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Cross Croma with Oca , throw in Bramhall’s great Piccolino, add a spot of Est Est Est Alderley Edge then open your eyes and lo and behold you have the Manchester version of Felicini.

Published on July 7th 2006.


It is very hot and muggy. I have just spent 40 minutes googling the word ‘Felicini’. According to the 17 Italian dictionaries I have perused, the word does not exist.

I thought maybe it was the name of the substitute Italian left back in Sunday’s World Cup Final or perhaps some derivative of an Italian sexual speciality. It is neither. Felicini is the name of a restaurant group in Didsbury, Monton, Wilmslow now joined by Manchester City Centre to be followed rapidly by Bakewell and Sheffied.

Born out of Grinch and Lush I arrived for lunch with anticipation, perspiration and curiousity.

It is a special building in a quite unique location adjacent to the canal, offering alfresco dining for up to 80 people and a similar number inside. Expensively fitted out with all manner of modern accoutrements it is very much a 21st century dining experience.

Cross Croma with Oca , throw in Bramhall’s great Piccolino, add a spot of Est Est Est Alderley Edge then open your eyes and lo and behold you have the Manchester version of Felicini. It is however much more than the sum of its parts. Anyhow this is all Jonathan Schofield territory, so having set the scene, onto the food.

Superlative in its class. Great ambience, attentive service, excellent prices and marvellous cooking. This is no trattoria, no pizzeria, no Italianate English experience, though it incorporates each one of the aforementioned.

The corporate branding which differentiates Felicini from the rest of the City scene is its effortless success in offering a new Italian experience a la Milanese in a quite stunning location.

Everybody connected with this operation is to be congratulated on the innovative and creative thinking which has produced a splendid new Mancunian eating experience at “gentle and affordable” prices.

I had a superb Bruschetta with delicious bread, vine tomatoes,red onion, basil and garlic, drenched in olive oil to be followed by a great tasting pan fried Sea Bass with a Gazpacho salad, paprika oil and tarragon.

My dining companion had delicious mixed marinated olives and a large chargrilled chicken breast Caesar salad which was eaten with some relish.

Add to all this a varied wine list at sensible prices, a Sunday brunch from 11- 4, when you can enjoy a complimentary fruit juice whilst reading the Sunday papers and Felicini has almost everything.

But there is yet more; a happy hour from 5- 7 every evening and just in case your best business deals are done away from your office with a large cappuccino, Felicini opens at 10am everyday except Sundays when it is 11am.

I do hope Italy win the World Cup, that all Mancon readers support this restaurant and that Felicini becomes a considerable part of the local scene, even though I wasted much time on a fruitless search for the translation.


Geoffrey Littman

Oxford Street
(opposite the Palace Theatre)

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