Since moving to Manchester, one of the things that has been on my to-do list is to explore as many of the amazing restaurants, cafes and coffee shops around the city. There are literally so many incredible places I want to try out and as a huge foodie, eating out is definitely up there in my favourite activities. I have managed to make a good start and find myself eating out quite regularly. When deciding where to go, sometimes it is nice to try somewhere completely new and different, whilst other times it is nice to go back to an old favourite. This is what I did last week. When I was younger my family and I used to go to Bella Italia all of the time. Italian food is always a winner for me so it was one of my favourite places. I had never been to one of the chains in Manchester though so we went to check out the Deansgate branch.
On arriving, I was pleasantly surprised by the colourful and inviting decor of Bella Italia. I knew that the restaurants have undergone a revamp over the past few years and the new, vibrant and lively interior was really welcoming. We settled down in our booth and had a browse of the menu. Although the walls are bright and colourful, the candles and lighting still make it very atmospheric. I think this is the kind of place you could come with family, friends, a partner etc. it is very versatile and somewhere that appeals to everyone.
For our starters we went for the Bruschetta and the Tempura Prawns. the prawns were absolutely delicious, anything sea food, deep fried and dipped in a garlic sauce goes down well with me! The Bruschetta also was lovely and not too heavy a starter. Our waitress was extremely attentive and friendly here at Bella Italia and she also recommended that we try the new caramelised red onion pizza bread so we went for a few slices of that too. It was seriously delicious.
I had a pretty difficult choice deciding what to have for my main course. I wish I was more picky in the food I eat! I absolutely love pasta, pizza, meat and fish so I spent quite a while deciding between all the amazing options. In the end I went for one of my all time favourite dishes- the sea bass with potatoes and vegetables. I was tempted by the Pizza Vita which is basically a pizza that comes in at under 600 calories which is always good! As my guest went for a pizza though I stuck with the fish option. I was so so glad that I did. The meat was so tender and delicious and the herb & garlic salsa verde topping was the perfect finishing touch. The pizza was also so yummy. We opted for the stuffed crust version which was absolutely amazing. Cheese and carb heaven. Bella Italia really know what they are doing when it comes to creating a classic pizza.
What with all our starters and a big main course you can probably imagine that we were pretty full by this point so we decided to go for a sharing trio of desserts. We were given a mini banoffee pie which is one of my favourite puddings – it was so tasty. There was also a mini pannacotta which was so lovely and creamy. Finally there was an amaretto chocolate pot which was so rich and indulgent and the kind of thing you need when the chocolate cravings kick in! It was pure bliss. It was nice to be able to taste three such different desserts but not feel overwhelmed as the portion size was so manageable. It was a great thing to do. I love that Bella Italia really accommodate for all these kinds of things with their menu. If you wanted a giant ice cream sundae with all the trimmings that was also available! (I really want to try that next time).
We finished off the meal in style with a cappuccino and espresso…
Check out the amazing froth situation on my cappuccino – absolute perfection!
I really enjoyed my visit to Bella Italia and the food was all so good. There authentic Italian menu was bursting with choice and the staff were so helpful and friendly. That’s another brilliant restaurant in Manchester ticked off my list and I can’t wait to go and try the other two Manchester branches now as I am sure they will be just as fantastic.