Last week, I was heading to Manchester to stay at the Innside Melia hotel on a Friday night. One of my friends was getting married there the next day, and I had the honour of doing the makeup for 6 of the bridal party and the bride. So, after checking into my hotel room, myself and my boyfriend decided to head out and try one of my all time favourite Italian restaurants in Manchester: Don Giovanni.
I say ‘try out’, because even though I’ve been before a long while back, it was recently closed due to a fire, in which it has had a shiny overhaul and is now fully re-open, looking even nicer than before.
This place has been open for a long time – in fact, it’s Manchester longest established independent restaurant, which has been around since 1984. It has quite a strong, built up reputation for being one of Manchester’s most trusted, traditional Italians. I’m yet to hear a negative word be said, but when I visited last week, I went with an open mind, as I always do.
Firstly – this place is pretty much always busy. We booked in at 8.30pm and the place was buzzing. Couples, families, parties, large groups. We took to a table for two near the window and chose the house red wine.
I’ve since become a bit specific about my red wine, after obsessing over Argentinian Malbec and Rioja’s. However, the Villa Rossi Sangiovese Rubicone, for £19.95, was surprisingly delicious, to say I picked a much cheaper one.
As much as I’m a huge pasta fan, I do love nothing more than an Italian that has a good offering of fish and meat dishes too, which is (in my opinion) probably a main reason why it’s always so popular. And, an extensive list of starters that cover a wide range of offerings.
So, I opted for the Pate to start- the Duck & Chicken Liver Pate on Toasted Bread with a Cranberry Compote. My boyfriend went for the Meatballs starter dish, with a rich tomato and basil sauce. Both portions were ideal sizes, delicious in taste, and worth the price.
Apologies for the quality of the photos, the lighting was so so poor at 8.30pm on a Friday evening at the end of September! All the shadows are captured…
I did my usual thing of being indecisive for my main meal, and whittled it down to either: Ravioli Aragosta, which in other words is Lobster Ravioli (my favourite Italian dish that you can’t find everywhere…), Polla Ada Milanese (lightly breadcrumbed chicken with spaghetti napoli) or Gnocchi Al Pomodoro (Gnocchi with mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil).
In the end, I went for the Lobster Ravioli. It’s literally an all time favourite, and this one comes with a touch of chilli. Yum!
My boyfriend went for a seafood inspired pasta dish, choosing the Tagliolini Scoglio (Tagliolini with langoustines, king and baby prawns, garlic, chilli and tomato sauce).
My Ravioli came out as large, Lobster packed ravioli parcels, with a tomato and chilli sauce, which I got sprinkled with black pepper. The sauce had a nice kick to it, a juicy tomato taste with a spike to chilli flavour. The Lobster pieces were soft and tasty, but the best thing about this dish is how deceiving it is!
It doesn’t look too large when it arrived, but it’s ridiculously filling and they definitely serve up the right portion size to fill you up.
Couldn’t fault anything from my trip to Don Giovanni. Great service, a warm, friendly welcome, attentive staff, great choices, lovely food – I can totally see why this place is constantly busy.
You can check out the menu’s and better quality food photos than mine over at their website here.