ANCOATS tapas haven Canto has introduced a new Mediterranean-inspired winter menu with some old crowd pleasers back by popular demand for the festive season.
Head chef Carlos Gomes is hoping your personal fave is in there. “When I change the menu, I always get asked ‘where’s my pig’s cheek?’, ‘where are my mushroom croquetas?’ It’s a huge compliment to see guests develop such enthusiasm for a dish, so it’s nice to be able to bring back their favourite dishes from time to time, especially when the season is right,” said Gomes.
Well, look above. Those croquetas (£5) are back, each topped with a tiny black garlic hat, and the rest of the line-up is equally enticing. Just in time for some of them to make it onto the Christmas Menu. Such as peri peri chicken or tenderstem broccoli with chilli and garlic (below)
Well established on Cutting Room Square a year after its launch, Canto is equipped to cater for groups of up to 40 guests. A group set menu is available for parties of seven or more, priced at £30 per head (£5 extra for a welcoming glass of Cava).
Making it on to winter menu proper are spicy chicken skewers served on flatbread (£7). A dish typically enjoyed in southern Portugal, it’s both light and full of flavour, with the harissa providing the skewers with a little kick. Fans of Gomes’ braised pig’s cheek, Iberico ham mash, green kale and chestnuts (£10) will be pleased to see its return.
Taking influence from the shores of Spain and Italy is the grilled sea bream with saffron and pea risotto; another light dish but with a deep and satisfying flavour (£9).
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy the chargrilled sweet potato with white bean puree, mint and orange honey, and toasted pumpkin seeds (£4.50).
Gomes has also introduced two new pudding options – the wintery, warm and sweet carrot cake with white chocolate sauce (£5.50) and poached pears in mulled-wine with rum Chantilly for a little taste of Christmas (£5.50, below).
The dishes are accompanied by a range of new drinks, with guests invited to sip at the bar as well as pop in for a bite to eat. Choose from a selection of new cocktails including Canto’s Old Fashioned (£9.50), Red Vermouth (£6) or Hemingway Daiquiri, featuring rum, maraschino, lime and grapefruit (£8), or settle in for the night with a bottle of one of Canto’s new premium wines and sparklers. A selection of mocktails is also available.
Many of the dishes are also available to be enjoyed as part of Canto’s three for £15 small plate selection, available Wednesday to Saturday until 6pm and all-day Sunday. Or try Canto’s Tipsy Tapas with three selected dishes and unlimited Cava, Bellinis or house wine for 90 minutes and priced at £30 a head 12pm-6pm every Saturday and Sunday.
Canto, Cutting Room Square, Blossom St, Manchester M4 5DH. To make a reservation contact email@example.com or call 0161 870 5904. Canto is open Wedn and Thu 5pm-11pm, Fri and Sat 12pm-12am and Sun 12pm-11pm.