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Osteria Mauro Reviewed

Hungry Hoss goes to Mottram St Andrew and finds it all just passable

Published on March 21st 2012.


Osteria Mauro Reviewed

OWNED by the family who also operate Stock in the city centre, Osteria Mauro is a self-styled ‘Italian gastropub’ in affluent Mottram St. Andrew.  

The Mauro family have a good reputation and both Stock and Osteria are impressive venues, it’s a shame that a number of our meal’s elements did not live up to expectations. 

Less formal than a ristorante or trattoria, osterie (the plural of osteria) are typically bistro style bars with an emphasis on quality food. 

I first became aware of the term through Chef Massimo Bottura's Osteria Francescana in Modena; which, at number four in the list of The World's 50 Best Restaurants, is currently one place ahead of Heston’s The Fat Duck. 

I very much doubt whether Osteria Mauro would make it onto a list of the top 50 best restaurants in the North West. 

Om Bar

Housed in the former Bulls Head on Wilmslow Road, the venue itself is set over four levels. The large bar area complete with roaring fireplace looked very welcoming. On the night we visited, a large coach party were in, having booked out a couple of areas for a private function. 

Naturally, there are plenty of Italian clichés dotted about the place: Fellini posters, pictures of Vespas, framed footie shirts from Serie A’s finest (which should please many of the Premiership stars that have made the area their home in recent years). There is even a contract for Mafia membership – fortunately they do stop short of the hackneyed candle-in-a-chianti-bottle and red and white checked tablecloths. 

After a bowl of top-notch olives (£3) and a good bread basket (£3) featuring fresh homebaked focaccia, grissini and fennel studded taralli, food wise, things looked promising. 

I selected from the Prezzo Fisso menu (three courses for £14.50). I was very impressed with a tasty ‘Funghi Margherita’ that featured mushrooms cooked in a rich tomato sauce with mozzarella and basil. I asked the waiter if he could tell me what mushrooms had been used. 

“Portobello.” came the confident reply. 

Knowing they were not Portobello, I asked another waiter the same question; to be told, “button mushrooms.” 

“I’ll ask the old guy when he comes back,” I told my wife. With a shrug, he said ‘wild’ or ‘white’ but I didn’t quite catch it. 

Only one thing for it, I snuck off to ask the chef plating up at the pass. “Paris brown” came the much more convincing response. Why the three waiting staff did not ask the chef in the first place, who knows? 

Optimistically described as ‘a tower of avocado and prawns in a Marie Rose sauce’, my wife went old school with a simple but tasty ‘Torretta di Avocado E Gamberetti’ for £6.90. Now I know the Italians are famous for their leaning towers but this one had all but collapsed. 

Torretta Di Avocado E GamberettiTorretta Di Avocado E Gamberetti

My stepdaughter’s ‘Calamari E Gamberoni Fritti’ or ‘deep fried squid and king prawns’ for £7.40 was cooked well enough but a similar dish in Jamie’s shiny new Italian in the city centre will cost you just £5.75. 

Osteria Mauro offers an exclusively Italian wine list to suit all tastes and budgets. We selected a bottle of house Prosecco for £21.95. 

Onto the mains, my ‘Triglia Alla Livoronese’ was disappointing. I get rustic, I get ‘home style’ but this rudimentary presentation was just tired and dated. Poor presentation can be forgiven if the flavours compensate but the red mullet was sadly overcooked and the tomato, olive and caper sauce lacked the expected zeal. 

Om Triglia Alla LivoroneseTriglia Alla Livoronese

My wife ‘Escalopes of Veal Piccata Al Granchio’ (at the upper end of the price range for a main at £17.90) was very good. Pink, moist, milky and tender - everything a good piece of veal should be. The creamy, crab sauce could have taken a touch more mustard but was glossy and good enough. The spinach dolloped ‘prison style’ on the side however tasted as though it had been cooked in dishwater. 

Om Escalopes Of Veal Piccata Al GranchioEscalopes Of Veal Piccata Al Granchio

At the other end of the scale, the ‘Spaghetti Alla Carbonara’ for £7.45 that my stepdaughter ordered was bland, claggy and not good value for money. Our sides of ‘new potatoes in minted butter’ ‘thick cut chips’ and a salad of ‘tomato and red onion’ were all prepared well enough but uninspiring. 

Om Spaghetti Alla CarbonaraSpaghetti Alla Carbonara

From the grubby dessert menus, we selected a disappointingly under set ‘Panna cotta alla Grappa’, a reasonable ‘Torta Caprese’ (hazelnut and chocolate cake) and a very good ‘Torta Di Formaggio’ (lemon and lime cheesecake with a winter berry coulis’. The decision to adorn each of the desserts with a kumquat dusted with icing sugar was not enough to disguise the inconsistencies in quality. 

The Mauro family have a good reputation and both Stock and Osteria are impressive venues, it’s a shame that a number of our meal’s elements did not live up to expectations. 

You can follow Hungry Hoss here @hungryhoss

ALL SCORED CONFIDENTIAL REVIEWS ARE IMPARTIAL AND PAID FOR BY THE MAGAZINE. 

Osteria Mauro, Wilmslow Road, Mottram St Andrew, SK10 4QH
01625 828111

Rating: 11.5/20
Food: 6/10
Service: 2.5/5
Ambience: 3/5

Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20, we get carried away.

Om Exterior 2

Om Grubby MenusGrubby Menus

Om Interior 5

Om Torta Di FormaggioTorta Di Formaggio

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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Hungry HossMarch 21st 2012.

Mistake spotted: should read 'with a physalis dusted with icing sugar' not a 'kumquat' - sorry.

Hero
Mark GarnerMarch 21st 2012.

it seems they haven't done anything to up their game since I did a review eighteen months ago, pity, good location. Hoss, sort your camera out!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 21st 2012.

Tis indeed a shame. Camera is usually pretty good... it's the one I use for my blog. Just dodgy lighting for pics.

AnonymousMarch 21st 2012.

Not much point of reviewing again so soon then.

pollolocoMarch 22nd 2012.

Such a shame...remember going when it first opened and it was great. It subsequently went downhill very fast. The pictures sum it up perfectly...grubby.

Thomas DelapMarch 22nd 2012.

i went and was not impressed with the food at all have not been back since

AnonymousMarch 22nd 2012.

The food is overpriced and the service appalling both here and in stock We wont be going back to either.

AnonymousMarch 22nd 2012.

We have had mixed visits to OM. Some of the dishes are fantastic, others terrible. The service when we went last time was abismally slow. Over an hour from starter to main despite asking several times. The banquet "tapas" style starter for our group dinner there was perfect, but then they followed it with over cooked fish with tasteless and minimal accompaniments.

AnonymousMarch 22nd 2012.

I also visited around 12 months ago and the food and staff were awful, would never return..

AnonymousMarch 22nd 2012.

I think calling someone 'an old guy' is very disrespectful.im pleased I cancelled my hero membership.

pollolocoMarch 23rd 2012.

get over yourself anonymous!!

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