Harden's survey result
“Big and always buzzy, San Carlo sails on as ever” – this traditional city-centre Italian is “a celeb-magnet” in these parts, and its “bustling”, see-and-be-seen style carries much of its appeal. The food is by no means incidental though – “choose well from the menu, and it can be excellent, and it’s never less than pretty good”. Service takes different people different ways: one or two reports say service can “leave much to be desired” seeming “over-attentive” or even “insincere”, but most reports are of professional staff with “great front of house skills” (“helpful and always on hand”).
“The glitterati come out at night” to this “vibrant”, “see-and-be-seen” Italian in the city-centre – by day more of a “bustling” venue for working or shopping lunches. The “quality” cooking “can be very good if you pick the right dish”, and staff – when they’re not looking after the celebs – can “display some excellent old-school skills (eg perfectly filleting a sole at the tableside)”.
“Love San Carlo!” – this “big, bold and brash” footballer-favourite is “always amazingly busy”, and its Italian fare “can be very good, if you pick the right dish”. “Service gets a bad rap” from some, but others insist that “nobody creates your night like Marcello!”
“Blingy, glitzy, big and brash” – this “glam”, “c’lebby” footballer haunt remains “one of Manchester’s hotspots” and is “always busy and vibrant”. OK, it’s arguably “overpriced”, and “at its rare worst, service can be uncomprehending and unresponsive”, but other staff are “super”, “it feels special”, and the “large Italian menu” is realised “without messing about with the finest ingredients”.
The family owned restaurant on King Street West, part of the San Carlo Group, is renowned for its outstanding regional Italian food, superb wine list, impeccable service and buzzing atmosphere.
The extensive menu includes meat, pasta and pizza as well as speciality seafood and seasonal specials.
Much of the food is sourced from the best producers in Italy such as Bottarga from Sardinia, Burrata from Naples, Culatello from Parma and, of course, Autumn white truffle from Alba.
As with all San Carlo Group venues, San Carlo Manchester attracts a wide mix of customers from couples and families to business people and celebrities.
The restaurant is recognised as one of Manchester's biggest celeb haunts with music stars, TV personalities and sporting legends amongst its regular diners.
San Carlo Manchester opened in December 2004. The main restaurant can seat over 200 people and the venue has a separate private dining room available for hire.
All restaurants in the San Carlo Group offer a true Italian experience and epitomise all that is best in genuine Italian hospitality.
San Carlo Manchester has four sister venues in the city, San Carlo Cicchetti at House of Fraser; San Carlo Fumo at One St Peter's Square; Bottega and Gran Cafe at Selfridges, Exchange Square.