Gone is Per Tutti on Liverpool Road. Long a spot for myself and friends on our way to events at MOSI (glass of fizz and a nibble before the main event) in it’s place, is a new relation to Don Giovanni, Cibo.
The space has had a little revamp and, though I’m not 100% certain about the featherheaded mannequin near the entrance, overall it feels a little more rich, certainly refreshed, and a little slicker.
Food wise, you can expect the same quality fare you’ll find in Don Giovanni’s itself. Cibo leans slightly more on fish, and we only found one chicken dish on the menu (pizza, if you’re that way inclined, we weren’t).
We dove in with starters, my date enjoying the Caprese, with Burrata, instead of the classic mozzarella, which oozed creamily over the plate, the richness cut through with the sweet tomatoes, Parma ham and rich pesto.
For me the Polpo – with perfectly done octopus, crispy new potatoes, peppers, celery and a tiny kick of chilli. Those of you who’ve eaten at Iberica will notice that it’s similarity to their richer dish with saffron aioli. I must say, I’d hate to have to choose between the two.
And thankfully I don’t have to.
Onto mains and we both went with classics. The spinach and ricotta ravioli with sage butter was all it should be. A really good balance of ricotta and spinach, pasta still al dente, sage nice and crisp.
Whilst for me, it was the carbonara -and without a hint of cream or anything else that just shouldn’t be there. This was all pasta, guanciale (a form of cured pork using pig cheek, that just happens to be pronounced in a manner similar to my name) and egg yolk.
Lip smackingly rich, the pasta still held bite, the guanciale offering lots of flavour, though I might go for the smaller potion next time.
Oh who am I kidding?
When it came to dessert, yes we went classic all the way. Tiramisu. This was thick, rich, properly caffeinated. Sure, it could have done without the chocolate sauce, and chocolate straws, and to be honest the strawberries, but though small (we shared) this rich slice tipped us over the edge.
We were done.
Manchester is lucky in some respects. We have a great range of Italian restaurants catering for all tastes. Romance, something a little more anglicised, something a little more authentic. something somewhere in the middle. This not only hits the spot food wise, I’ve also checked they’re still doing tapas with our pre MOSI glass of fizz.
This could be a winner.