Cornerhouse is one of the those venues you don’t go to for the food. You go there for an art experience of some kind. But, that’s a shame, because my recent lunchtime foray to this Oxford Road instutution proved that the food has a lot going for it and that’s certianly more than can be said for many daytime venues a stone’s throw from a major railway station.
The first floor food and drink area (I don’t think it has a name as such) is a light airy space with a modern ambience and required dress code of black polo necked sweater, or so it seemed.
It’s a pretty extensive menu covering everything from breakfast and brunch with delights such as Greek yoghurt with wildflower honey and toasted almonds or field mushrooms on toast.
Hungry, in readiness for our trip round the gallery, we kicked things off with the vegetarian plate. A delightful selection of tasties including artichokes, mushrooms. olives, brushetta and dips. We had selected the small version of this treat but, as you can see on the picture, it’s plenty for an appetiser. Well-presented too.
The mains were equally satisfying – and large for small if you see what I mean. I thoroughly enjoyed the tender, delicately spiced and succulent lamb tagine (£4.75) with apricots and the largest, plumpest, tastiest lemon infused couscous ever experienced. Even in Morocco.
He tucked into a lively bowl of Spanish meatballs which also arrived in an individual clay pot with a rich tomato and chorizo sauce (£4.75).
Those of large appetite can have either of these dishes in the large size for £8.95.
The service was unhurried and the atmosphere relaxed and you even get the opportunity to see some top contemporary art after dinner. In fact if you visit quickly you’ll see The conquest of imperfection – actually that could double as the eaterie’s name.
Style: Think French cinema-going.
Cooking: Heavily Mediterranean influenced.
Plus: Freshly cooked and well-presented.
Minus: Everyone seems to have something really important to discuss.
Value: Good value, generous portions.
Cornerhouse is at 70 Oxford Street Manchester, M1 5NH. 0161 200 1500.
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