Here’s a choice of four contrasting Italian restaurants in Manchester.
At Stock, you dine in Edwardian splendour, beneath the 50-foot domed ceiling of Manchester’s former Stock Exchange. Definitely not your neighbourhood trattoria, Stock offers an opulent setting for inventive Italian-inspired cuisine.
From the hearty, peasant-style pasta ribbons with Tuscan rabit ragu, to the indulgent pleasures of escalope of veal cooked in crayfish tails in thermidor sauce, the menu reflects the Italian love of good food, whatever its origins
If you’re still craving carbohydrates when the desert menu comes round, the Cannoli Siciliani would be hard to beat: cannoli tubes filled with sweet ricotta and candied fruit, and served with kirsch-saoked Amarena cherries. For lighter eaters, the rhubarb and raspberry zabaglione should go down a treat.
Tucked between Albert Square and Deansgate, the Olive Press is a relaxed and cosy Italian restaurant with a contemporary yet rustic feel. There are dishes from all over Italy, plus a kid’s menu.
In addition to traditional favourites, you’ll find fresh approaches. Inventive ideas include a gourmet pizza topped with sweet potato, gorgonzola and grilled winter vegetables. ,
Prices go from £6.95 for spaghetti in tomato sauce up to £25.95 for premium steak.
Different again is Don Giovanni’s, a lively and stylish restaurant serving modern country Italian cuisine. In business since 1984, Don Giovanni’s is close to the city centre theatres and just a few minute’s walk from Oxford Rd station.
There are traditional soups and risottos, pastas and pizzas made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, succulent grills, and classic desserts including tiramisu and New York cheesecake. There’s a particularly interesting selection of fish dishes, including Spiedini Tricolore – skewers of marinated monkfish, halibut, salmon, grilled, served with sweet tomato and chilli salsa.
An average price for a main course is around £15, and there is a good value three course pre-theatre menu for £16.95
Stresa, in Ramada
Set within the Ramada Manchester in Salford Quays, Stresa has already established itself as far more than simply a hotel restaurant. The restaurant is spacious, light and bright, with full length windows looking out onto the quays.
The well-chosen menu features classics, well cooked, with imaginative touches. The selection of hand-stretched, stone baked pizzas includes Carne Speziata – mini spiced meatballs, pepperoni, ham, chilli and rosemary; and the appetizing choice of dishes from the grill includes chargrilled chicken served with confit of mushroom, hot potato salad and a mango sunblushed tomato salsa.
For a different desert, try orange polenta cake with rosemary sauce and fresh berries.
Pizzas and pastas cost between £8 – £10, grills are around £15.
Whatever your mood, there’s an Italian meal to suit!