San Carlo Cicchetti

Elegant but informal Italian eatery loosely styled on Venetian bars, with sharing plates, indulgent desserts and amazing old country wines

San Carlo Cicchetti
House of Fraser, King St W, Manchester, M3 2GQ
0161 839 2233

Monday: 12-11pm
Tuesday: 12-11pm
Wednesday: 12-11pm
Thursday: 12-11pm
Friday: 12-11pm
Saturday: 12-11pm
Sunday: 12-11pm

San Carlo’s story didn’t begin in 1992, when the very first restaurant opened in Birmingham. Instead, it can be traced back much further, to the Sicilian origins of chairman Carlo Distefano. Growing up on one of the world’s best-tasting islands, culinary excellence was in his blood from the start. So, when he decided to take a gamble and open an eatery, it was almost guaranteed to work. Skip to today and the company is operating 24 sites across the UK, not to mention some further afield, and Manchester is blessed with more than one, each with its own completely unique personality. Not to mention food. 

“At Cicchetti, the food philosophy is simple: crafting delectable small to medium-sized dishes with the finest Italian ingredients, created to be shared, but they can also be enjoyed individually. The menu is ever-evolving, reflecting the changing seasons. If you appreciate dining out, there will always be something fresh for you to experience,” the team explain. That means Stuzzichini like prosciutto san daniele & gnocchi fritto, caserecce all’anatra (short pasta served with slow cooked duck ragu), merluzzo con olive (pan-fried cod coated in a black olive crust served with sun blushed tomato and caper dressing), and ravioli tartufo (truffle) & pecorino. The list could go on, with every dish a transportive experience. 

Once you’re back in the room, it’s worth noting that more than any other San Carlo option in town, Cicchetti is designed for casual dining and drinking, making this halfway between a bar with exceptional food, and a restaurant you want to order another bottle in. Thankfully, there’s no shortage there. Unsurprisingly, you’ll only find wines from Italy and the islands here, with an extensive list divided into large regions — Central, South and North. As the whole concept takes a leaf from Venice, the Veneto varieties are particularly apt, and well worth uncorking (or at least unscrewing).