WE love the look of the debut menu at Elnecot, which opens on Wednesday, September 7 in the Ice Plant Building, Cutting Room Square, its commitment to the neighbourhood flagged up by soft launch week opening offers specially for the folk of Ancoats
Chef/co-proprietor Michael Clay’s food offering is divided into Nibbles, Balls, Meat, Fish, Veg and Afters with a small selection of sides. Nibbles include bread with broccoli hummus and crispy pig’s ears with tartare sauce. Balls are meatballs or arancini with mushrooms or smoked haddock. The Meat section features pale ale braised ox cheek with parsnip puree and pesto, pig’s head croquettes with homemade piccalilli and sweetbreads, while in the Fish section try sustainably-caught pollock with cauliflower and apple. The menu also has a broad selection of vegan dishes from disco cauli to aubergine and mint balls with pickled cucumber yoghurt.
If the bar-kitchen’s eclectic mix reflects Clay’s global wanderings as a chef (Melbourne, Auckland, Paris, Berlin after his native Cheshire), equally there’s a strong commitment to local drinks. The house gin will be Manchester 3 Rivers and craft ale will come from the likes of Alphabet Brewing Company and Ticketybrew.
There will also be a concise cocktail menu using seasonal ingredients. Drinks are named after Victorian Manchester gangs – Bengal Tiger, Scuttlers Belt and Meadow Lads. Wine is from local suppliers with a focus on biodynamic and British wines.
At the heart of Elnecot is a 44ft sit at concrete bar that runs into an open kitchen. The long bench tables lend themselves to communal dining and the menu encourages guests to share. Or you could just hang out with a book and a beer at the bar , which will also host quiz nights, vinyl nights and offer space for local artists to exhibit their work.
First recorded in 1212, Elnecot was the original name for the area now known as Ancoats and from this the bar and kitchen will draw inspiration, using traditional methods such as pickling and fermenting and creating dishes to showcase locally sourced and sometimes foraged, seasonal produce.
Michael Clay, pictured above, told us; “We're so excited to create a place for people to come and enjoy great food, great drinks and each other's great company so people can come any time day or evening and feel this place is for them.
“It definitely feels the place to be,” added Michael, who is opening Elnecot in partnership with friend Michael Lever, once of Manchester Food and Drink Festival and now an events manager for Manchester Pride. Indeed, his commitment to Pride means the original opening date of mid-August wasn put back to September.
It looks like it has been worth the wait. Open seven days a week from midday until 11.30pm, it is running soft opening offers for Ancoats residents for the first week. Residents should check their postboxes for information about how they claim opening offers or anyone can register for 15 per cent off online at elnecot.com. Offers will end after the launch party on Thursday, September 14. Anyone who signs up to the newsletter will also be entered into a draw to win tickets to the launch party.