Top Italian just got even better...
Rosso just got even better following an interior overhaul and the launch of an indulgent new menu. We went to check it out…
Manchester’s celebrated Italian restaurant and bar, Rosso, serves world-class food and wine in the heart of King Street. And there’s even more to enjoy now, following a comprehensive interior overhaul and the launch of their indulgent new menu.
Obviously, dinner is not complete without dessert - and Rosso serves straight aces.
Presentation has always been a strength at Rosso – and the new all-white colour scheme is the perfect canvas for the re-launched menu. Artistic creations include monkfish tail and squid ink risotto, burrata salad with richly pigmented heritage tomatoes and a vibrant pistachio and dark chocolate cheesecake.
You can see from the pictures that they’re works of art on a plate - but even the simplest dishes are special at Rosso. Start with traditional antipasti such as prosciutto di San Daniele, widely regarded as the finest cured meat in the world. Or why not try artisan olives, spiced beefcarpaccio or rosemary grissini with whipped garlic butter?
Adventurous starters include smoked duck breast with sweet potato, prune and wild flower honey salad and a fresh crabmeat salad with mango (insalata di Granchio). There are seafood classics to enjoy too, such as seared scallops with battered lemon fennel and everyone’s favourite calamari fritti.
We sampled the new burrata, uniquely presented with half a cream-filled buffalo mozzarella pureed with the other half served on top, torn basil leaves and the aforementioned iron-red tomatoes perched delicately on top.
The fresh salmon tartare is another lesson in elegance. Hand-cut cubes of fresh salmon are served, terrine-style, with capers, lemon juice and a sunny egg yolk on top. Our waiter offered mix the dish at the table - but half the fun of ordering tartare is doing it your way. Crisp, aromatic focaccia works brilliantly on the side.
For the main event, we squabbled over the squid ink risotto topped with pearlescent hunks of monkfish tail and the house lamb. One of the most popular dishes on the menu, lamb loin is served in a crushed pistachio shell with the ultimate potato dauphinoise on the side. Other flavours include thyme and a red wine jus.
Our pasta parcels, lunette al Tartufo, filled with black truffle and parmesan cheese with sage butter didn’t disappoint either. In fact, it took a fair amount of will power not to order the burrata, ricotta and aubergine ravioli, or the spaghetti with a whole lobster on the side. Or the orzo with garlic king prawns, courgettes and saffron cream. Still there’s always next time.
Other options include a comprehensive pizza menu, salad selection and impressive meat and fish menu, packed with more-ish dishes. Baked lemon sole fillet rolled with truffle and porcini purée with green beans and toasted almonds (filetto di sogliola), for example, chicken fillet with a mascarpone sauce or a venison steak marinated in cinnamon yoghurt with celeriac fondant.
If you can’t make up your mind, Rosso’s indulgent sharing plates could be the answer. The grigliata di pesce misto (grilled fresh fish served with fried potatoes and salsa rosso) for example, or the beef, lamb and chicken mixed grill. Ideal for those with a big appetite, these sharing dishes are even better with chunky sweet potato fries or a bowl of fresh, garlicky green beans on the side.
Obviously, dinner is not complete without dessert - and Rosso serves straight aces. The highlight of our meal is a remarkable ode to Malteasers called Piastra di Malto Civettuole that takes in malt flavoured ice cream, aerated chocolate and home made chocolate fingers, both light and dark, set on a bed of crumbled dark chocolate biscuits.
Other puddings include crostata di prugna con balsamico e frangipani; a sticky balsamic glazed plum and frangipani tart with homemade clotted cream and, a personal favourite, the torta formaggio al cioccolato, which is an intense baked cheesecake made with creamed pistachio nuts and single estate dark chocolate from Peru.
Drinks include celebration bottles, champagnes, fine Italian varietals, cocktails and prosecco. House wines are a cut above too. We tried the house Gavi, a fresh limey wine that could easily handle all the courses and the inky house Primitivo. The cocktails were excellent too, in particular the house Negroni, and the aptly named ‘perfect’ martini – both pictured.
With a beautiful new interior and world-class cooking, Rosso has all the ingredients of a great night out. The monochrome décor takes in statement lampshades, leather-lined booths, a raised deck for people watching and free standing tables. So, there’s even more space for the period features of this Victorian banking hall to shine – and a range of experiences to choose from.
Whether it’s after work drinks, a special anniversary, birthday, casual night out or a team meal, Rosso’s maitre’d Sacha and his team do as much as they can to make you feel at home. We came away with loads of special moments to remember, and we’ve already got out next visit in the diary.