Once a fad diet, in recent years veganism has flourished across the UK with many people opting for a plant-based lifestyle in an effort to ditch animal products and start looking after themselves and the environment.
According to a 2018 survey by Compare The Market, more than 3.5 million people in the UK have now adopted the vegan diet.
Leading the way for vegans in Manchester is award-winning Italian eatery Don Giovanni, who now offer a dedicated vegan menu.
The restaurant has been a staple on Manchester’s food scene for over 30 years. And let’s face it, Italian cuisine is known for its meats and cheeses, with eggs and cream playing a big part in many of these dishes.
Changing with the times, Don’s has recognised the serious lack of restaurant quality vegan food in town.
The Vegano menu is their response.
Don’s has clearly put a lot of time and effort into creating this completely vegan menu, which means hungry vegans who enjoy dining out are in for a massive treat.
It features five starters and seven mains, so anyone looking to eat vegan has a good selection of dishes to choose from rather than the standard one vegan salad you often seen on restaurant menus.
To start, sink your teeth into Caponata Piccante Con Melanzane, a mild spicy aubergine and vegetable stew served with toasted homemade bread; Puttanesca Panzarotti, perfect doughy triangles packed full of spinach, capers, olives, vegan parmesan and Italian herbs; and a refreshing butternut squash soup with caramelised apple croutons and roasted pumpkin seeds.
For mains you really are spoilt for choice. Chow down on Fettuccine Al Limone E Prezzemolo, fresh fettuccine pasta smothered in a creamy lemon-butter sauce, topped with chopped parsley and pine nuts.
Pizza lovers can indulge in Pizza Vegana, a white base pizza with vegan mozzarella, artichokes, spinach, black olives, pine nuts and cherry tomato topped with rucola salad. Gluten-free bases are available for those with intolerances, too.
A perfect blend of flavour and texture, the Risotto Alla Zucca is great for vegans who like to keep it simple – roasted butternut squash risotto topped with vegan parmesan cheese – and Spaghetti Rosso Alla Barbabietola, linguine pasta in a beetroot pesto with roasted pistachio and rosemary dressing. All pasta dishes are available gluten-free on request.
Dessert-wise, the Vegano’s signature dish has to be the Fragole Con Balsamico E Gelato Al Limone, a refreshing lemon sorbet in a strawberry balsamic reduction with a hint of amaretto liqueur. Or you can ask your server for the sorbet choice of the day.
And for something more substantial, the homemade mouth-watering Panna Cotta with vegan vanilla cream and topped with a berry compote is a no-brainer.