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Image & Menu Change for Felicini, Didsbury

September 26, 2010
felicini, Didsbury

felicini, Didsbury

Many, many moons ago we used to frequent a lovely little Italian restuarant in Didsbury, where everything was as you’d expect. Red and white tablecloths – check. Bottles of Chianti and Valpolicella clad in straw – check. Italian operatic music on a loop – check. Hearty servings of canelloni, bolognaise and risotto – check.  So, being complete Italiophiles, we weren’t happy when we found out our favourite little corner of Italy was being updated.

However, we needn’t have worried. Felicini has gone through a number of changes since the days of the red checked tablecloths, as well as being extended over the years. Sometimes, when restaurants grow and expand and extend, they lose their edge. They become too big, too cavernous and often the quality of food and ambience suffers. However, in our opinion, this doesn’t seem to have happened at felicini, Didsbury – with the exception of the “orange” makeover phase, felicini has grown from strength to strength.

The current incarnation, for me, is the best yet. Although modern and contemporary in style and decor, there is still a nod to felicini’s Italian roots. Black and white images of Italian racing drivers. Complimentary breadsticks when you’re investigating the new menu – although, these aren’t your average breadsticks. Very stylish! The layout of the restuarant is really conduicive to dining with friends – so it’s good that the new menu has lots of sharing (almost tapas style) dishes.

felicini, Didsbury

felicini, Didsbury

The is a lot of choice on the recently launched new menu – luckily, our waiter, Jason, was very knowlegeable about all of the dishes and took the time to talk through many of the choices. For starters we opted for the lamb meatballs (with a beautiful mint and yoghurt relish) and the garlic king prawns –  these are termed “ciccetti” and are intended to be smaller portions for sharing, so the addition of a tomato garlic bread was just right.

felicini, Didsbury

felicini, Didsbury

felicini, Didsbury

felicini, Didsbury

I have a inherent fear of menus which go on for page after page. If there is that much choice, then surely the majority of the  menu must be pre-cooked, microwaved, mass-produced, or, quite simply, not fresh. The new felicini menu offers plenty of choice, but the distinct impression is that the food is not mass-produced. We saw what other diners were having, and without exception, we could have eaten each and every one. We opted for the Fiorentina pizza and the lamb burger. For me, a pizza has to be the antithesis of what’s served up across the road at Pizza Hut. Stodgy, thick crusts and loaded with oily cheese is a complete turn off. My Fiorentina was done to perfection – the thinnest of crust and base, with tomato that tasted of tomato (not a sugary, syrupy gloop), fresh spinach, succulent olives and an egg, done to absolute perfection. A proper Italian pizza – like you get in Italy. The lamb burger was also cooked to pefection, and was accompanied by crusty ciabatta, sweet potato wedges, caramelised onion and the lovely yoghurt and mint relish. All was washed down with a very crisp and palatable Pinot Grigio.

felicini, Didsbury

felicini, Didsbury

Two courses is more than sufficient, as the portions are fairly generous – without being overfacing. However, upon seeing a twist on Eton Mess on the menu, it seemed almost rude not to try it. Now this was an enormous portion – crumbled meringue (again, done to perfection – crumbly where it should be crumbly and sticky where it should be sticky), strawberries, fresh cream and a scoop of vanilla icecream, with a basil dressing. Sounds bizarre, but worked fabulously! The other choice for dessert was the presecco and white peach sorbet – literally, to die for…

felicini, Didsbury

felicini, Didsbury

felicini, Didsbury is open  Monday to Sunday from 11am for coffee, the restaurant open from 12 noon with last bookings at 11pm. To view the new felicini Locanda menu, click here.

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