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Cicchetti's Spring Menu, Food, Drink And Flesh Video

Gordo And Sowerby Pontificate

Published on February 29th 2012.

Cicchetti's Spring Menu, Food, Drink And Flesh Video


GORDO was invited to try out a few of the proposed new dishes for Cicchetti with Marcello, son of Carlo and Joanna Simpson, a good pal of the Fat One who also looks after the PR for the phenomenally successful San Carlo Group. 

Great flavour, the dish needs to come out in the spring when the lamb is at its best. It will be superb. 

These restaurants are a favourite of Confidential; mainly because of Marcello.

He is obsessive with food and is helping his father produce restaurants that have personalities, each one being given autonomy unheard of in other groups where you couldn’t tell the difference between the one in Stockport and the one in Bolton. 

On the day we were shown (and tried) eleven different dishes. Probably only two will make it onto the main menus, but Gordo has taken pictures of the lot. 

Stand out dish was not a main dish, it was a polenta, shaped into the lid of a volcano (what’s the lid of a volcano? Ed) and filled with roasted radicchio leaves and a fabulous sauce flavoured with balsamic. This would make the best accompaniment ever with lamb or beef. 

That dish came with the roasted-in-a-bag rack of lamb that had been nestled in hay (yes, the grass stuff) which had been flavoured with a Sicilian juniper liqueur. Great flavour, the dish needs to come out in the spring when the lamb is at its best. It will be superb. 

Monkfish was a bit boring and probably won’t make it.  

The small beams of smoked salmon (smoked in the kitchen with honey) was brilliant; if this doesn’t make it on a menu Gordo will personally discipline Marcello. The lobster burger is a work in progress. 

The fillet steak was knockout. 

Finally, there was a really unusual petit-four which Gordo is not going to explain, but it’s partially bitter chocolate covering a special something and served with orange rinds. Like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange mixed with opium and steroids. Lush. 

Here's a video from Gordo with it's own fine commentary, discussing rack of lamb.


Confidential wine scribe Neil Sowerby was Gordo’s minder for the menu testing, where several exuberant bottles where brought out to match the dishes. This is where Neil takes over.

CICCHETTI’S wine list is a pared down version of San Carlo’s but small is beautiful, as with the dishes. One suspects our sommelier for the day was of the Sardinian persuasion since half the wines came from that island and its benchmark native varietals Vermentino and Cannonau. Both cost just over £30 a bottle – not bandit prices for such quality. 

Vermentino di Sardinia Terre Fenicie was a leafy and lemon-tinged white with a stony minerality – a stern match for the home-cured salmon and the smoked venison. Partnering the fillet, the Cannonau Riserva 2008 Sella and Mosca was a violet-scented dry earthy red, spicy rather than overtly fruity. 

Our second white, Lugana Santa Sofia 2010 (£32.95), was all apples and almonds, more savoury than Soave, while the surprisingly yummy aubergine in chocolate pud required a second glass of ethereal Moscato d’Asti. Such a light-in-alcohol responsible end to drinks with the meal.


Then Gordo ordered a beefy Barbera between us at the bar and all good resolutions evaporated.

Follow @GordoManchester on Twitter.

Artichoke And Parmesan SaladArtichoke And Parmesan Salad

Bags Of Roast LambBags Of Roast Lamb

Bang On ChefBang On Chef

Fillet Steak With A Fantastic SauceFillet Steak With A Fantastic Sauce

Mauritzio And His VegMauritzio And His Veg

Monkfish And Parma HamMonkfish And Parma Ham

Polenta And Roasted Radichio In A GravyPolenta And Roasted Radichio In A Gravy

Smoked SalmonSmoked Salmon

Trainee LobsterburgerTrainee Lobsterburger


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pollolocoMarch 1st 2012.

Hilarious commentary Gordo......my 2 year old makes more sense!!

the Whalley RangerMarch 2nd 2012.

Great flick - am I the only one who has an issue with the portion sizes?

Chris GrahamMarch 2nd 2012.

That steak looks out of this world

nevereatenacremeeggMarch 5th 2012.

Can't wait! Any idea when this menu will be launched for us mere mortals to taste?

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