THIS is Jenn Hargreaves and Sam Morgan, the team behind Fress, a 'Modern Victorian style' bar restaurant due to open on Oldham Street this Friday (June 30). ToM dropped into the former newsagent’s at No 62 (two doors from The Castle) to see how the transformation was going.
Pretty well, we thought. Owner Jenn, once of The Marriott and Albert’s in Worsley, has created a 40-cover, ivory-tiled single floor space with a gorgeous gilt F logo, compact but somehow airy with a small grazeworthy bar at the front. The Victorian influence extends to marble table tops and ornate light-fittings.
Fress is Yiddish for eating ravenously but don’t expect an all you an eat buffet from chef Sam, former chef at the recently shut 1847 vegetarian restaurant. The all-day menu in progress he showed us is full of globally influenced light touches and no dish is over £15.
Expect dishes such as chicken livers on sourdough, octopus, French onion soup, avocado hummus with pomegranate molasses, beetroot and chilli Spätzle dumplings. Veggies are well catered for, too, as you’d expect from Sam’s cv.
Coffee is from the redoubtable Origin, the beers from Caves Direct (expect a rotation of local bottles) and there’s a bijou cocktail list in the pipeline, too.
So not the ‘dirty food’ template the NQ is still awash with. Nearest comparison we can think of is Evelyn’s. We have high hopes for this bold, little indie venture.