From humble beginnings in Ancoats in 2015, Rudy’s have launched a nationwide takeover with eateries in London, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool and Sheffield.
This is their fifth restaurant opening in Manchester, a testament to their ongoing success.
Although conceived in Manchester, the restaurant operates on strictly Neapolitan terms, serving up such iconic Italian flavours like Marinara, Margherita and Calabrese.
They opened their doors on the 22nd October on the site of the former Mad Giant Food Hall.
Settings are simple, unpretentious with walls adorned with artwork and branding of famous Italian produce that we have all grown to know and love.
Outside, the restaurant also has a beautiful sun trap veranda where you can squeeze the very most out of the seldom seen sun. Why not buy an aperol and pretend you’re in Naples?
The full focus of Rudy’s is on the food and the main event, the pizza.
Extremely friendly table staff were on hand to talk us through Rudy’s offerings, helpful and warm which added to the all round experience.
We talked about their favourite pizzas, and how the manager was ‘forced’ to try every pizza on the menu over a space of two days – I could certainly think of worse things to be forced to do.
The atmosphere lended itself to a social experience, lively but relaxed with classic tunes at a low volume providing some background hum amongst the chatter of patrons.
The patrons of the restaurant were varied, young parents with their children, business meetings, students. It ubiquitous appeal of the place is testament the calibre of their food.
As we arrived at the table we were offered two beers, Menabreas, with citrus and floral notes. Their drinks menu is almost exclusively made up of carefully selected Italian produce.
I ordered the Cinghiale, topped with: San Marzano tomato, fior di latte, wild boar salame, ‘njuda, roquito peppers, parmesan, fresh chilli, artichoke hearts, basil and e.v olive oil.
My fellow diner ordered a white pizza, with no tomato sauce, called the Porchetta. This was topped with: For di latte, roast porchetta, sage roasted potatoes, smoked mozzarella, caramelised white onions, cracked black pepper and rosemary oil.
Rudy’s pride themselves on their Capulio 00 dough, which is left to ferment for 24 hours.
It is then cooked in the main focal point of the restaurant, the massive bright red Stefano Ferrara oven, for just 60 seconds.
This results in a soft and light pizza, with the perfect cornicione or crust.
The pizzas didn’t last long, despite being of generous size (14”) and the attention to the ingredients is obvious from the first bite.
Tomatoes from San Marzano sourced from fields in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius, and beautifully creamy mozzarella from Fior di Latte all add to the enjoyment of a near perfect pizza.
The ‘njuda and wild boar salame on my pizza was mouth watering, and trying a slice of my companions Porchetta, left me wishing I could try a few more of the pizzas on the menu.
You can augment the flavours of the pizza with a range of aiolis with njuda (spicy Italian sausage), chilli honey and garlic dips.
And for £10.90? Considering you’d pay £20 for something ‘similar’ from Dominoes, the price of these pizzas is unparalleled for what you receive.
If you’re feeling extra hungry, why not treat yourself to a burrata to warm up (£7.25) with vine tomatoes, wild rocket, and bread baked in house.
For the more carnivorous, you could enjoy the Campana (£10.50) for two for a kick off – buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto crudo, finocchiona salame, salami picante and wild boar salame, wild rocket, oven-dried tomato and house bread.
Rudy’s also offer a Veggie Campana (£10.50) with vegetarian bufala, roasted peppers and artichokes, toasted almonds, mixed olives, wild rocket, oven-dried tomatoes and house bread.
There are two vegan pizza options: the Marinara (£5.90) (tomato, garlic, oregano, basil and olive oil) and the Merido (£10.25) (white pizza, vegan mozzarella topped with butternut squash, red onion, sun-dried tomato, green chilli, oregano and chilli flakes).
The drinks menu offers apertivos (aperol spritz £7.30, Negroni £7.20), white, rose and red wine (from £4,60 – £6.20 per glass), Prosecco and Rose Prosecco (£6.10) to a range of lagers, pales and ciders. There are also alcohol free options for the designated drivers.
If you’re looking for a pudding to round off the experience, you can order Gelato (V) (One scoop £2.50, Two scoops £4.00), Tartufo (V) (£4.00), Affrogato (V) (£4.50) and Tiramisu (V) (£4.90).
All in all Rudy’s is an uncomplicated, guilt free pleasure. The ingredients and method of cooking have lasted through generations for a good reason. They are great.
It makes for a really enjoyable all round experience. Just quality ingredients equal a quality pizza.
A lot of restaurants seem to lose focus as they look to expand and dominate a market, but Rudy’s just keeps doing what it does and doing it very, very well.
You can see the full menu by clicking here.