CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cheshire Life today click here

Restaurant review - Caffe Grande Piccolino, Manchester

PUBLISHED: 00:00 29 September 2017

Burrata con Panzanella

Burrata con Panzanella

not Archant

The good life, Italian style, is alive and kicking, writes Louise Allen-Taylor

Caffe Grande, owned by Piccolino, offers fabulous Italian food in a chic contemporary setting in the heart of city centre ManchesterCaffe Grande, owned by Piccolino, offers fabulous Italian food in a chic contemporary setting in the heart of city centre Manchester

Style is, as we all know, something the Italians do very well. The French have style too, of course, but the Italian version comes with warmth and heart and that is what branches of Piccolino have to offer: fabulous food served in chic surroundings by staff who make diners feel like they’re part of the family.

This applies particularly to their beautiful flagship restaurant Caffe Grande in central Manchester. This was always my favourite Piccolino. In the shadow of the Town Hall it offered a setting like those local bars in the backstreets of Naples and Milan: deep red leather seats, dark wood and a touch of masculinity to the decor. So I was a little perturbed when I heard a few months ago that this Piccolino had undergone a major facelift.

I booked in with a couple of friends for dinner on a warm Thursday night at the end of August. There was more than a touch of “la dolce vita” about the experience. Caffe Grande is about twice the size of the original version and they’ve upped the elegance with a touch of Art Deco styling: chandeliers, chrome and mirrors. It’s so tasteful, not blingy in the least.

We began at the bar area with a couple of glasses of sparkling Rose Royal (£36 bottle) which certainly put the pink in our cheeks. We then took our seats in a comfortable leather booth and spent a good 20 minutes perusing the menu: would it be pasta, risotto, fish (plenty of choice) or something hearty and heavier like steak or pizza?

These are the dishes we chose and heartily recommend: Ravioli Granchio (£9.75 as a starter). This was soft pasta parcels filled with crab and lobster with a delicious wine-based sauce. Gamberoni (£9.25) gave my friend King prawns, chilli and lemon with toasted ciabatta. The prawns were succulent, so fresh and juicy, the chilli had a subtle head and really complimented the dish.

For mains, I enjoyed Dover sole (£31). It was tender, subtly flavoured with a few olives and lemon. Across the table a 225g ribeye steak with peppercorn sauce (£20.50) was being devoured. She described it as having meat that melts in the mouth and being cooked perfectly at medium rare. She also enjoyed a side of broccoletti (£4.25).

Star dessert was probably tortino al cioccolato (£6.50) a warm chocolate fondant with salted caramel ice cream. I had a spoonful and it was pretty special. But, as ever, the Piccolino tiramisu (£6.75) was my choice and it was perfect. Throughout we shared a bottle of dry, lemony Sauvignon Blanc Mastri (£26.25).

La dolce vita is alive and kicking just off Albert Square.

Caffe Grande Piccolino, 8 Clarence Street, Manchester, M2 4DW. 0161 835 9860

www.individualrestaurants.com

More from Food & Drink

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Weep no more wine fans, we may face high prices for our favourite tipple as a result of Brexit but we always have our home-grown vintages to fall back on.

Read more
Carden Park
Friday, October 6, 2017

Mere Brook House at Thornton Hough on the Wirral is a high-end B&B with a difference, discovers Martin Pilkington

Read more
Luxury Break Wirral
Friday, October 6, 2017

He’s an actor and a pub owner so who better to take over the restaurant at the Royal Exchange Theatre? Rupert Hill is more than ready for the challenge, as Janet Reeder discovers

Read more
Manchester Restaurants
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Great offers on food and drink at Allium by Mark Ellis over autumn until December.

Read more
Friday, September 29, 2017

The good life, Italian style, is alive and kicking, writes Louise Allen-Taylor

Read more
Manchester Restaurants
Thursday, September 28, 2017

When Olympians Liam Phillips, Jessica Varnish and Fran Halsall joined forces to launch a coffee shop, Common Ground in Altrincham, there was only ever going to be one result, writes Kate Houghton.

Read more
Cafes Altrincham
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Private dining takes on a new element at the chic award-winning King Street Townhouse in Manchester, writes Louise Allen-Taylor

Read more
Manchester Restaurants
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Now taking bookings for Christmas & New Year!

Read more
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mark Ellis was one of the stars of BBC’s Great British Menu, and the head chef at Peckforton Castle for nine years. All that experience goes into his new restaurant with rooms, Allium in Tattenhall, writes Louise Allen-Taylor

Read more
Cheshire Restaurants
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Digest this mini review in 60 seconds

Read more
Italian Food Cheshire Restaurants Hale
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Cheshire Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Cheshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search