be honest.
We shared a couple of desserts with, first the salted chocolate pot, a bowl of choc topped with peanut butter parfait and honeycomb. Definitely a real sweet tooths heaven that one. I almost felt a bit guilty on my 10 year old self for eating it, I think as a child that would’ve kept me occupied for a long time. Following that something altogether more grown up with the cheese board, we had the cave aged Lancashire blue, Mrs Kirkham’s smoked Lancashire and a Somerset brie with grapes, celery, chutney and biscuits.
It was all good stuff, and in a rather nice setting. The basement at Tariff and Dale has that exposed brick thing going on plus nice window panels plus the seating options of benches or booths. We also didn’t get the chance to try the pizzas but they seemed pretty popular. You’d have to say the place has got a lot to offer for those after work evenings, and well worth a look next time you’re in need of some food, a drink, and then maybe another few.