Put some Rome in romance with a gorgeous Italian dinner for two

Say whatever you like, but you can bet it’ll sound better in Italian. Even insults can sound like romantic poetry in this most musical of tongues. But it isn’t just the country’s mellifluous language that brings romantic thoughts to mind. It’s worth remembering that the original Signor Valentine was Italian, said to be a priest in third century Rome who performed marriages in secret when Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers.

Italy immerses itself in beauty and romance, whether that’s rolling views across the Tuscan hills, delicious wine from ancient vineyards, glorious artworks, leading fashion, jaw dropping architecture or glamorous film stars. So it’s no surprise that Italian restaurants are one of the most popular choices for those looking for somewhere special to spend with loved ones. Remember the famous scene in animated film Lady and the Tramp, when the main characters fell in love over a shared bowl of spaghetti. 

There’s something all encompassing about the way good Italian restaurants can make you feel. It starts with warm welcoming service, sparkling Prosecco or smooth, fruity wine, comforting dishes with a touch of luxury, and something sweet and indulgent to finish – which is exactly what customers have become accustomed to at San Carlo and its sister restaurant Cicchetti.

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Still thrilled by the news that this gem of a dining spot isn’t closing after all – thanks to House of Fraser remaining open – we went over to have a preview of their San Valentino menu. Cicchetti translates as small sharing plates, perfect for nibbling alongside great drinks and even better conversation, if a more formal three course meal is not your style.

Cocktails might not be the first thing you think of at Cicchetti, but the head bartenders at each San Carlo venue are allowed to express themselves creatively - the slightly competitive spirit between venues is the everyone’s gain. Cicchetti have introduced three exclusive cocktails in honour of Valentine’s Day; the glamorous Amore (pink gin, rose syrup and Prosecco), the sweet and sour Rose (Lanique liqueur, grapefruit juice, rhubarb gin and egg white) and Valentino (Bulleit bourbon and St Germain) - each designed to get you into the romantic spirit. 

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In the kitchen, Cicchetti’s chefs are not to be outdone, so have come up with three very special San Valentino dishes for sharing – and they’re only available from 14th-16thFebruary. Start with a couple of plump pan fried king scallops, each wrapped in pancetta, served on a silky celeriac veloute, topped with balsamic ‘caviar’ pearls (10.95). If meat is more your type of food of love, then try fillet of medium rare beef coated in Carasau breadcrumbs, served on a creamy sauce (surely the perfect partner for beef) and balanced by a light, white mousse made with luxurious burrata cheese.

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The third special Valentine’s dish is San Valentino Risotto Cicchetti (11.95) - a homage to St Valentine in rice form. A king prawn sits upon pink-hued lemon risotto, scattered with pomegranate seeds and edible flowers, nestled inside a Parmesan and black sesame basket.

For the chance to try these three limited edition San Valentino dishes, and of course the specially created cocktails, book a table at Cicchetti Manchester for dining between 14th-16thFebruary.

Book your table here

Tel: 0161 839 2233

Address: 98-116 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2GQ 

Please note walk-ins are always welcome at Cicchetti, table reservations are available every day from 5pm. 

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