Bidding farewell to summer can be emotional, regardless of how sporadic and unpredictable it may have been.
Thankfully, Manchester’s Don Giovanni has found a way to make the transition smoother then a pannacotta.
Extending their August 50% off a la carte offer to continue throughout September, Don Giovanni has become a home from home for many as the weather turns grey and miserable.
Bringing the finest Italian flavours to our humble city, dishes are best enjoyed overlooking the bustle of Oxford Road with a glass of wine or, in my case, a tumbler of Don Giovanni’s favourite cocktail, Venice. Well, it is Manchester Love Cocktails week after all.
A gorgeous space, Don Giovanni has a knack for creating a cosy atmosphere in the most luxurious setting, complete with marble surfaces, plush booths and soft golden lighting.
You’ll be welcomed with opened arms whether it’s your first or fiftieth visit – most likely by Enzo, who will ensure your glass is never empty, and your tummy always full.
The menu is vast, leaving you utterly spoilt for choice, and covers everything from Sicilian classics to thin and rustic Roman-inspired pizzas.
The antipasto italiano is a classic and an authentic way to begin your Italian adventure. The platter offers a generous array of cured meats, softly cooked aubergine, courgettes, plump chunks of mozzarella and pleasingly green olives.
If you’re looking for something a little closer to home, dishes such as the tortino di granchio uses Cornish crab to appease diners wanting to experiment without going full polpo (that’s octopus to you and me) and seriously worth an order.
One of the most popular dishes is, of course, the garlic bread. Garlic-brushed stretched dough is available in three variations and can be seen on almost every table in the restaurant, and for good reason.
Whilst the pizza sounds tempting, the homemade ravioli is simply too tempting to refuse. Stuffed handsomely with ricotta and spinach, crab or lobster, each option is as rich and comforting as the last. The latter is served in a warming, sweet bisque which packs a hidden heat.
Steak lovers will be more than satisfied by the al ferri which hosts succulent cuts of locally-sourced beef. The fish and seafood options are a-plenty and arrives fresh daily. The fresh Scottish scallops are seared and served with a tantalising jus, portioned just right to leave you satisfied but flavoured to keep you wanting more.
No self-respecting Italian would ever leave a restaurant without trying the chef’s special tiramisu, and neither should you. Presented with artistic precision, irresistibly soft and lighter than air, this is also featured on their dessert selection board for two, but it’s really too good to share, believe me.
The dessert menu covers everything from scoops of gelato to gooey-centered soufflés, a lavish cheese board and glorious choux mini-mountain of profiteroles.
If you find yourself more stuffed than their generously meat-filled calzone, a decadent digestivo cocktail should slip down quite nicely.
September can often seem a bit of a dismal month. The days get shorter and the streets slightly damper but, thankfully, Don Giovanni manages to cushion the blow. And the best part? The cushion just so happens to be a fluffy pillow of their handmade ravioli.
So what do you say? Ready to grab a slice of the action?
Peter House, 1-2 Oxford St, Manchester M1 5AN