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Rosso review

Jonathan Schofield finds another Italian, but one which might make the grade.

Written by . Published on December 2nd 2009.

Rosso review

I feel I have spaghetti growing out of my ears and that I walk on pavements of pizza crust.

Unlike the hapless Karims beforehand and the failed experiment of Establishment, Rosso feels comfortable here in the old Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank. The rich decor of the interior, classical in inspiration, suits the Italian menu.

Last week I dreamt I was drowning in passata, whilst black and white clad waiters exuberantly shouted "Bravo!" and Luciano Pavorotti sang ‘O Dol-e Mio’.

Bello, Bellissimo. Italiano, Italianissimo.

Too many, far too many, bog standard, boring as gnocchi Italian/Mediterranean places have opened in the past two years – as we’ve relentlessly catalogued on these pages.

The chain nonsense is especially annoying. I really couldn’t give a toss about any more Stradas and their ilk opening in the city.

So what about an Italian restaurant from a conglomerate of gentlemen with links either on British soil or further east than the boot-shaped country? How ridiculous is that? Especially if you throw in a ‘name’: Rio Ferdinand, the United centre-half, who also has some interest in the restaurant.

Yet, perhaps surprisingly, after a couple of visits, Rosso has a great chance of establishing itself in the city.

It occupies a wonderful site for starters. The restaurant and bar sits in the old Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank from 1890, with its marble halls, domes, and extraordinary plasterwork. Spot the entertaining stained glass red rose and white rose as you enter.

A gentle re-design from its previous incarnations as Karims and Establishment lets the interior speak for itself which, since it’s so elaborate, is just fine. The only sour notes are provided by the inane black and white prints of famous Italians, or Americans with Italian ancestry. All the bratpack bollocks devalues the space and makes it look like a small town wine bar. It would be easy to ditch them and replace them with...well, nothing. You get all the flamboyance needed from the marble and the plasterwork, the rest is just icing.

But b/w prints aside, with the space between the tables and scale of the room and its festival of ornamentation, Rosso is a lovely space in which to while away a couple of hours or three, especially if you get a booth.

The food provided by Gastone Scicluna is interesting but not there yet. It’s as uneven as the decor with those bratpack prints: good overall, letting itself down in certain areas. At least it is very Italian, as are the staff, despite the polyglot ownership.

Let's start with the worst aspect of the food: the desserts.

The chocolate mousse (£4.95) and the millefoglie (£5.50) were both poor. In fact none of the ones we had amounted to much. Both tasted like they’d been delivered through the back door rather than made on site, both were the type of thing you might imagine you’d find in an Italian restaurant in Eccles in 1978. The mousse was brick-like without a notion of lightness. The odd millefoglie was in some ways akin to a Greggs' vanilla slice, but not as good – horribly sickly in fact. These desserts need sorting out very quickly.

Fortunately the starters and the mains had generally far more quality.

Standout starters were Carpaccio di Manzo (£7.95) and the Capesante Crostate (scallops) (£9.87). The beef of the carpaccio was tissue light yet ripe with flavour, the Parmesan was salty and almost violent in contrast: it all worked a treat. The scallops were snaffled by Gordo, our famed Confidential critic, who found their simplicity and correct timing in cooking to his taste, as well as the herby breadcrumb dressing on top. “Nowt wrong with these,” he said eyeing up my carpaccio. The oysters (£8.25) were just dandy.

The mains showed the real potential of the food here. Three were very good: the seafood risotto (£12.75), the Dover sole (£23.95) and the pot roast rabbit (£13.95). Gordo had the fish and said, “I've a great sole, very clean, perfectly prepared.”This came as a shock to our dining companions; Alex Poots, Manchester International Festival Director and Neil Sowerby, writer, until they realised Gordo was talking about his dinner not his eternal salvation. The sole certainly looked the part. One pound in weight, it kept Gordo thoughtful for a while, until he judged it for us and found it almost the equal of those to be had in the River Restaurant at the Lowry Hotel and the French at the Midland.My risotto was a fine thing too. Full with mussels, langoustine, monk fish, and obviously cooked in a good fish stock, it brought together subtlety, full flavour and a beautifully light consistency.Sowerby's rabbit, despite looking like somebody had been ill on the plate, was given the big thumbs up. The sage critic declared himself happy with the flesh, the sauce, the veg and the herbs. Result.Poots had obviously gone mad and dined on a margherita pizza (£6.50) when Confidential was prepared to treat people to a proper food session. After early doubts about the base, the pizza worked out in terms of quality. Mr Festival marked it round about the seven out of 10 mark.We enjoyed numerous wines from an interesting list. The full Argentiera (£69.95) being the biggest hit of the meal. A whiff of this and a swill round the mouth was a tonic, literally: very clean finish to the flavours as well.

So the food can be very good, and it can be very poor. On a later visit a starter of crab and avocado came with an unripe granite-like avocado, which shows care needs to be taken in the kitchen. The staff at least had the good grace to take it off the bill. Let's hope the attention to detail issue is part of early teething problems.

The big question is this though, and it doesn't revolve around the food: what does Rosso want to be?

If it strains too hard with the Rio link then it might be last year’s news very soon. If it concentrates on just being as comfortable as it was on our visit then its reputation will build and it will become naturally popular. An overdose of press releases about visiting Hollyoaks stars will turn Rosso into a sideshow of pseudo-celebrities, make it feel plastic, cheap and crass. Having Wes Brown, for instance, dining nearby with his daughter was lovely but the quality of the risotto was more important.

It must also always remember to be a restaurant first, second, third and fourth. Maybe creating a good bar should come fifteenth down the line. Bars disappear in a flash of a mixologist's mixer, good restaurants can prosper for years.

I have the feeling that if Rosso concentrates on getting the food right, makes it braver, irons out the glaring mistakes, and follows that up with the service and atmosphere, it might be a real winner. Unlike the hapless Karims beforehand and the failed experiment of Establishment, Rosso feels comfortable here in the old Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank. The rich decor of the interior, classical in inspiration, suits the Italian theme. When they've sorted out the weak bits on that menu then we might have a fine - and for this site - long term success.

Breakdown:6.5/10 food
4/5 service
4/5 ambience
Address:Rosso Restaurant
43 Spring Gardens
M2 2BG
0161 832 1400

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: Gordo gets carried away

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

GordoDecember 2nd 2009.

Anon, you may well be a right toss pot, but do you know, you are right about the bread? Young Adam, take note.

SteveDecember 2nd 2009.

I'll try again....big shells for such tiny weeny scallops....why only 5 oysters....pray tell??

HcarterDecember 2nd 2009.

I had a great time in Rosso. The food is fine by the way. Not great but ok. Maybe the chef is from a smaller place and thinks that he can get away with this stuff in the city centre. Still as Jonathan says it's a great place to sit admire the decor and relax. Give the place chance I'm looking forward to going back to letting other people enjoy the place.

GordoDecember 2nd 2009.

Leslie, I hate to say this but I don't have a lot of sympathy with you. If a Dover Sole, which is one of the best fish in the sea, is not cooked properly, you get the waiter over immediatly and tell him, politeley and quietly, to take it back to the chef and get one that is cooked well. That way, you do the chef a favour 'cos he gets to bollock the grill/fish chef, you do yourself a favour 'cos you get value for your twenty-four quids worth of fish and the head waiter will pick up on it and ensure everyone looks after you. Also, you do the next feller ordering a dover sole a favour 'cos he gets a good one. Never take these things on the chin. I sent a bouef en croute back once in Maxims in Paris, they shat themselves and I got a perfect one back. I walked in six weeks later, the Maitre d' fell over himself to get to me and the chef sent us a couple of glasses of their house champagne (and good it was too). Always pick up on crap stuff. But don't forget, a good word for good stuff is just as important.

mustavapeeDecember 2nd 2009.

I was pleasantly suprised when i visited Rosso.Thought is was going to be one of those wannabee restaurants.Well what can i say;food fantastic,service exemplory,ambiance fantasticno more san carlos for mekeep it up Rosso, could be the best restaurant in the north

CaldyDecember 2nd 2009.

Agreed. Someone who had good knowledge told me once that a restaurant is about 3 things in equal measure which make it a success. 1 is food, 1 is service and the last, the 'other' thing best descibed as ambience and is like you say - atmosphere, setting, mood, location, occasion etc. I was hoping though that in such a setting, that an amazing food could happen as well, something cutting edge and with the standards in turn which sets manchester up. To my mind jenny, the truth is that Manchester deserves better food for the money it spends!

Jonathan Schofield - editorDecember 2nd 2009.

As this personal comment is about Gordo, I'll allow it - attack us for what we say and that's fine. But Anonymous those walls were already painted, and they don't have marble behind them. Now, second point, I wrote the review did you read it? At least you've reminded me that my bread second time around was poor as well. But what I'm trying to say is that I really enjoyed being in the place - I enjoyed the whole dining experience. As a critic you have to look at the big picture not go narrow.

scoteeeDecember 2nd 2009.

So- what we have here are poor desserts, stale bread, over cooked fish and mushroom painted marble with a lot of people milling about trying to find their place. So what, let it settle down and go back in a couple of months. There will have been a lot of hard work and effort getting it near what they feel is right. Constructive criticism goes a long way and you would think that these comments will be read by Rosso. Fix these things there is a Gem there. I wish people would stop being so fvking negative and give people a chance. However; If they haven’t learnt by the errors in a few months after I have paid to go and eat there I will be first in the queue to give out a shoeing!

LisaDecember 2nd 2009.

Not on the staff??? (!!!!!!!!) no i am not. Im just enthusiastic about the restaurant thats all.

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2009.

Or maybe anon, they get a bit pissed off with the usual slappers as some men are so simple they think that any girl in a sort dress is wearing it to extra him. Ask the lady who Marlon King punched after she had the cheek to be different to the usual 'dolled up bimbos' and told the footballer where to go.

JennyDecember 2nd 2009.

It's a great place to sit as the writer says and enjoy a comfortable few hours. It's got a stateliness which is charming. Caldy as you know going out is about more than the food. Here the food is adequate and can get better, the overall atmopshere is lovely though.

C 2 The GDecember 2nd 2009.

Took my wife the other night and thought the place was pleasent - i'm with Gordo on the desert as I was not to impressed but would 100% go again

CasDecember 2nd 2009.

Paul, this is pathetic and you really want to take a look at yourself. You have copied something off another thread onto this, it's stalking and I think ManCon should take a look. Anyway, do you see the 'trying to book the xmas do at Obsidian' and the 'In fact I've just tried to book for the Christmas do as Obsidian is full as I left it too late'. What does that tell you Paul?

CasDecember 2nd 2009.

I disagree about the number of Italian restaurants. Actual quality Italian restaurants are thin on the ground in Manchester. Stock, San Rocco and then what if we're honest? San Carlo divides opinion. So I'd welcome this addition if it's good. In fact I've just tried to book for the Christmas do as Obsidian is full as I left it too late. Again. One final point though, how can Ego get 6/10 when the food looked terrible and the reviewer said as much and this place just get half a mark more when it looks pretty good to me and sounds tasty as well. I'm not a food reviewer but seems a bit unfair.

Eat SoupDecember 2nd 2009.

Yet another hit and miss 'average' Italian restaurant opens in Manchester. Yippee :-(

LisaDecember 2nd 2009.

Went on the weekend.... sooo busy, but still great service. The staff are not arrogant, very attentive. I am going again this week! :-) Iv never had a bad meal there! Im a food snob too and very hard to please, so they are deffo doing something right. Well Done!!!

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2009.

Asparagus in January????

peaceDecember 2nd 2009.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: folks try and be funny and intelligent not hasty, brutish, like kids swapping insults. Maybe we need to get rid of this rant capability.

SarahDecember 2nd 2009.

I went the other night and my margherita pizza looked alot nicer than the one in your picture.

johnthebriefDecember 2nd 2009.

I'm going to Rosso next weekend, thanks for the tips...

johnDecember 2nd 2009.

Gordo, see ya point to a degree, but also think if the ask £24 for a fish the least you can expect is a decent piece cooked to your liking ! Whats the fish chef doing in a place like this if he can't simply cook ? As for the head chef...why did he let it go out ? As for blaming Leslie because she didn't make a fuss is wrong, why didn't the waiter ask ? is that his job when all said and done ?..

sueDecember 2nd 2009.

Something tells me that isnt actually the real "arnie s hira'' being nice about another restaurant. He isnt able to do that...... Great banter everyone!On the topic..... ROSSO is bang on. Love the place. everytime i have been the staff are great, so attentive, always making a fuss... is everything ok etc..... The lobster pasta is divine.

aliceDecember 2nd 2009.

Very dissapointed by the food. I would go so far to say it was actually bad. The music and lighting were at the wrong levels and the service was poor. They were busy, and could use it as an excuse, but I wont bother going back.

Gordo againDecember 2nd 2009.

Rick, I agree. Everytime we do a review of a smart place we have the kneejerkers about people who dress differently to them. The smart ladies are other human beings who just dress dress differently. It's as wrong to assume they are thick just as it is wrong to assume black people can only be drug dealers. Be pleasant for a change. comment on the food or the venue.

GKWDecember 2nd 2009.

@Cas:- Cas I'm with you on this, I like the reviews on this site but I would only rely on my own judgement on any dining establishment, but there will always be those who have put their on 2 bobs worth in often without the knowledge of decent venues. I also love to eat out a lot and do so 3-4 times a week and just to upset some I'm always dressed in a suit.

ARNIE S HIRADecember 2nd 2009.

No Scoteeee.... I should do shouldnt i...... I never learn. LOL. I guess i have just got it wrong once again. DOHHHH! Peace

ellymayDecember 2nd 2009.

Hot Pot was good last night! Very enjoyable evening! Thanks Man Con team

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2009.

girls who don't like dolled up bimbos are usually ugly, or fat, or both.

GordoDecember 2nd 2009.

Avo, shoulda used the Heroes booking service ;-)

Jonathan SchofieldDecember 2nd 2009.

Interestingly on the two occasions I've been into Rosso the place has had a well-dressed crowd of diners in. Nothing over the top just smart with some people dressed casually. I feel sometimes when people see smart people - any type of smartly dressed people - in a Manchester restaurant they have a go. That's a bit silly really, even a bit unsavoury.

Jonathan Schofield - editorDecember 2nd 2009.

I've had a good afternoon now. So I'd like to also say that Rosso will stay the course and that Hcarter's points are spot on. I'd also like to say to Arnie that I've eaten, what, six times in Ithaca and not been spotted four of those times and I've not had a bad meal yet. Well done fella.

AvoDecember 2nd 2009.

Hint taken Gordo, I'll sign up by the end of the week!

emma graceDecember 2nd 2009.

Live and let live folks! And if you're really not fond of the "bimbo/celebrity" set, then don't go to a restaurant that's fronted by Rio Ferdinand! As JS mentioned, there's more than enough other Italians to choose from.

GordoDecember 2nd 2009.

Went again last night, had the best lobster thermidor in town. Adam, once again, you need to give your kitchen brigade budget for a pastry chef/ station. To produce such fab starters and mains, then serve banal, ordinary puddings that are delivered through the back door is shamefull. Your front of house team are on top form mind you.

GordoDecember 2nd 2009.

Adam, Jonathan is right about the puddings, they let you down badly. My apple pie was a shocker. Get a pastry chef in sharpish. or change the one you have. Your fish, however, is exemplary, change the mayonnaise as well, the chef should be making fresh batches of his own every day.

johnDecember 2nd 2009.

Cheers Gordo for the clarification....I see your point and as such I take back everything i said ! leslie, stop moaning and just eat it will ya !....

BethanyLeahDecember 2nd 2009.

I was pleasantly surprised by Rosso - I have to say I wasn't expecting much; just another 'posh' Italian but the scallops were lovely and my steak with brandy cream was absolutely perfect. Great service too, and a good atmosphere, even on a Tuesday night. The only thing that put me off a little were all the dolled up bimbos hanging around rio ferdinand and wayne rooney!

SimonDecember 2nd 2009.

Took my mum here on Saturday night as guests of ManCon (many thanks for that!).I had the carpaccio di manzo, fileto con gamberoni and fragole and amaretto cheesecake.The former melted in the mouth, and conformity to the modern obsession with rocket was well placed. I overdid the lemon juice slightly, but thankfully had only edged one small part of the plate with it.My steak was cooked rare (and to perfection, a refreshing change), while the sauce bore more than a passing resemblance to a thinned out Heinz tomato soup. This is not to say it was bad, but I felt it lacked wow factor in terms of the quality of the meat and the wonderful time my mother was clearly having with her vegetarian options ! (funghi ripeni, risotto ai funghi selvagi).I feel I must agree with many of the comments made about the desserts. Often one finds that a good finishing course can make up for something less than satisfactory beforehand, but in this case, they take the overall experience from an impressive peak down to a pleasant meal. The consistency of the cheesecake was a little slimey, and the amaretto flavour was a little too subtle. My mother was similarly underwhelmed by the chocolate mousse, having beamed and raved about the risotto.The service throughout was excellent, and I felt thoroughly happy in handing over a sizeable tip to the gentleman responsible. So many times in Manchester I have had to bob my head about like a meerkat and not so much as *see* a member of the front of house team, but on Saturday night I barely needed to lift my gaze before someone was there to help us.

GordoDecember 2nd 2009.

Avo, heroes party at Mark Addy, hot pot and booze on me, is what JTB is talking about. Bloody funny.

B KeatingDecember 2nd 2009.

I went after reading the review. It's a good place this. The location and its reinvention is strong. The fish dishes are ok, the steaks stronger, the attention to detail in the food needs upping as stated in the review. And those puddings are terribly clumsy.

NorthernGeezerDecember 2nd 2009.

Good impartial review, i think you'll find though that this place becomes just another expensive celebrity haunt. Who gives a monkeys who's sat at the table next to you if the food is just average. It seems Rosso has someway to go before the word 'excellent' can come to the fore.

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2009.

Food OK? Fine? So, what we have is another mediocre Italian restaurant. If it's all about the decor then Establishment should still be insitu, at least the food there was a lot more than 'fine'. Yes, there may well be teething troubles but as a brand new restaurant that's had a vast amount of pre-opening PR, they should at least try to get the basics right from day one. The fact that the staff appear to be indifferent can be explained by the fact they learnt their trade in another mediocre Italian at the other end of King Street

NorthernGeezerDecember 2nd 2009.

Remember, however hard you try....................you cant polish a turd.

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2009.

I had lunch there this week and was quite disappointed. £80 for 2 people without wine and only adequate food - well, no better than the food at any other reasonably good place in Manchester (many of which do affordable lunch time menus). Asparagus starter wasn't fresh - a bit shrivelled. Monkfish main was fine - that's all though, fine. Half the desserts were not available and yes, they do buy them in as the reason given was that they were waiting for a delivery.

Rick "Superfreak, Super Freaky" JamesDecember 2nd 2009.

Or mayeb some girls just like to hate on 'bimbos'. You never read reviews on here, of say, I dunno, some place in the Northern Quarter where girls leave comments like, the food was great, the only thing that put me off were the girls in there, wearing parka's and flat shoes without make up on, making no effort to dress up. But mention Panacea or somewhere and it's all fake tan, take tits, bimbos etc etc, even the men on here do it. WTF? Bimbos' keep bimbo'ing. Slags keep on slagging...I'll see ya'll soon in Rosso and ya'll can join my stable of ho's. Chuuch.

GordoDecember 2nd 2009.


CaldyDecember 2nd 2009.

This restaurant does not look like a good addition. Dishes are simple (not in a good way) and clumsy looking. Anyone can grill a peice of Dover Sole, its nothing new and £24 is steep for that. The culinary vaule of this restaurant to Manchester is low. Am I right here?

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2009.

Gordo, it seems to me that you are just arselicking Rosso, Adam etc, as you have jumped down the throat of everyone who has dared to say that this restaurant is not as good as you obviously think it is. I ate there last week and completely agree that there are too many managers wandering about trying to make themselves look they are actually needed and more staff than people eating. Whilst our service was actually very good, the bread was stale and we had fish that was overcooked and when we told the waiter, he did not offer to replace it nor did he knock it off the bill. PS: The decor is awful, why have they plastered over stunning marble and painted it mushroom? Those red plastic looking chairs are disgusting and as for those pictures on the walls ... have a good weekend brownnoser.

CasDecember 2nd 2009.

No probs, just think the food here and at Ego looks miles and miles apart. Managed to get the staff in for Xmas though which is a relief!

AvoDecember 2nd 2009.

I really wanted to comment on that but thought I'd get strung up for being a pedant!

Were happy if cas is happy !December 2nd 2009.

So glad you got sorted, we were all beginning to worry about your Xmas doo ! Why not tell Obsidian who you are, i'm sure the'll accomodate ! Now back to the review hey ? ( Rosso one, not ego....that was a different thread !)

ARNIE S HIRADecember 2nd 2009.

Once i find time to have a break from working (promoting my restaurant ithaca on the greatest social networking site in the world that is facebook) i will book myself in.... if ROSSO will allow me. PEACE

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2009.

You obviously went on a different day to Leslie then?

lisaDecember 2nd 2009.

ok anonymous.... everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I enjoy it each time I have been. The service has been fantastic, and the food was exceptional, I dine out a lot thankyou so i dont need to get out more. I know a good restaurant when ive been to it... several times.

scoteeeDecember 2nd 2009.

Your food is white hot though :@)

LeslieDecember 2nd 2009.

I had dinner with my husband on Tuesday, I have ordered Dover Sole, I was very disappointed the fish was very tough I left it all, but my biggest disappointment was the non interest of the staff. Surely when a waiter clear the plate in front of you and sees that nothing was touched should at least ask the reason why, and if there is a problem at least offer to do something about it. But no, nothing happened, even the middle aged Manager didn’t take any notice, maybe he was too busy chatting the two young ladies sitting at the table next to us. What a disappointment. I’m sorry, but when you pay good money for something you deserve at least a bit of service and attention. I will surely not go back to Rosso and my feedback to my friend will not be positive.

PaulDecember 2nd 2009.

Cas says..“ Oi, I've been well busy finally trying to book the xmas do at Obsidian amongst other things. Now I'm going to the North Pole (not literally) as have a babysitter tonight!” so where is the xmas do or are you having many

AvoDecember 2nd 2009.

What was going on last night John?

ADDecember 2nd 2009.

As wayne is married its probably not too harsh to have a pop at young ladies who choose to hang around him. That said he might have just been out with his sister...

GordoDecember 2nd 2009.

Eat Soup, you naughty person, have you tried it yet?

The Great GratsbyDecember 2nd 2009.

few too many exclamation marks there Lisa, you sure you're not on the staff?

terry tibbsDecember 2nd 2009.

i agree with northern geezer - i.e. (i assume) his point being cut and paste this bit.....It occupies a wonderful site for starters. The restaurant and bar sits in the old Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank from 1890, with its marble halls, domes, and extraordinary plasterwork. Spot the entertaining stained glass red rose and white rose as you enter.establishment, karims, now rosso. it aint working.

MildredmoptonDecember 2nd 2009.

I have booked a table at Rosso in December and also got the option to go to Podium at The Hilton Hotel - I am used to dining in Mitchelin star restaurants in London - so help needed in which one is best to choose.

CasDecember 2nd 2009.

I shouldn't rise to it but I will. Look, if your whole pupose of reading ManCon is to comment on me and my comments then that is sad. Look, I like eating out and do a lot, I'm also opionated and quite frankly if I want to make a comment I will. The Christmas party relevance was that I'd booked it on the strength of this review which overall is good - and the pics of course. There are in excess of 20 articles on the front page of ManCon, I've commented on a grand total of 3 and not anonymously. If that so bothers you, you feel the need to have a pop then that's quite pathetic.

GordoDecember 2nd 2009.

John, I have done some investigating. The feller in charge of the fish station was having a bad day, he had come home the night before to find that his wife was having Ugandan discussions with the fishmonger, tripped up trying to take a swing at said fishmonger, fell on the dog, broke its leg so got a huge vets bill to boot. The following morning on the way to work, having got the bus 'cos his car wouldn't start, he had to endure three schoolgirls laughing at him as he had opened a bottle of coke and it had gone all over his pants and finally, when he got to worked discovered that the exec chef had started buying fish from the feller who was giving his missus one. Get my point? We all have a bad day. Uh, the waiter by the way was one of those blind fellers who had been fitted with the latest robotic optical nerve; it worked quite well, but is fish blind.

NorthernGeezerDecember 2nd 2009.

Trouble is Gordo theres too many dont like to make a fuss in a restaurant. Me, i've even sent water back!!!!.

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2009.

Oh dear, you really do need a pee don't you? No staff loos at Rosso?

NorthernGeezerDecember 2nd 2009.

And therein lies the problem with "service". Too many waiters, and restaurant managers for that matter, pay too little attention to the word. The question "how was your meal" if asked is given in a way that they expect the answer to come back as "fine". Off the top of my head i cant think of the last place i ate in where the question was asked in a way that they really cared about my answer. I agree with Leslie, anything left on a plate, and certainly a substantial quantity as a whole fish should be questioned by the waiter and the manager.Alas, at £24 i think all they wanted was yer cash Leslie.

GordoDecember 2nd 2009.

Anon, what a silly person you are. Who are you anyway?

scoteeeDecember 2nd 2009.

Arnie, have you got rid of those bloody awful square seats in the loos yet? most arses are round?!

AnonymousDecember 2nd 2009.

Pants when I went. Of course last weekend was busy, it's the busiest weekend of the year. OK food, OK service but that's about it, won't rush back. As a 'food snob' Lisa, you need to get out more

SteveDecember 2nd 2009.

Maybe the girls were there to help Wayne and Rio with the long & complicated words on the menu....just a thought.

emmawhitefieldDecember 2nd 2009.

Cas - take it as a compliment - not everyone get's their very own sarky stalker!!! Agree on the ego thing - that place looked pants - this looks pretty nice - good review, might give it a go - thanks!x

GordoDecember 2nd 2009.

<----- laughing at John (in a nice way...)

Jonathan Schofield - editorDecember 2nd 2009.

It would have got more Cas if the quality of the mains had been spread around. It might even have got more if the desserts hadn't been so very bad. And different reviewers have different brains too. We brief reviewers on the way they should mark but it's down to how they see it.

Pedro1874December 2nd 2009.

Mitchelin - priceless! Which ones Mildred pray tell?

scoteeeDecember 2nd 2009.

Agreed, food was lovely thanks for the beer too...

A.KFebruary 4th 2010.

Hi All reviewers, after reading through your rants, and knowing what food critics you all are... I have took your critism in high regard, and would like to inform all those who have been terribly disappointed in Rosso's deserts in the past, I have managed to wrestle the chef into making all our deserts in house! So instead of finding a 'sloppy cheescake' with lack of flavour, you are more likely to find home made passion fruit icecream, champagne rubarb, apple and raisin crumble... I hope you all enjoy

CASFebruary 5th 2010.

Those deserts sound really nice. Passion fruit seems to have become the new in thing with deserts. No doubt we'll have passion fruit foam next. Or essence of passion fruit, or a passion fruit wafer, or a trio of passion fruit, you get the picture ;)

Ag StaFebruary 20th 2010.

customer service was poor, food was average- defo can find much better food in manchester, interior a bit tacky - especially them red chairs, too many tables - everyone was sitting on each other; even you book a table,expect to wait about hour even staff member will be tellin u you gonne be sat down in 10mins- seen about 7 groups of 5people in each walking out because of massive delay they had last time, well overated and overpriced place, would not recommend

NortherngeezerFebruary 21st 2010.

My biggest complaint against restaurants, and the one major reason i never return..............if i book a table for 8.00. and i NEVER arrive late, i should be sat at 8, not 8.15, not 8.20. a booked table should be sat at the booked time, this should be the holy grail of all restaurant managers.

AvoMarch 20th 2010.

Had a very poor experience at Rosso on Friday night. Had a table booked for 9:00pm. We arrived at 8:50pm, were greeted and asked to wait in the bar area until our table was ready. I had to chase the girl on reception on two occasions and after waiting until 9:50, we decided to cut our losses and leave. A delay like that is totally unacceptable. I'll never go back to Rosso again.

GordoMarch 20th 2010.

That two sittings thing isn't working; I will let Marie know about it Avo. The chef is now producing his own puddings in the place now as well.

AvpMarch 20th 2010.

Cheers Gordo. A good friend had come over from Liverpool for a night out and I felt somewhat embarassed when we had to decamp to Grill on the Alley who by the way are always consistently good. Had a great Stonier Pinot Noir there too.

AvoMarch 20th 2010.

Ermm that was me before not AVP.

GordoMarch 21st 2010.

I nipped into Grill on the Alley on Thurday night and shared a lobster with our Commercial Director AKA The Fuhrer. It was bloody excellent. The place shows how a group can produce individual restaurants of a very high calibre.

rosieMarch 21st 2010.

Grill on the Alley is a great place. Fab food and cocktails, but the customer service is spectacular. I booked 2 tables for my daughter's 14th birthday (1 for girlies, 1 for grown-ups) and Rob the manager couldn't have been more helpful. Came up with a great menu for the girls, which was printed especially for them with my daughter's name on. They all said how fantastic the waiting staff were. Adults had a lovely meal-again, our waiter was great. Absolutely love, love, love this place. Oh, and after having discussed my budget for the kid's meal with Rob and expecting to pay £X, we were so pleased when we came to pay and he'd managed to bring it in at 15% under! The man's a star and I can't praise him and his staff enough for making the day so special for us all.

CASMarch 21st 2010.

It's so nice when places go the extra mile, everyone likes to feel special. I think this is a key to doing well right now. I'm quite sure all the people who went to your, rather great sounding, young teenagers do, would go again.

AnonymousMay 9th 2010.

First went to Rosso last December for a few drinks, the bar and restaurant looked impressive so we finally went for a meal there last week. All went well, the waiters were attentive, menu looked great and the food was really nice. Unfortunately, 3 hours later, my boyfriend ended up vomiting up our very expensive birthday treat meal!! It was really awful!! I contacted Rosso the next day to advise them what had happened and recievd little or no sympathy whatsoever. Wasn't looking for a free meal but we eat out regularly and this has never happened at San Carlos or an nice Italian restaurant in town!! The Manager offered little or no effort in listening only to tell me that everything is cooked from fresh and this has never ever happened before. Well it has and it's a shame as it was a really nice evening but completely ruined by the dodgy food that they serve. Clearly something went wrong and all I can say is that I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone. If you want to chance this 'fine' restaurant then avoid the seafood and don't order the creme brulee for dessert!!!

Fiona JenkinsSeptember 10th 2010.

Once again, a footballer makes the headlines for dishonour, disloyalty and plain stupidity by committing adultery with a prostitute. This comes as no surprise as it is a common feature in tabloid news of late. What I do find incredibly insulting is that the owners of the restaurant Rosso, where it all took place, are boasting about increased profits since the story hit the press.
Rio Ferdinand is one of the owners and is making money from the press the restaurant is receiving. As far as I am concerned, those who profit from prostitution are called Pimps and Rio Ferdinand is no better than this for condoning such behaviour.
I have eaten at Rosso before all this happened and concluded that the restaurant had only been so successful because of its celebrity associations because the food was certainly not anything to write home about. I did intend to give them a second chance, despite the forty minute wait to be seated, however I would rather dine at a greasy spoon than give my money to somebody who is benefitting from the sex trade. I think it is appalling that the owners should condone such behaviour. It irritates me even more that both the offender (Wayne Rooney) and the pimp (Rio Ferdinand) are flying the flag for the national side.

AnonymousSeptember 10th 2010.

Great rant Fiona - now I know that Rio ships in escorts to pretty-up Rosso(allegedly), I wil never eat there again - and you're so right, the food is nothing special, the service is almost as arrogant as the 'sleb' Italian at the other end of King Street and the two-sittings thing is daft and outdated

SarahDecember 21st 2010.

Dreadful restaurant for the wannabe WAG/footballer fraternity. Should have listened to AA Gill in the Times but someone convinced me to go. Never before have I eaten raw peppers after the menu has professed them to the chagrilled. My companion said she had eaten turkey like that served in Rosso in a quaint hotel in Torquay in 1980 - get the picture? Thus followed a discussion about whether boil-in-the-bag/processed turkey would ever be free range as the menu claimed. It truly was third rate and to add insult to injury they added (and we subtracted) a 10% service charge. This wouldn't have been so laughable had the waiter not left our water jug unpoured only to tell us ten minutes later that he would pour it when we began to do it ourselves. He then walked away and left us for another 15 minutes. We asked to see the dessert menu (why, are we masochists?) and were brought the foulest-looking plate of desserts to view. They had obviously been there since the previous day as all had developed lovely looking skins. Needless to say,we declined. The cherry on top was when (in mid-conversation) the waiter abandoned us, abruptly bashing the dessert plate into the table, and ran to a nearby table (where another two waiters were already tending to a mix-up). Who's having a heart attack we thought? No one, it transpired. The table were obviously a moneyed bunch and deemed more worthy than us. AVOID AT ALL COSTS. Save yourself the trouble of kicking yourselves very hard afterwards (and a load of cash) and go and get the 2 dine for a tenner offer at Waitrose in Boots. You will have a better meal!

SarahDecember 21st 2010.

Since I posted my rant I have read with interest the grumbles about poor desserts and, moreso, the claims of freshly-made desserts by A.K in Feb of this year. In no way were the desserts I was presented with yesterday homemade. I recognise a Sarah Lee chocolate-fudge cake when I see one. Likewise the cheesecakes wouldn't have looked out-of-place next to those sorbet-filled lemons and oranges or yesteryear. The customer really needs to be treated with more intelligence. This is not the 1970's. People eat out much more regularly than they used to and, as such, expect a certain standard. This place needs to go back to the drawing boards - preferably erasing the tacky red touches, again another dated element. God, that's feel better.

angriochaddyDecember 22nd 2010.

LMAO! If reading this doesn't confirm my conviction as a Manc of mature years, that this city is fast disappearing up its own posterior, I don't know what does. Desserts that are anything less than homemade and delectable ? Fish so beautifully- cooked that it justifies every penny of its extortionate price? By heck, if little things like that can't be taken for granted, then why are all you mugs being taken in by it ??
Last time I saw Rio out shopping with his missus, he looked sleek and expensively- dressed enough to survive some of Rosso's diners ' voting with their feet'.

AnonymousDecember 5th 2012.

Very poor food and dreadful service, will not going be going back!

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