New pop-up cocktail and seafood bar coming to Deansgate Square this month

Owner Zaide was inspired to open Pesky after living in Sweden, where simple but delicious fish and seafood dishes are part of everyday life

A new restaurant and bar is heading to Deansgate Square this month, offering small plates and a creative cocktail list.  

Behind the new concept, named Pesky, is food science and nutrition masters graduate Zaide O’Rourke, a food and drink enthusiast, trained molecular mixologist and self confessed dinner party aficionado.

Zaide was inspired to open Pesky after living in Sweden, where simple but delicious fish and seafood dishes are part of everyday life.

With the new opening, Zaide hopes to disrupt the notion that seafood can feel exclusive by making it more accessible and pairing it with exciting flavours.

Pesky will offer a menu of nibbles and small plates (ranging between £4-£10 each) with an equal balance between ‘seafood’ and ‘land food’ dishes. 

Oysters will be a speciality, served with pickled rhubarb and herb oil, or as ‘drunken oysters’ with recommended shot pairings. 

Seafood small plates will include ‘better than a chippy’ panko cod cheeks with tartare sauce, a no-fuss hake dish served with chimichurri, and king prawn pancakes with okonomiyaki and bonito. 

The selection of land food dishes are all vegetarian and largely plant based, as Zaide is keen for Pesky’s menu to balance creativity with sustainability.

These include corn ribs, shaved fennel and grapefruit salad, and grilled aubergine and labneh with pomegranate molasses. 

For desserts, guests can enjoy kladkakka – a love letter to Sweden with chocolate, olive oil and sea salt, or a refreshing green apple sorbet with ginger crumb. 

As a former Alchemist bartender, Pesky’s drinks menu is just as important to Zaide as the food offering.

The cocktail list has been inspired by some of his all-time favourite tipples and classic drinks have been given a slight edge.

Take Pesky’s whiskey sour, for example, where lychee liqueur has been incorporated along with a hint of black cardamom to soften some of the more masculine flavours by adding floral and fruity undertones. 

Other cocktails on the list include a seaweed martini or a grapefruit negroni, and there’s also a selection of classic cocktails, beers, wine and soft drinks. 

Pesky’s interior has been inspired by nature so it will be a calm setting with neutral tones, ashy dark walnut furniture and natural materials such as wild grasses, and there will also be guest DJs.

“Pesky is a celebration of life, community and creative food and drink,” says owner Zaide.

“I am so excited to start feeding the folk of Manchester, and hopefully I get to meet loads of friendly faces over some cocktails – or seaweed pale ale if that’s your thing.”

Pesky will open from 2nd – 27th March 2022 opposite the General Store on Owen Street (in the space formerly occupied by the Harvey Nichols Christmas pop up) at Deansgate Square.

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