San Carlo Manchester
San Carlo is Manchester’s most famous and, some say, best Italian restaurant. Run by the Distefano family, it’s said to have one of the largest turnovers in the UK. It’s also the place to be papped and there’s usually a bank of photographers outside to prove the point.
Take your seat alongside Premier League footballers and pop stars like Rihanna at this institution that’s as much a place to be seen as it is to dine.
Dishes such as brandy cream and lobster pasta or simple grilled sea bass with scallops al forno are seafaring highlights. Or go for broke with a steak and lobster sharing platter and a big side of pillow-soft gnocchi with truffle shavings and parmesan.
Meats could include veal (with mustard seed, cream and brandy) and calves liver with madeira and polenta. Home-made pistachio gelato is a bit special, as is the south Med wine list, with iconic bottles and prices to match. Looks wise, think whipped cream fantasy.