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14 Aug 2020 - 4 minutes

Discussing the secrets to successful Italian cooking with San Carlo

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Ciao bella! Italy is the birthplace of pizza, parmesan and pasta (ok, perhaps pasta originally came from China, but it has become synonymous with Italy!) Despite everyone’s different levels of culinary skills, most of us can muster up some form of pasta and sauce dish in the kitchen. A recent YouGov poll found that Italian cuisine is the most popular cuisine (other than our own, of course) in the UK, with 91% of people saying they have tried and liked it.

Bruschetta with tomatoes at San Carlo restaurant in Manchester

So, what is it that makes it so popular? Perhaps because it’s based around fresh produce and natural ingredients. Italian dishes are light and gentle, not spicy, and high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, grains, fish and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. These types of foods and dishes are often linked with good health and a healthier heart.

Luckily for us, Manchester is jam-packed full of the flavours of Italy in its numerous Italian bars and restaurants. Many of these have reopened again after lockdown, including the sensational San Carlo.

Its managing director, Marcello Distefano, says ‘The key to everything is the quality of the ingredients.’

A selection of dishes at San Carlo restaurant in Manchester

San Carlo is no themes, no gimmicks. Based on authentic modern Italy, San Carlo simply provides the very best in true Italian dining in Manchester. A departure from the traditional Italian restaurant experience, San Carlo delivers unparalleled quality in food and drink in an upscale setting.

San Carlo’s sole desire is that everything that arrives at your table is designed to delight. In true Italian style, it uses only the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients and allow them to shine. Many ingredients are brought across from produce markets in Italy to ensure authenticity.

Assortment of shellfish on ice at San Carlo's seafood counter

From 22 spectacular seafood dishes and the freshest antipasti, to unrivalled grill specialities such as the tomahawk steak and a broad range of masterfully prepared meats, pizzas and pastas, San Carlo’s dishes engage all of the senses and are cooked to order by a team of talented chefs.

And of course, let’s not forget about dessert! From its delicious gelato to its famous pistachio or Italian style mille-feuille cakes, tortes and mousses, all desserts are made daily in its patisserie kitchen.

As for drinks, San Carlo’s wine list is second to none. With exclusively imported and great value house options, half bottles and great wines by the glass to some very rare and fine options, San Carlo has more than 150 wines to suit all tastes and pockets, and its friendly sommeliers are on hand to help choose if needed.

13th August marked the beginning of San Carlo’s staycation campaign, focussing on how San Carlo can bring Italy here to Manchester. While we spend the summer at home, San Carlo and its Italian family will bring a little bit of la dolce vita to you.

To adapt to lockdown conditions, the restaurant introduced ‘San Carlo At Home,’ making its classic signature dishes, wines and bubbly available to order and takeout via Deliveroo seven days a week. And despite all but one of San Carlo’s restaurants now open again, the huge success of ‘San Carlo At Home’ means that this is a service which will likely continue.

Eat Out to Help Out San Carlo poster with seafood linguine

San Carlo is also participating in the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out initiative, which entitles diners to a 50% discount on food and soft drinks up to a maximum of £10 discount per guest.

As you will have seen earlier in the week, we partnered with San Carlo to show you how to make the winning cocktail of our Italy staycation choice. If you haven’t seen the video yet, you can check it out here! According to San Carlo: “The UK is still enjoying a Gin-aissance with gin cocktails and spritzes hugely popular across our restaurants.

Bartender at San Carlo with one of their signature cocktails

“Gin is hugely versatile with many artisanal makers. We have a huge choice of flavour profiles and styles to choose from. At San Carlo Champagne Bar, you can choose from 15 different gin and tonics. Pretty as a picture, our San Carlo Gin Fizz is the perfect summer choice, with Bombay Sapphire, fresh raspberries, elderflower and lemonade.”

A cocktail from San Carlo with the face of a woman printed on top

We’d like to thank the team at San Carlo for their time in what is an incredibly busy period for them and the restaurant sector as everyone heads out to make the most of the hot weather and ‘Eat Out’ scheme.

And if you happen to find San Carlo fully booked, Manchester is full of great Italian restaurants, all unique in their own way and serving some incredible dishes. We profiled some of these last week, and you can find all the information here.

And after you’ve satisfied your appetite for antipasti, why not head over to us here at AXIS and Manhattan to view one of our stunning 2-bedroom apartments? If you want to live la dolce vita in Manchester, visit us at to book a viewing today! Alternatively, DM one of our pages or WhatsApp us on 07376 047 986.

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