To be Perfectly Frank : A Valentine’s Day review of Escape to Freight Island
Hold onto your hats and polish off your dancing shoes. On Sunday 13th Feb, Escape to Freight Island hosted a Valentine’s Special dinner and dance, billed as a tribute to the (always swoony) music of Frank Sinatra. Perfectly Frank brought a touch of class to Valentine’s Day. The evening saw two sittings of dinner, with entertainment beginning at 7:30pm. Baratxuri – Freight Island’s Basque-inspired restaurant- provided the sumptuous 2 course dinner, along with welcome cocktails and house wine. Last week, I attended the preview of Baratxuri’s dinner and experienced the exclusive menu.
Escape to Freight Island boasts some of Manchester’s most popular restaurants, and an atmospheric venue. It’s the perfect place for a slightly cooler evening that will still impress the parents/boyfriend/dog (yes, friendly canines are welcome at Freight Island!). The atmosphere midweek is markedly quieter but the live music of New Orleans inspired King Brasstards kept our spirits high. We started with two complimentary cocktails called ‘Cupid’s choice’, a tasty blend of sauvignon blanc, orange liquor, Aperol and soda water. The perfect choice to accompany quite a rich meal, the cocktails were as crisp as a February afternoon.
Moving onto the food now, the results of a Basque/English love affair. Our first course was El Champinon, a surprisingly hearty dish. The mushroom and crisp bread make for a gorgeously layered starter, garlic sauce providing a welcome sharpness. We followed this with Milhojas, a savoury take on the patisserie favourite. Although the apple and flaky pastry complimented each other well, the blue cheese may prove too heavy-handed for some. We enjoyed a dish of baby leeks, which does not appear on the menu for Valentines, but is a must-try at the restaurant anyway. The peppery creamy orange sauce was Baratxuri at its finest.
For mains, we had the Coliflor, which turned out to be a well grilled half-head of cauliflower, swimming in a spicy sauce. The creamy butterbeans and cracking almonds added to the texture of this dish, which for vegetarians, is bound to be an instant hit. Similarly, the Cordero Lechal was a favourite, the lamb being soft as tissue. The milk-fed Pyrenees lamb was served with a rich gravy, and grilled chard and savoy- by the end of the meal we were stuffed like olives! Unfortunately the desserts left us cold, striking us as overdressed versions of supermarket basics. However, those with more of a sweet tooth may have enjoyed the tangy lemon eclairs and salted caramel flavours more.
As a whole, the meal was a delight- the perfect warming dinner to soothe these cold February days. Baratxuri is a restaurant sure to leave your heart feeling as full as your stomach.
Escape to Freight Island is taking bookings now