'Classic cocktails, natural wine that doesn’t scare you off, beer that matters and seasonal food with the best produce we can get our hands on,' declares 10 Tib Lane’s website – and that perfectly sums up the dining experience at this laid back yet sophisticated gem of a restaurant in a tall, narrow Grade II-listed building tucked away near Manchester’s Albert Square.
As well as the ever-popular Cumbrae oysters with piquant mignonette sauce, seasonal small plates on our visit showcased some stunning summery produce, from a light, zingy, beautifully presented dish of monkfish crudo with oyster leaf, zesty orange, lovage oil and chilli, to a mustardy steak tartare served with an intense beef fat mayonnaise and huge, lightly salted crisps to scoop up the tender chopped beef.
Larger dishes included a juicy French trimmed pork chop with sharp, crunchy apple slaw to cut through the richness of the meat, while a hearty onglet steak was served perfectly rare and dotted with salt flakes, the thick, beefy slices served simply with a jug of glorious glossy red wine sauce. A side of crushed pink fir apple potatoes soaked up the meaty juices nicely, with a herbed butter adding a welcome hit of freshness. Dessert was a raspberry and thyme crème brûlée, and it delivered the desired blend of crunch and custardy comfort to finish dinner in style without being too heavy.
The reasonably priced menu also features a superb value light lunch option as well as a simple Sunday roast, while a concise, France-heavy wine list offers ample choice by the glass as well as bottle along with a small selection of draught and bottled beers. An enticing cocktail list that encourages guests to linger into the evening includes classics alongside more inventive creations.
With its friendly service and a confident, fuss-free menu devoid of any gimmicks, 10 Tib Lane manages to feel both informal yet special.