Rosso, is an Italian restaurant in Manchester city centre, inhabiting a gorgeous 100+ year old building and co-owned by Rio Ferdinand making it a hub for a cohort of celebrities and footballers alike. I attended a ‘bubbles and bites’ night here a few weeks ago, to sample the wide and indulgent range of champagnes and prosecco on offer and we also got to try some of the canapes, which i must admit were all very delicious. After hearing they were having a huge make over, I was eager to return and try the full a la carte menu and being the lucky lady I am, was surprised by my partner who booked a table here one Saturday night.
The exterior and interior aesthetics have been done to an impressive standard. From the moment you walk in you feel like you are in a luxurious environment and the staff were exceptionally well trained – consistently topping up wine and prosecco glasses and ensuring a generally high standard of friendly and attentive service.
For our starter we opted for the Antipasta Misto- ‘a sharing plank of Italian cured meats, marinated vegetables, olives, luxurious cheeses and breads’. This deli board was pleasant. It ticked all the boxes that are required from a deli board but for £32 I kind of expected a lot more. The meats were nice and there was a good variety, the olives were, well, they were olives and the marinated vegetables were absolutely delicious- my favourite component. However, I think by ‘luxurious cheeses’ they were unfortunately referring to the few shavings of Parmesan over a wad of rocket and the mozzarella slices that were layered with tomato in the usual manner. Also, the breads simply consisted of 4 pieces of very toasted bloomer.
On first glance the main menu is very well balanced. Offering a suitable amount of fish and meat dishes, some pasta and some pizzas to cater for all tastes and to some extendt budgets. Ranging from £10 for a margarita to £75 for a Chateaubriand and everything in between, it is possible to eat here on somewhat of a budget or to go all out on a special occasion. I opted for the Coda Di Rospo, which is a monkfish tail with squid ink risotto. I had high expectations for this dish as Monkfish is my favourite fish, due to its quite meaty quality and during my visits to Italy I have enjoyed squid ink pasta dishes. However, I must say I was extremely disappointed, the dish was not inedible by any means as I managed to consume just over half (one thing you must know about me is I am a human vacuum and hate food waste), it was just an awkward combination of fishy and salty and not what I expected at all. My partner ordered the Bucatini Con Polpette Di Melanzane, a pasta dish with lamb and aubergine meatballs (after I convinced him to try something other thank steak for once…). His pasta was pretty tasty, it did not blow us away, nor did it disappoint us and the meatballs were not dry but the saving grace of the meal were the sweet potato fries, these were hands down the nicest thin cut sweet potato fries I have ever had – they were actually hand cut compared to most places which offer the exact same bought in offering.
As I was still participating in dry January I opted for a non alcoholic cocktail – at £7.50 I had very high expectations for this glorified fruit juice concoction and to be fair it must have been one of the nicest drinks I have ever had, such a shame it ended after a few sips…
In total the bill came to just under £100 (including 10% service charge, which to be fair was earned). Frankly, for a non-alcoholic drink, a beer, two pasta/risotto dishes and a side of sweet potato fries I found this a little on the steep side, this would have been overlooked if the food had impressed me more.
Overall, my verdict is mixed. If you are looking for somewhere to enjoy a nice cocktail and possibly over priced dinning in a beautiful and indulgent atmosphere then I would recommend Rosso. If you are looking for exceptional Italian food there are many more establishments in Manchester that would be far higher up my list.
Website – http://rossorestaurants.com/
Location – 43 Spring Gardens, Manchester M2 2BG
For interior pictures see here – http://www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/food-and-drink/italian/take-a-look-inside-the-all-new-rosso