Libertine

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor
Ian Jones

This venue is permanently closed. Find other nearby venues.

A new restaurant from the culinary whizzes behind Cottonopolis and Edinburgh Castle, two of the city centre’s best restaurants? Sign me up. This brand new spot takes over an old bank in the heart of Withington, transforming it from an elegant but not especially fun venue, into a welcoming destination, ideal for drinking and dining late into the night.

It’s full of intriguing areas: a dimly-lit date-night room, outdoor seating and the main space with a ceiling as high as the Sistine Chapel. It’s certainly not your average identikit new restaurant so the food needs to be special to live up to this. Happily, it is.

The menu is geared toward sharing, with a small plates section and the more substantial ‘Fire’, which offers items cooked on the charcoal/wood grill, not forgetting a pizza section. The menu looks to be designed to be refreshed every few weeks, offering up specials and new seasonal items.

The coal fire flatbread is a great example of what the kitchen team are capable of. It sounds simple enough – it’s just bread – but the addition of yeast butter means a glorious umami taste runs through the entire thing, then it’s scattered with Prosociano, a dairy-free vegan take of parmesan, indistinguishable from the real thing.

Smoked Jersey royals make for a satisfying carb option, covered with rosemary salt, chives and an oil made from ancho chilis. It’s an unshowy plate, but a must-try, either as a snack in its own right or to go alongside one of the heavier plates.

Which brings us to the oak smoked pork belly, which undoubtedly belongs in the South Manchester food hall of fame. It’s all bold reds, thanks to the harissa honey smothered thickly over the plump chunks of pork belly; then for texture, crackling. It’s an inspired combination. If you eat meat, you need to eat this at least once.

However, non-meat-eaters are well served, thanks to ashed asparagus and coal fire leeks (delicious, but can some boffin please genetically modify a leek to cut in half like a normal vegetable?) but especially the roast cauliflower, from the fire section. It’s an imposing vegetable at the best of times, but perch it on top of some dark dhal makhani (with some ashes from the fire swirled in for good measure) and cucumber labneh and you’ve got arguably the most filling and aromatic dish on the menu.

Other than the exceptional food, the drinks are superb and the staff a delight to engage with. If you live in Withington you now have a destination restaurant to shout about, and if you don’t, time to hop on a tram and see what all the fuss is about.

Withington Library, WithingtonManchester M20 3BQ View map
Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • Monday12:00pm - 11:30pm
  • Tuesday12:00pm - 11:30pm
  • Wednesday12:00pm - 11:30pm
  • Thursday12:00pm - 11:30pm
  • Friday12:00pm - 11:30pm
  • Saturday10:00am - 11:30pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Libertine

OUTDOOR ART CLUB AT THE WHITWORTH
Until
ChildrensManchester
Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth

Enjoy fun and creative activities designed to encourage your little ones to play freely in the fresh air, while exploring nature and the outdoors with family and friends.

free entry
Idles by Daniel Topete, image couresy of SONIC PR
MusicManchester
Idles at The Apollo

Taking the power of love on the road, IDLES bring their latest album TANGK, their most ambitious and striking record yet, to Manchester.

from £42.15

Where to go near Libertine

Manchester
Restaurant
Fuel Cafe

Withington is home to Fuel Cafe, who serve only vegetarian and vegan food, as well as hosting quiz nights and lively open mics. They are well known for their hangover busting, meat free, full breakfast menu, and the decor is pleasantly found-object-eclectic.

Manchester
Restaurant
Ice Shack

The first all-vegan desserts parlour in the North, also sold at high-profile venues such as the Deaf Institute, Greens, Croma and more.

City Centre
Restaurant
Monkey Trio

Manchester’s first ever Japanese sake bar, Monkey Trio, is unique in the city. Visit for an evening of quiet luxury.

Manchester
Café or Coffee Shop
Fallow Cafe

Cafe, bar, and live music venue in Fallowfield. Also hosts regular film nights and literature events.

A Taste of Honey
Manchester
Café or Coffee Shop
A Taste of Honey

A Taste Of Honey is a charming deli (and CBD store) based in West Didsbury on the popular Burton Road.

Culture Guides