Ahead of this year’s annual MICHELIN Guide Ceremony which will be held on Monday 27th March, organisers of the MICHELIN Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2023 have revealed that 20 restaurants across the UK have been newly awarded a Bib Gourmand.

Named after ‘Bibendum’ – the official name of the Michelin Man mascot – the Bib Gourmand distinction highlights restaurants offering great quality cooking at great value for money.

The Spärrows is the only new addition to the Guide from the North West. The appealing Eastern European restaurant is nestled under the railway arches at Red Bank in Manchester’s Green Quarter. Dishes have a strong South Tyrolian influence and customers have been flocking there for delicious handmade pasta dishes and dumplings in a cosy almost Zen like setting.

The Spärrows, co-owned by Kasia Hitchcock and chef Franco Concli also offers pelimeni (stuffed Russian dumplings), handmade Polish pierogi and Tyrolese goulash (milder than it’s fiery paprika-laden Hungarian cousin) along with Austrian and Japanese wines. Wine expert Kasia is Polish and Franco is from Trentino in the very north of Italy, which shares food influences with neighbours Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

The restaurant, which has just marked its fourth anniversary, is named after their signature dish, Spätzle, which translates as ‘sparrows’ because when the fresh wet dough hits the hot water, they spread out and look like flying birds.

“With 20 new Bib Gourmand restaurants joining the 2023 edition of the MICHELIN Guide Great Britain & Ireland, our inspectors have spotlighted establishments that stand out for their fine and generous cooking across a diverse range of styles; places that really deserve to be known by gourmets looking for good quality, good value cooking,” says Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guides. “As chefs in Great Britain & Ireland face rising day-to-day costs – from the raw ingredients they purchase to the energy they use to keep their kitchens and restaurants running – it is heartening to see many of them also finding inventive ways to create affordable menus and keep costs down for their guests, while still offering creative and exciting culinary experiences.”

In 2022, sixteen Greater Manchester restaurants earned an entry into the prestigious guide, down from nineteen the previous year. These included Prestwich restaurant OSMA, Simon Shaw’s Middle Eastern restaurant, Habas, and District, on Oldham Street in the Northern Quarter which sadly closed later that year. Simon Shaw’s other restaurants Canto in Ancoats and El Gato Negro on King Street are also holders of a Bib Gourmand with the latter hoping to retain its award for the seventh year running.

Other local restaurants which were awarded a Bib last year included Adam Reid at The French, Tast, Erst, 63 Degrees, Perfect Match in Sale, Levanter in Ramsbottom, White Hart Inn in Saddleworth, and Borage in Bowden. The Bull & Bear at The Stock Exchange Hotel was also included under a team spearheaded by chef Tom Kerridge who disconnected from the partnership at the end of 2022. It reopened as The Stock Market grill, under the management of the Schofield’s Bar team, in March 2023 which is likely to be too late to have gone through the judging process for 2023.

In 2022 Mana in Ancoats was the first Manchester restaurant to be awarded a Michelin Star for forty years, while esteemed Stockport restaurant Where The Light Gets In was given a Green Michelin Star, a relatively new accolade which is awarded to restaurants that are best in class when it comes to sustainable practices.

The full online listings for the Bib Gourmand restaurants will be updated in the evening of 27th March, following the Great Britain & Ireland 2023 MICHELIN Guide Ceremony, when all the new MICHELIN Stars, Green Stars and Special Awards will be announced.


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