Dining at Salvi’s Deansgate | A Restaurant Review

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birthday cake

He looked appalled upon hearing my answer as though I had said something so preposterous. I wondered if I had. He emphasised every single move his body made so much so his mannerism gave it away that despite living in the U.K. for over 20 years he was still Italian to the bones. Then he quickly followed up with a curious question: “So as an Italian living in England, where do you usually go to have Italian meals then?”. I think he was trying to gauge if my response would make up for what I had said a few seconds earlier when I admitted “No, I’ve never been to Salvi’s before.” 
If that was his intention, then he was sorely disappointed because none of the restaurants I listed impressed him even a little. Following that conversation, as I stared at the menu on the table, my expectations were high already. In addition, it happened to be my 26th birthday hence I decided to satisfy my craving for a taste of home.

What did I think of Deansgate Salvi’s? Is it really worth the hype? Here’s my verdict!

The Interior.

The glass doors open up and lead into a very inviting space. Without a doubt, Salvi’s is easily aesthetically pleasing to look at. We arrived around 7 pm on the dot which was the time for which we had made our reservation.
The room was well-lit when we walked in but it still gave a warm and cosy feel. Salvi’s managed to create an ambience where traditional meets modern and I’m all for it!

The Dishes.

Once our jackets came off and we were settled in our seats, a large menu with blue-printed words and a host of delicacies to choose from. I was quite indecisive about what to pick. The only thing I knew for sure was I didn’t want pizza so everything else was a valid option. Eventually, after the waiters came to take our order twice and left twice with a blank page begging to be filled on their notepad, it was obvious I had to make up my mind quickly. I promise I wasn’t the only indecisive one at the table!

I decided to roll the dice and go with the Pasta Vongole although I was rather torn between that and their Carbonara (next time, I guess!).

We opted to have the starters come out first instead of having everything come out together. It took about 20 minutes before we heard the sound of the pretty ceramic bowls hitting the wooden table. Calamari e Zucchini Fritti Con Salsa Tartare and Focaccia with Stracciatella, Rocket and Cherry Tomatoes were brought out first. They were brought steaming hot straight out of the kitchen. 

The calamari was a hit around the table as we all enjoyed it very much. The dip it came with was so delicious we asked for another (and finished that too!). While some liked the Focaccia, it was by no means my favourite. I didn’t take a liking to the toppings that were mixed together. I prefer my Focaccia a little plainer and I don’t like tomatoes when they aren’t in a sauce so that was a no-no for me! On the other hand, the chips we ordered as a side were perfect! The right amount of salt. The right amount of crispy. The right kind of chips!

Whilst we were taking the last bites off our starters, the main dishes started to make their way to our table.

The first thing that was clear to notice was the size of the dishes. I think I can fairly say that compared to other Italian restaurants I’ve been to in Manchester, Salvi’s gives the biggest servings. Or maybe the bowls were just massive!

I chose Pasta Vongole because it’d been a long while since I had eaten it. I also got to take bites around the table, so I think I got a good idea of the taste of all the dishes we ordered.

Salvi's Deansgate menu

Our table:

Calamari e Zucchini Fritti Con Salsa Tartare 
Pasta Puttanesca
Gnocchi Sorrento 
Pasta Vongole
Pasta al Aragosta
Sparkling water
No dessert

I brought my birthday cake which the staff stored till we were ready for it.

All the kinds of pasta were delicious and flavourful. I’d love to work my way around the menu more. My goal would be to try as many dishes as possible to decide if this might be a perfect candidate for the best Italian place around Manchester. Any excuse to eat, right?!

The Service.

The service was impeccable for us. We quickly dropped formalities after they discovered we were fellow Italians. We went from “hello” to reminiscing about Italian summers to cracking newly formed jokes in no time. It’s been a couple of months since I was last in Italy, so it felt great to meet my type of people.

Although our main waiter was Italian, not everyone who served us was. We had a great experience with every single staff member we encountered. Our requests were all met at satisfactory timing, so I have nothing to complain about really!

Am I going back to Salvi’s?

Yes! It might also replace some of my usual go-to restaurants if I’m being honest. As far as first impressions go, Salvi’s was on the good side and ticked most boxes for me. Overall, it’s a lovely atmosphere, with great staff members and delicious Italian meals. I’d certainly recommend this one – it’s worth your time and money! 

Rachy’s Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Want to visit the restaurant?
Click here to contact Salvi’s Deansgate or book a table!

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