The sharer small plate concept has become a big foodie favourite and there’s no better place to experience the magic than at Wolf at the Door’s bar and kitchen in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
Having only been open a couple of months, this cool little restaurant and bar (formerly known as Wilderness) is already racking up the recognition and has been nominated for ‘Avant Garde Cocktail Menu’ in the Imbibe Drinks List of the Year Awards.
Wolf at the Door is perfect for a few drinks, an evening meal, or a lazy, long lunch on a Saturday (which is what we enjoyed). Small plates arrived in their own good time, while we washed down a delightful bottle of No Sex Drugs, Rock n Roll, Just Riesling. (Great name hey?!)
The restaurant prides itself on seasonal dishes using only the finest ingredients which are lovingly sourced, while the bar offers the best hand-picked wines, carefully considered beers and a range of out-of-this-world cocktails which are a work of art in themselves.
Their ‘living, breathing’ cocktail menu also evolves with the seasons and the stringent process they undergo means they preserve as much natural flavour of the ingredients used in them as possible.
With Adam Day in charge of the bar and ex Manchester House’s James Lord taking care of kitchen proceedings, the guys have already cemented that recipe for success. When we visited, the place was buzzing and the crowd continued to grow as the afternoon went on.
We were advised to try between four to six plates with some dishes being bigger than others, but all are designed to share.
Out of the kitchen first came the BBQ lamb skewers (£5) with a tangy, salty miso glaze, offset by the sweetness of the BBQ. Lamb fat yeast flakes made the delightful bundles of meaty deliciousness all the tastier.
Next up, two dishes – a stunning roast monk fish (£18) delicate and beautifully fresh, decorated with surprisingly flavourful burnt lettuce ribbons along with chive and brown shrimp; and my favourite course of the meal – the short rub with bone marrow, IPA onions and nasturtium (£14). This little beauty packed some serious punch, while the beef just melted in the mouth and the onions added a gorgeous, rich, sweet accompaniment, contrasted by the the nasturtium with peppery notes for added depth.
Roasted cauliflower followed, with an out-of-this-world pumpkin seed butter and the occasional crunch of puffed buckwheat (£7), while the last to arrive was the stunning pine smoked aged duck with lavender honey (£19) which we practically inhaled it was that good.
Set over three floors, Wolf at the Door’s casual appearance might throw you off course, but the quality of the ingredients make each individual dish a pure delight to eat. Hat’s off to the chef who has married together the most unlikely flavours to create pure taste sensations.
A true hidden gem in the maze of Northern Quarters many streets, Wolf at the Door is a great find. Be sure to try it before the hype builds as it won’t stay a secret for long!