Guide

The North West’s Best Fine Dining Restaurants

Looking for something a bit fancy? White tablecloths, complicated plates and tasting menus your thing? Perhaps a little natter with the sommelier about the virtues of Burgundian Chardonnay? Maybe you just want to put a shirt/frock on and show off a little. No matter what the reason, below we’ve listed the 20 best fine dining restaurants in the North West.

The sea buckthorn is fantastic this year, don’t you think?

 

  • 1 Book Now Cumbria

    L’Enclume

    Modern British

    One of the UK’s best restaurants. Executive chef Simon Rogan’s simple, imaginative restaurant typically exceeds its formidable reputation, serving florid takes on foraged ingredients and food sourced from the restaurant’s own 12-acre farm. After more than 15 years in the kitchen and a number of changes of direction, the menu, cooked by head chef Paul Burgalières, is a showcase for Rogan’s iconic style. Lunch and dinner menus which include anything from 8 to 16 courses waltz with the seasons.

    More details
  • 2 Book Now Lancashire

    Moor Hall

    Modern British

    Mark Birchall, ex-head chef at L’Enclume is chef-patron of this outstanding two Michelin star, 5 AA Rosette restaurant with rooms. The large, Grade II-listed manor house in this flat and lush part of the country dates back to the 14th century and its located in acres of ground that takes in a country garden, lake, kitchen gardens and a whole lot more. Birchall’s backers and co-owners, the Bells, haven’t scrimped on the investment – and their head chef is a safe bet. Having trained at the three star El Celler de Can Roca in Girona (twice voted the best restaurant in the world), he went on to win the Roux scholarship in 2011. The Roca brothers have had a big impact on Mark Birchall and Moor Hall is benefiting from the experience.

    More details
  • 3 Book Now Leeds

    The Man Behind the Curtain

    Modern British

    New look, same, wild styling from the Michelin-starred, glam rock loving superstar. In 2018, chef-patron Michael O’Hare upped sticks from the Flannels department store attic where he made his name with Man Behind the Curtain and moved into the basement of the same building. His inaugural restaurant enjoyed a £1.1million bespoke fit-out along the way. Think custom designed kitchen, lavish natural materials and robot toilets. Just as the restaurant’s namesake The Wizard of Oz ordered, the interior fittings conspire to create a disorientating atmosphere. The tasting menu could include a miniature bun in a nuclear launch button shade of red, filled with XO-sauced veal pancreas or a lava-ish langoustine tartare, glowing with green parsley oil. Vinegar-packed Iberico pork, garlic and almond enjoys Pollock-esque presentation, while Emancipation – O’Hare’s Great British Menu winning fish dish – is a beacon of white cod surrounded by black. Black crockery, black dashi, and a summit of black vinegar powder. Wines are thrilling – yet the question remains: how do you continue subverting expectations when being subversive is your whole schtick? The new room might take you out of your comfort zone, but O’Hare remains within his, which will continue to please fans and newcomers alike.

    More details
  • 4 Book Now Yorkshire

    The Moorcock

    Modern British

    An astonishing arrival on the Northern culinary scene. This unassuming pub serves foraged and regional ingredients in thrilling configurations, catching the eye of national food critics and diners alike. The menu could include crispy fish skin and tarts of foraged berries, wood-roasted goat, leeks with new season garlic and pickled plums, homemade black pudding, roasted beeswax ice cream and cascades of herbs and leaves that go way beyond plate dressing.

    More details
  • 5 Book Now Merseyside

    Fraiche

    Modern British

    Merseyside’s fine dining star. This tiny restaurant is home to an artist behind the pass. Having been rated as a ‘rising star’ by the Michelin guide in 2006 and 2007, the restaurant finally secured the real thing which in 2009 which Francophile Marc Wilkinson has since upheld with ease. The signature menu starts as it means to go on, an almond gazpacho with cherry and asparagus introducing the kind of flavour trickery on offer. Dishes are deceptively listed – Gressingham duck, cocoa crisp, and kohlrabi, for example, or carrot textures, feta, and pain d’épice – which belies the molecular tricks at the core of Wilkinson’s style. Even so, the cooking is characterised by pleasure, which also applies to the remarkably reasonable wine list. With bottles from around £20, it’s affordable – even the ‘fine selection’ with Burgundy from around £60. Expect cooking inspired by France’s bleeding edge in this unique space. Commissioned glass sculptures and suede are themes; strangely, it works. Fans will be pleased to know that Ben Mounsey, formerly of Fraiche, joined another Top 100 Manchester entry, Grafene, as head chef in 2018.

    More details
  • 6 Book Now Manchester

    Adam Reid at The French

    Modern British

    Culinary rock’n’roll from Simon Rogan’s protege, Adam Reid. Enjoy fine dining in Grade II listed Victorian surrounds – with a side order of Mancunian attitude. The soundtrack (which could include The Beatles and Oasis) is drawn from Reid’s personal playlist and sets a cool scene for pin-sharp creations. The tasting menu could include salt-aged duck with acidic cherry sauce, or soft raw scallops with buttermilk gel and flowers plucked from the roof-top garden.

    More details
  • Box Tree
    8 Book Now Yorkshire

    The Box Tree

    Modern British

    High-end cooking in a 300-year-old farmhouse. While there’s been a restaurant on this site for more than 50 years, owner-proprietor team Simon and Rena Gueller keep things firmly up to date at Ilkley’s picture-perfect Box Tree. Expect a contemporary take on classical French cooking at a restaurant which has seen famous chefs like Marco Pierre White behind the pass. The two restaurant rooms are famous for their art and antiques; this is an extremely plush Yorkshire stone farmhouse, dating back 300 years. Food – and wine – is the real draw though – and the restaurant was one of the first in the UK to be awarded a Michelin star, which has retained.

    More details
  • 9 Book Now Manchester

    Where the Light Gets In

    Modern British

    The UK’s most exciting ‘no menu’ restaurant. With no menu, esoteric wines and Michelin star price tag, WTLGI doesn’t adhere to the typical fine dining formula. But it’s been a success for Stockport, thanks to chef-patron Sam Buckley’s belief in doing things his own way. His aim is to create ‘a dining experience from the day’s catch, harvest and slaughter’ and to treat staff ethically and as part of the restaurant’s collective consciousness.

    More details
  • 11 Book Now Lancashire

    The White Swan at Fence

    British

    Some folk in the village stlll refer to it as “The Mucky Duck’ and you can still order a pint of Timothy Taylor’s at its very pubby bar but over the past three years the Swan has established itself as a destination fine dining spot thanks to 20something chef Tom Parker. From up the road in Burnley, at 16 he begged a start at Michelin-starred Northcote, becoming a protégé of Lisa Allen and scooping a Young Chef of the Year award. That prodigious talent is evident throughout the short menus here, which change daily on the back of produce turning up on his doorstep.

    More details
  • 12 Book Now Leeds

    Home

    Modern British

    Inspired British cooking from Masterchef graduates. Home is the brainchild of Masterchef finalist Liz Cottam, and business partner Mark Owens, formerly head chef at Ilkley’s veteran Michelin star, The Box Tree (also in our Top 100). While Home has only been Home, so to speak, since 2017, this compact British restaurant is already a favourite of national food critics. Follow a trail of tea lights up several floors into a moody room, filled with simple creature comforts. Crisp white table clothes set the scene for five lunchtime or ten evening courses. A genuine Northern light.

    More details
  • 13 Book Now Cumbria

    The Forest Side

    Modern British

    Another Rogan protégé comes into his own. This Michelin-starred restaurant and hotel, owned by Lakes hotelier Andrew Wildsmith, is built around the cooking of former L’Enclume forager, Kevin Tickle. The menu is, undoubtedly, “inspired by the Cumbrian landscape”, but there’s plenty more going on here, with aspects of Scandi and Californian chic creeping into the tasting and lunch menus. While adventurous meat eaters are very well catered for, vegetarians are certainly not left out. In fact, ‘garden shenanigans’ are a theme as lovage, anise hyssop, woodruff, lemon verbena all typically feature along with wild garlic capers, elderflower and coastal greens.

    More details
  • 14 Book Now Liverpool

    Roski

    Modern British

    Wild child of a restaurant from the former Michelin star winning Masterchef winner. Roski may well bring Liverpool its first Michelin star, thanks to the balls-out cooking of former MasterChef: The Professionals winner, Anton Piotrowski. Gracious in joint victory with Keri Moss, he substantiated his credentials at Devon’s Treby Arms pub earning a Michelin star after being told it could never happen. His Liverpool restaurant takes on the former Pushka site and it’s a simple, elegant space. White tablecloths and gentle lighting places the focus firmly on the food. Food-wise, choose from a selection of five and seven course tasting menus, littered with invention. Dishes include shards of dehydrated carrot flecked with Thai flavours, and Piotrowski’s take on Liverpool’s signature dish, scouse, here taking the form of a tower topped with crisped fermented turnip, sprinkled with parsley dust, a layer of smoked vegetables, locally bred beef brisket aged for 100 days, infused with Norwegian spices and caramelised onion and served with beef knuckle marrow gravy. Tiny, crisp ants are served with the seared scallop, and names are fun too: Olympic Breakfast, for example and Piotroski’s Gone Carrots (his Masterchef winning dish), actually a take carrot cake, presented in a tiny plastic flowerpot, with crumbly chocolate soil and a real baby carrot. Dig into the soft, light carroty sponge for layers of cream. Wines are worldly. Thrilling stuff.

    More details
  • 18 Book Now Cumbria

    Lake Road Kitchen

    European

    A wild-maned toddler of a restaurant, bound for great things. Lake Road Kitchen is an exciting place to eat. The baby of former Samling chef, James Cross, is one of the leading lights in the Lakes foraging trend, serving mostly food grown in Cumbria, as well as aged retired Dairy Holstein txuleta (steak). A whole cauliflower, steeped in pine and goat butter is one of Cross’s signature dishes from a tasting menu that clocks in at £65 a head for five courses, or £90 for eight. Swoon over the texture, pick the pine needles out of your teeth after. Homemade goat yoghurt offers inspired contrast. Pickled, roasted and raw heritage carrots are another salve as the small team strut about, full of foraged facts. Meaty mains draw on a winter palate that could include vension (Holker Estate fallow deer), Norweigan salmon, arctic cloudberries and black winter truffles. Desserts could include baked sweet woodruff custard and sour cherry crumble while iconic Northern European cheeses such as aged Comte and oozy Berthaut’s Epoisse cheese are offered with homemade sourdough and homemade ‘virgin’ butter (including the curds and whey). Wines from the Northern European region could include white Furmint, Slovenian varietals and British sparklers.

    More details
  • 21 Book Now Lancashire

    Northcote

    Modern British

    This elegant dining room is where chef-patron, Nigel Haworth, earned his stripes as an instigator of contemporary British fine dining. Today, Michelin star chef and one of BBC2’s Great British Menu winners, Lisa Allen, heads up the kitchen. Expect a roving, regional smorgasbord, tempered with classic techniques and contemporary flavours. Things have changed on the looks front and following a huge cash injection, the surroundings are light and sumptuous, which is part of the allure – not least to Michelin inspectors. There’s a private dining room sponsored by Louis Roederer and the cellar, complete with some exceptional New World options, is fit for the pickiest of tasters. Bottles are hand-picked by Northcote co-founder and expert sommelier, Craig Bancroft.

    More details
  • 20 Book Now Yorkshire

    Jöro

    Scandi

    Nordic-inspired fine dining inside a shipping container. Jöro opened the doors of its permanent shipping-container location in early 2017. However, it’s already secured a accolades and fawning reviews galore, including a clutch of AA Rosettes and Michelin Bib Gourmand. Headed by chef Luke French, the concise, Nordic-inspired menu continues the up-cycling ethos of the building structure by delivering often unassuming ingredients with vision and ingenuity.

    More details
  • 22 Book Now Yorkshire

    Arras

    Modern British

    Husband and wife team, Adam and Lovaine Humphrey have moved their modern British (ish) restaurant Arras from Sydney, Australia to York, England – and the north has reaped the benefits. Artistic configurations of thoughtfully sourced ingredients, great cheese and bread are served in a casual space decorated with murals (be warned: they’re a bit of a Marmite thing). Lunch is great value coming in typically under £25 for three courses, but the ‘kitchen’ (tasting) menu is not much more.

    More details
  • 24 Book Now Yorkshire

    The Burlington at the Devonshire Arms

    Modern British

    Fine dining and extraordinary wine in the hills. This extremely plush restaurant is an established proving ground for new British chefs. Two Michelin star guru, Michael Wignall, was in residence before he moved to The Latymer (and, recently, The Angel at Hetton) while current resident, Paul Leonard, fresh off the boat from Michelin-starred Isle of Eriska, is a comparable craftsman. The hotel and restaurant are set in ye olde English country gardens and form part of the Duke of Devonshire’s 30,000 acre Bolton Abbey estate. While it may be a tourist hotspot, cooking is as wild as Modern British comes with a number of ingredients and techniques you’d be wise to Google in advance. Flights of fancy from the ‘basic’ tasting menu could include cured duck’s liver with plum and duck ham, while a dish of turbot, mussels and champagne is a marine highlight. Leonard’s signature menu channels nature’s bounty through combinations like salt-baked beetroot with smoky cod’s roe and sheep’s yoghurt or pork cheek with langoustine and sea kale. Such artistry on the plate works in harmony with designer silverware and architectural notations on the walls. With desserts pairing blood orange and pistachio or milk chocolate mousse, coffee and barley, on top of an imaginative cheese board and petit fours, this is special occasion central. Wines are another draw: choose from over 2500 bins tended by the masterful Spencer Brown.

    More details
  • 28 Book Now Liverpool

    The Art School

    Modern British

    Upmarket, regionally-inspired cooking from local legend, Paul Askew. Opening in late 2014, this fancy contemporary British restaurant is a place for that special occasion. Since moving on from London Carriage Works, Askew’s clearly been out to make his mark, winning two AA rosettes and publishing his first cookbook in December 2017. The setting is the skylight clad top floor of a children’s home dating back to 1888. An AA Notable Wine Award in 2017 completes the wow-some picture.

    More details

Search

splash advert