Manchester’s dining scene has come on leaps and bounds in the past few years with restaurants that more than hold their own against those in the capital, and now you can add natural wine bars to that list.
Erst, located in the Ancoats area of the city, is the brainchild of friends and co-owners Patrick Withington, Will Sutton and Marcus Saide who have already made a name for themselves with their acclaimed artisan bakery Trove. With Erst they have taken the step into more evening territory, with their venue quickly winning fans for its serving of low-intervention wines and craft beers and selection of small but carefully considered plates.
Erst takes its food as seriously as it does its wine, with many items cooked over a grill. Plates are designed to be shared and range from small wine-friendly bites such as various grilled flatbreads; cured fish; and roasted meats with a sunny European disposition.
The venue has a smart industrial feel to it with a counter area that seats a handful of diners with many of the other seating allowing views of the small open kitchen. In a city known for its nightlife and trendy bars, Erst somehow feels a little bit more grown up – but certainly not in a boring way.