New menu at Canto in Ancoats
Blossom Street, Ancoats
A Simon Shaw restaurant from the team behind El Gato Negro Tapas, Canto opened on Cutting Room Square just over a year ago, originally concentrating on Portuguese cuisine, the menu has evolved into a Mediterranean tapas-style offering. Over that time, the design of the space has also developed with the addition of booth seating, and ornate window frame walls to break up the large restaurant into smaller sections, providing a more intimate experience.
Canto’s autumn 2019 menu is now available offering a variety of small plates categorised under meat, fish, vegetables and petiscos – the Portuguese version of tapas – of which we selected three. The Catalan bread with olive oil, garlic and fresh tomato was crisp and fresh with Mediterranean touches; the mushroom croquetas with black garlic mayo have returned to the menu due to popular demand and worked perfectly with the spinach and cheese croquetas special. Both oozed a velvety filling through a crunchy shell.
For the vegetable selection, we went for the pan fried Tenderstem broccoli with chilli and garlic; the richly soothing polenta, spinach, poached egg and manchego cheese; and the 5 star dish of the meal, caramelised cauliflower with spiced cannellini bean stew. The aroma as this arrived at the table, and the earthy flavours really brought home the autumnal theme. From the meat section we chose another returning favourite: the sumptuous braised pig’s cheek, Iberico ham mash, green kale and chestnuts; and the spicy chicken skewers on flatbread, with a depth of chargrilled smokiness. Whilst I found the skewers slightly salty, the flavour was excellent. Wine-wise we selected a very decent house red (El Tinto de Lela del Mar, Spain, 2018) from the well-chosen wine list.
We shared one dish from the dessert selection: poached pears in mulled wine with rum Chantilly, which offered a taste of Christmas to come and will be a favourite leading up to the festivities. The meal was completed with coffee and a must have pastel de nata; made in house these were a true taste of Portuguese holidays.
Our waiter, Alex, was attentive and knowledgeable; the food delivered in cooking order, with empty plates cleared regularly to make room for the next. We tasted just a few of the delicious options available from a menu that offers a range of dishes from £2.50 to £10.00. Of these, over 70% of the plates are included in the 3 for £15 offer available daily until 6 (and all day Sunday). The additional weekend Tipsy Tapas option (£30) could be a dangerous start to a Saturday in the city!
This new menu has a real taste of the season – autumnal flavours and hints of the festive holidays. With seamless service and a relaxed atmosphere, this is flavoursome food at a high standard, and at a price point that provides a competitive option in this thriving Manchester food hub.
Obrigado pelas memórias de Lisboa!
Garry Thomas-Lowde for Canal St Online.
More about Canto via https://www.cantorestaurant.com/