Tue. May 17th, 2022

Ancoats is often hailed as one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world right now with its plentiful range of hipster bars, whimsical concept cafes and home to Manchester’s first Michelin-starred restaurant in decades amidst the regenerated mills and cobbled streets.

Now it can also claim to be home to “Manchester’s first record hut” in the form of Lazy Tony’s Lasagneria – dedicated, as the title suggests, to oozing freshly made plates of the finest baked pasta goodies.

This place is an intriguing suggestion if you can find what is hidden on the outer, unentrified edges of Ancoats along Radium Street, where tangled weeds and barbed wire still sprout from old warehouses yet to be imagined.

READ MORE:Why Morrisons on Piccadilly Gardens has become one of Manchester’s most popular lunch spots

The only thing guiding you is a neon flashing “Lasagne” sign shining high on a brick wall.

The flashing red Lasagne sign shows the way to Lazy Tony’s Lasagneria

When Lazy Tony’s sells out of its goods, which is happening way too fast now that word of mouth has turned this place into a hot foodie ticket, “No” comes to burst into life on neon to warn you that there are no more plates inside.

Given Ancoat’s roots as Manchester’s “Little Italy”, it seems fitting that a store dedicated to the aged pasta dish in each Nonna’s cookbook would pop up here, with its freshly baked production line of classic beef ragasagne, a chicken alfredo or even a vegan plate Thursday through Sunday .

On weekends, you may find a feverish crowd waiting for their turn for a lasagna plate or eating at the pop-up bar next to the Block 23 building from Lazy Tony’s neighbors at Witch King Rum.

But on a cold and rainy Thursday night, you may be the only soul wandering in these cobblestones, wondering if you have taken a wrong turn in the pursuit of your cheesy carbohydrate fantasy.

Lasagne plates – bought for takeaway from Lazy Tony’s Lasagneria in Ancoats

I was the lonely soul approaching me the flashing lasagne neon, to find a scratched message on a metal door that gave a cell phone number to “call for lasagna”.

After seeing how quickly these things sell out on his Instagram page, I had taken the precaution of ordering online and called the number on the door to warn the lasagna gods about my presence outside.

Ten minutes of walking on the cobblestones later, the door swings open with a gentleman dressed in the pulsating retro-red Lazy Tony’s branding to send two large paper bags into my hands.

I hurry back to my friend’s house to unpack the goodies, and the first thing to say is that as a takeaway dish, these things travel well.

Solid melting mozzarella sticks (£ 6)

After 18 months of lockdown, it has become an essential part of the new normal to know which kitchen performs best in takeaway packaging.

But what we did not quite nail so well was the amount of food two of us would require here. Let me warn you – it’s all very, very big.

Incredibly, I thought it would be a good idea for both of us to have a serving of the mozzarella sticks (£ 6 for three in a serving).

When you can actually eat more than one of these big, oozing, melting cheesy bad boys in one sitting, you win.

We especially liked them with the crisp white garlic dip to combat the huge cheese, but you can also opt for a chili marinara or white truffle honey.

We also gave the chicken fingers (£ 6) a whirl – again the portion size was enough for a main meal with three large meaty fingers in a solid crunchy coating.

But clearly the main event was always the pasta.

Alfredo chicken plate (£ 10)

We choose a slice of the classic plate and the chicken alfredo (both £ 10), which we slid on plates from their metal trays, even though none of them looked quite as towering in the flesh as the instagram photos might think.

Both, however, delivered chic, contrasting flavor hits, with the rich spices in sauces melting together in the five layers of pasta and rounded off with the ultimate in lasagne excellence – a satisfying crispy cheese crust on top.

The chicken plate with brisket roasted in a tarragon and white pepper creamy alfredo sauce offered a warm marriage with mustard heat, and was it also a touch of nutmeg in there?

The classic plate, meanwhile, was a most satisfying wodge of classic beef, pork and pancetta sauce in a rich San Marzano tomato sauce.

Classic plate £ 10 from Lazy Tony’s Lasagneria

With a “secret herbal and spice mix”, the flavors end with the parmesan bechamel on top that gives it such a satisfying crunch.

Oh, and yes, so that I should not forget it, I also thought it would be a good idea to add to this carb party with some of the pesto mac and cheese (£ 8) on the side.

My waistband was not impressed, but I’m still terribly glad I took this one anyway. It was one of the highlights of a fantastic takeaway move, the fresh pesto threaded through the mound of cheese-fried macaroni to give a satisfying shot of fragrant basil.

Somehow I still found room at the end of all this to squeeze a square of Lazy Tony’s homemade tiramisu (£ 5).

I’ve heard their bragging that this is “unofficially officially the best tiramisu in the world”. I do not quite know which authority you should turn to to make it official, but I would say that they have a strong case here.

I could not be sure if they used mascarpone or cream cheese to create the densely rounded flavor here, but married to a rich cocoa-infused layering, it was just as fine a specimen of tiramisu as I have eaten in Manchester – and that perfect last dairy bloom for this party.

The good news for those as lazy as the album’s shack title would suggest is that they are now delivering (via Deliveroo and Foodstuff) as well as the curb collection that launched the business back in April.

And they have recently announced a formal pop-up event for their lasagnas, which will also be served (on actual plates) at the Foundation in the Northern Quarter.

But personally, I quite enjoyed taking the more meandering cobbled backstreet route to find this new nugget of joy on Ancoat’s budding foodie scene.

Lazy Tony’s Lasagneria, 23 Radium Street, Ancoats, M4 6AY / Open Thursday to Sunday 5pm to 9pm / lazytonys.com

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