Ancoats restaurant Erst has been winning fans far and wide since it opened two years ago - and now it has gained the attention of national restaurant critic Jay Rayner.

The critic worked his way through all of the small plates on offer on the "minimalist" Erst menu, with a dripping toast dish even hailed the "George Clooney of garlic breads" by Jay.

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After consuming nine of the dishes on offer, Jay wrote: "The result, in its quiet, unshowy way, is one of the best meals of the year so far; a succession of modestly priced platefuls, which bring on low groans and delicate sighs of happiness"

Grilled carrots with lardo and green sauce at Erst - part of the small plates menu

The Observer review has echoed the sentiments of the MEN's review when the venue first opened, in which food and drink editor Daisy Jackson hailed it: "Manchester's best meal of 2019".

The latest accolade has delighted the owners of Erst, who took to Instagram to share their delight at Jay's superlatives for their hard work.

In the post they said: "Can’t express how happy we are with @jayrayner1 review in today’s observer.

"Thanks to the team for the constant hard work and dedication.

"We’re absolutely buzzing."

Erst's chef patron Patrick Withington

The restaurant, based on Murray Street in Ancoats, could have even more to celebrate tomorrow night in Manchester - as it has been nominated for three awards at the annual Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards.

Erst has been nominated for restaurant of the year as well as the neighbourhood restaurant of the year, while head chef Patrick Withington is up for Chef of the Year.

The awards ceremony will be held at Freight Island for the first time this year, with the full list of winners published here on our CityLife pages on Monday night.

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