LONE WOLF? No way. When the Italian healthy fast food chain opens shortly in Wembley Box Park and Nottingham its venues will number seven. The latest outlet has just opened in the Arndale’s new £11m Halle Place ‘dining quarter’ and Bolton-born boss Tim Entwistle is already eyeing a second Manchester site around Spinningfields.
It’s early days for Halle Place. Still, fuelling pre-Christtmas cheer, the FIZZ! By Frizzenti prosecco bar is up and running, handily placed opposite Entwistle’s operation and imminent neighbour Barburrito, whose trademark burritos will face tasty competition from WOLF’s piadas.
ToM sampled one of these cult wraps from Italy’s Emilia Romagna region and was impressed, though maybe we should have ordered the large rather than standard size of these griddled flatbreads and not insisted on lemon and garlic chicken, falafels and fennel-laced meatballs. There was no room left for rocket or mixed salad as our server strain to wrap the thin crust. The only sauce was pesto, which made it rather but if we had chosen tomato sauce it might have got messy.
How Wolf operates is you pick and mix as you work your way along the counter with pastas, salads and power boxes as alternatives to the piadas. The all-day offering kicks of with smashed avocado and smoked salmon pots, poached or scrambled eggs, frittatas with a choice of toppings and granola, as well as a selection of classic rolls, including egg, bacon and sausage.
Tim’s mantra is “blending traditional Italian street food classics with stimulating new flavours, using the finest ingredients from the best locally sourced suppliers.”
He’s proud that all meats are free range and marinated on site for 24 hours. Seasonal vegetables are sourced daily from local producers and cut and prepped on site. Sauces are home-made, too, the coffee is their own blend and they will also offer a compact selection of Italian beers and wine.
For the opening day his exec chef Valentina Ferrera was up from London, where WOLF started after Tim sold his Italian furniture business. “I’m still learning about the food business,” he told us. “My aim is to combine the bets of traditional Italian flavours with current concerns for healthy eating. Why are we called WOLF? Will it sounds cool and, of course a wolf (lupo on Italian) is tied in with the founding of Rome."
Oh yes, and ToM couldn't resist wolfing that paid.
WOLF, Unit 7 Halle Place, Arndale, Manchester. M4 1AZ. Mon-Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm.