As we bid adieu to the unpredictable days of summer, where rain pelted our windscreens in the morning and was swiftly replaced by sweltering sunshine by the afternoon; I for one am ecstatic to welcome months of crisp leaves, brisk chills and misty mornings.
But let’s be real, this is the UK and any hope we have of frolicking in the weather we oh-so desire is quickly exchanged for a harsh dose of reality in the form of sodden shoes and being covered in peppermint tea which you liberally use in a moment of ingenious to defrost your car windows when you’re running late and forget to turn your window wipers off (thank goodness, I never make the same mistake more than three times).
But whilst we can’t count on the weather to consistently deliver what we desire, there’s one place which I know will always brighten up a mid-week evening; Don Giovanni.
Somewhat of an institution in Manchester, Don Giovanni has graced Oxford Road with its presence for almost 33 years, with its birthday fast approaching early October.
With over a week left of their 50% off September offer still to go, we decided one last hurrah of half-price Chateaubriand was possibly the perfect way to welcome the season’s change and get a head start on working on that extra winter layer.
Arriving to a hectic atmosphere which captures the same welcoming ambience as arriving in your nonna’s kitchen, we began our evening with frosted glasses of Venice, the favourite tipple of the Don Giovanni family.
Taken to our table by the wonderful Francesca (a great name, no?), we got comfortable and recited our favourites from the menu to our server.
“And how do the ladies like their steak?”
“Rare!” we quickly responded in unison, having already agreed during drinks that this was the only way to have such a steak.
Of course, we came for the main, but what’s the starring role without a warm-up act?
Garlic bread to you and me, but much more fun to say.
Half mozzarella, half tomato and garlic – kind of a must-order when dining Italian.
Frittura Mista, featuring deep-fried calamari, king prawns and whitebait, complemented with an aioli dip.
Plump, salty bites of juicy seafood, coated in a crisp crunchy shell. A modest portion, I’d definitely size up if you’re planning on sharing.
Now…on to the main event.
Delivered to the table with satisfying grandeur, the Chateaubriand was carved at the table and served with a side of tom-foolery.
Presented with flourish alongside a cherry tomato salad, parmesan baby roast potatoes and golden pot of garlic butter sauce.
Whilst I personally feel no good steak needs the additional flavour of a sauce, I couldn’t resist giving my portion a liberal coating of the golden nectar, before diving in head first for a bite.
The meat was soft and pleasingly tender; satisfying and rich – I really can’t deny its sumptuous flavour, heightened by the buttery juice which coated its surface.
Don’t even think about skipping dessert.
The Soufflé Al Cioccolato is simply out of this world.
And the Crème brûlée?
Granted its French, but it’s homemade and boasts a perfected caramelised lid.
Don Giovanni is offering 50% off until the end of September, the place is packed daily, so book ahead and treat yourself to a mid-week fancy.
In Manchester, we find ourselves quite spoilt by Italian fare, but there are few which can offer up the same charm and laughter as Don G’s all whilst serving up eye-rolling beauties such as Lobster Ravioli and delicious extravagances in the form of a towering mountain of profiteroles.
Get yourself down there, and tagliatelle everyone about it.