Picture this. You’re driving through those iconic French vineyards, stopping by olive groves and clicking champagne flutes en route. You’re stopping in Rome for gelato, Vienna for crisp pastry before popping home to Manchester for a good old Lancashire hotpot.
Europe is home to all sorts of foodie goodies and now so is 107 Piccadilly – the home of Brasserie Abode.
Built in the 19th century as a textile factory by the influential Mancunian architect Charles Heathcote, the building was completed in 1899 in a distinctive Jacobean-Baroque style. You can’t miss it.
The stunning location was originally used as a packing warehouse and showroom for cotton manufacturer Sparrow Hardwick & Company, gained Grade-II listing in 1974 and began life as a hotel in 2008 when it was purchased by the Brownsword family to become part of Abode Hotels.
Now we’ve got the history lesson out of the way, on to the place today. The venue re-opened in April after a complete overhaul and now it’s split into two very snazzy levels.
The chic downstairs bar and eatery is definitely a favourite with those who like the finer things in life, with an upscale décor and buzzy atmosphere conjuring up images of a 1920’s New York speakeasy. We popped in to see what the new summer menu has to offer.
First the drinks. We fancied something full bodied yet refreshing and the head bartender suggested the Amaretto Sour. Served over ice with a side of crackers, the flavours were tangy yet smooth and full bodied.
The Mojito was simple yet delicious, made with fresh and zany flavours that mixed perfectly and were a little too easy to drink.
It’s clear that the cocktails are made by experts in their craft. Beautiful in both taste and presentation. Each drink is prepared from scratch, based on classic cocktail recipes – but not the predictable classics you see on every street corner. If the drinks we tried are anything to go by, the cocktail list is very strong- and not just in alcohol content.
The fritto misto (£6) – Italian for ‘mixed dish’ – includes crudités and fresh frutti di mare.
If your only experience of fritto misto is reconstituted prawns smothered in greasy batter and accompanied by a watery cheap tartare sauce, you’re in for a real treat here. The prawns are juicy, the batter is fluffy and the tartare sauce on the side is utterly gorgeous, both salty and tangy. The chef is clearly dedicated to getting just the right amount of batter on every piece of sea food and frying it for just the right about of time. 10/10. Very impressed.
On to the French onion soup (£6). It was served in a fantastic looking clay pot with gooey stringy cheese bubbling on top and a crouton melting in the middle. The soup itself was was just the right side of salty, full of oniony goodness cheesy goodness. A note to your future abs though – probably not one if you’re on a diet.
Finally, onto the mains. Everything from moules-frites (£12) to steak frites (£12) to melt-in-the-mouth lamb chops (£19). Each dish is served with a panache and a care that you just wouldn’t expect from a hotel brasserie.
They’re seamlessly put together, every ingredient sliced to perfection in an array of moreish flavours. They complement each other gorgeously. From the shallot and white wine broth that smothered the mussels to the fragrant rosemary and garlic accompaniment to the steak, the dishes at this brasserie are both delicate and faultless.
The decor is very European. Black plush interior, mirrored centrepiece and gilded deco accents at every turn. The tables are draped in crisp white linen and lit by candlelight which makes for the perfect backdrop to any date. If the food and drinks don’t win over your special someone, the ambience certainly will.
So if you’re looking to impress your lover with a taste of Europe but can’t quite justify booking the plane ticket, this is the place to go. One thing might lead to another. And there’s a hotel upstairs if you’re so inclined. Just saying.
They also have a summer offer running at the moment where you can get half price gift vouchers for the venue. Click here.