Baratxuri at Escape to Freight IslandSpanish
Fire takes centre stage at Baratxuri (pronounced “barachurri”) inside the Ticket Hall at Escape to Freight Island, with Basque wood-fired ovens and guests seated around a huge wood fire grill, on which much of the “asado” section of the northern Spanish-inspired menu is cooked.
Escape to Freight Island recommends booking into Baratxuri if it’s more of an intimate dining experience you’re after, as both table service and menu are exclusive. Food takes its cue from the San Sebastian-Bilbao-Santander part of Spain, tucked into the far corner of the Bay of Biscay, and is cooked over flame, smoke and embers. Those asado dishes include various cuts of beef, whole turbot to share and Iberian pork steak with Palourde clams baked in the coals. The “raciones” are tapas-style small plates, and where you’ll find more seafood plus the vegetarian and vegan picks: from salt cod kroketas to cauliflower bravas. The charcuterie lists different Basque artisan cured meats and cheese; think acorn-fed ham and unpasteurised ewe’s milk numbers. “Para picar” are pintxo-sized snacks: tasty morsels of bread, olives, Padron peppers, boquerone anchovies and more. It’s a menu perfect for dipping in and out of different styles and flavours, but don’t forget to leave a little space for “postres”: cheesecake and flourless tarts are worth your attention. “Pairs beautifully with Pedro Ximenez”, we’re told – in fact, there’s a good spread of sherries for before, during and after your meal.
Since you ask, baratxuri (the Basque spelling) means – according to co-owner, with husband Joe, Fiona Botham – wild garlic. Ramsbottom – where the original Baratxuri is located – apparently means “valley of the wild garlic”.
Find Baratxuri at Escape to Freight Island in Confidentials’ “Best things to eat in Manchester” column.
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