Madrid relived in rainy Marple Bridge, Libby’s restaurant review

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This saturday amidst some weird rain/hail blizzard, Jamie and I headed up to pretty Marple Bridge for a bit of sunshine food.  Yes, yet again I’m talking about tapas!  I think I might be obsessed.  This time we were testing out Libby’s.  By day a bakery and cafe, by night a tapas bar.

Due to it’s popularity we could only book at table at 5.30pm.  We tipped up bang on time and the place was empty.  I was disappointed.  I don’t mind eating early but not in a deserted place!  However, my worries were washed away (not by the crazy rain) but by the swarm of people that literally filled out the place within the next ten minutes.  This is clearly the place to be in Marple Bridge.

The menu instantly got us excited!  A nice combo of traditional tapas with some interesting twists thrown in.  We ordered and waited.  As I’ve waxed lyrical before on this blog – there is something very pleasing in ordering food, forgetting about it and the dishes appearing at different stages of the evening.  I like the suspense and surprise.

First up manchego frito with apple and pear chutney.  Deep fried cheese basically, but a bit classier! This was wolfed down by us. Crunchy coating, gooey cheese, tangy chutney. Winner!

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Manchego frito with apple and pear chutney

Then came the succession of other courses: wild mushroom and tarragon gnocchi – this came in a rich creamy sauce – the mushroom had a lovely intense flavour and the tarragon lifted the whole dish.  Next up – chilli and garlic king prawns – everything you’d expect a fine spanish version of this dish taste of – sweet, warming, tomatoey and delicious (shame about the prawn shells).  And then the true favourite –  slow braised beef cheeks – super sweet, flavourful and melt in the mouth. I’ll gloss over  the duck lasagne which didn’t live up to the rest of the fab dishes – just a bit non descript.  And finally parsnip and sweet potato pancakes – which were quite like bhajis!  They tasted of curry – that is not a criticism though – these were crispy, spicy and sensational.

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Wild mushroom and tarragon gnocchi

 

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Chilli and garlic king prawns
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Slow braised beef cheeks
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Parsnip and sweet potato pancakes

And to top the night off, once we paid the bill our waitress offered us some free bread on the way out.  There was a big shelf of loaves in the corridor that hadn’t been sold during the day.  We greedily helped ourselves to an enormous loaf of sourdough (I’ve been eating it today – so good!).

If you get the chance, do check Libby’s out.  It’s a delightful buzzy little venue, the staff are superb and the food (duck lasagne aside) is exceptional.

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