Tag Archives: Salvis

Salvis Mozzarella Bar – Manchester

The Flame required pampering. A boys outing was in the offing and so something Italian and informal was needed. Salvis, the long standing Manchester based Italian produce importer seemed to fit the bill. I’ve already reviewed Salvis Cucina, so I set my aim on the newly re-opened Salvis Mozzarella Bar in the Corn Exchange.

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We arrived via a cocktail or two. Unlike the flash new names that are exploding upwards into the rather impressive Corn Exchange, Salvis have burrowed into the bowels for their dining area. You enter via a wonderful, understated frontage with a few outside tables and then through a narrow but non the less exquisite deli area. The restaurant is down some steps at the end of the counter.

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Our table for two (could have sat four or five) was secreted as far into the bowels as possible. It’s fairly dark down there, but rather romantic. Tables are wooden of a rustic nature, the chairs wooden also with a sprig of coloured paint. I’m sure I passed a tree under there too! Despite our booked appointment of 6.45, the place was full, the staff a little hassled. However, our waiter soon had our table cleaned and prepared and a bottle of Bardalino set up. We surveyed the large, two sided, menus. A blaze of Italian classics, we were drooling.

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I started with Mozzarella in carrozza (£7.00) Egg fried bread filled with Mozzarella. Well, it is a mozzarella bar after all! I mean melted cheese, deep fried, between two slices of eggy bread, whats not to like? I wolfed it in no time.

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Deep fried eggy bread mozzarella, goats cheese and pancetta salad

The Flame went Goats cheese and Pancetta warm salad (£8.95). Not keen on goats cheese myself, the flame loves it. I did taste the pancetta though, wonderfully smoked, it was delish! Both dishes very simply presented, no dots of jus or smears here!

For mains I had the Farcito Calzone (£11.00) Tomato, Mozzarella, ham, mushroom and artichokes. Whilst it’s fair to say a calzone pizza doesn’t look much when first presented, this one soon made its mark. The customary ‘leoparding’ (charred raised bits of dough) was all present and correct. One swift cut through the middle soon had the uncious ooze of the Mediterranean swimming across the plate. Soft globules of herby artichoke, tomatoes and ham melded in a moist puddle of olive oil. It was wonderful.

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Calzone, the deli flash

 

The Flame went a little more out on a limb. Tonno alla Paesana (£12.95) Fresh tuna, cooked with tomatoes, capers and olives. Tuna seemed a touch overdone to me, but tasted superb. Maybe the substantial drizzle of hot Italian accompaniment sent it over from pink. This is right up The Flames street, she declared it devine.

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Tuna and tiramisu. The tuna is under there honest!

 As ever, whenever Im in an Italian I have to have tiramisu, just to test against my childhood memory from Don Luigi’s in Culcheth! This didn’t disappoint. Soft, sweet, creamy and boozed with coffee. A massive portion though, with two spoons. I think they misheard when I said we only wanted one?

As the accent is on romantic rather than bling in here the images are a little dark and don’t do the food justice. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, The Flame quickly acclaiming it one of her favourites. The bill came in at £75, which contained a £20 bot of Bard, so I reckon that was pretty good.

Theres plenty more great dishes to try, so it looks like we’ll be back. Would have to nip back anyway, just to buy some mozzarella from the deli bar….

Salvis Mozzarella Bar

Unit 22b,
The Corn Exchange,
Exchange Square,
Manchester, M4 3TR

0161 222 8021

www.salvismanchester.co.uk

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Top Ten Dishes of 2014

Not wishing to miss out on a shameless plug for the Cook Twit blog and a chance to rehash some of my earlier work with minimal effort, I thought I’d jump full square on to the food bloggers best of 2014 bandwagon. 2014 has been a great year for grub. Though thanks to the fast diet I’m 6lbs lighter!

As one mate says to me “Do you ever have a crap meal”. Well generally because I go to places that other foodies on twitter have recommended, the answer is No. So I should add if there are places not mentioned below who know I’ve visited them. It is no slight, it is merely the fact that these had a slight, undefinable edge. There are thousands of dishes at number 11 !

Its my view that a quality dish chimes when several factors gel. Apart from the obvious ones, flavour, ingredients, skill of the chef, I reckon the circumstances around the meal play a big part. Degree of ‘hungriness’, atmosphere, who you are with, mood, expectation, service and a whole host of ‘soft’ issues. With this in mind you may find some of my choices a little surprising. But here goes in no particular order.

10) I love fish and chips. the best I had this year was sat on my own in the sunshine in Albert Square Manchester. It was served in a cardboard tray by The Hip Hop Chip Shop as part of the Manchester Food Festival. Simply superb with lovely skin on chips and chillied onion ring. But a special mention should go to The Elephant 1934 and the Arnside chippy who both came a close second.

Great fish and chips
Great fish and chips

9) I love seafood and pasta. I had no better of both at Salvis in Manchester. Seafood tagliatelle. Stunning.

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8) I love brunch. Seems to have become very popular this year. I had no finer than at Beef and Pudding. A vast helping for £9.95. The Flames Egg Benedict equally good.

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7) I have a raging sweet tooth. Always save my second sweet stomach for afters! Had an amazing marmalade and ginger cheesecake, served in a kilner jar whilst sat by the Thames in London on a glorious summers eve. The Tied End Cottage Pub, Teddington. Incredible. The warm peach tart at The Assheton Arms deserves a mention though.

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6) Love my ‘dirty’ street food. Mumma Schnitzel set up an obligatory Citroen H van in Spinningfields, Manchester (sadly now departed) and served up the finest chicken schnitzels known to man. A standard Friday lunch treat. Even better the ‘specials’. My favourite the ‘Hanoi Hanoi’. Thai flavours mingled in with a kick.

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5) On a similar theme, Twitter had served up frightening images of the Solita Christmas Burger. I was hooked. All expectations were met (apart from the candied chipolata on top). Christmas dinner in a bun.

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4) Love a pie,  I regularly buy Great North Pie Co versions, but had a couple of beauties outside this year. After a six hour drive and starving, I think The Church Green, Lymm, chicken and root veg just shades The Roebucks mutton pie. Nags Head did an amazing chicken leg and ham one too.

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3) Went to Mughli on the curry mile in Rusholme, Manchester for the first time this year. Had their signature seafood biryani. Superb.

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2) Went to Sicily this year for the hols. Fish is big there. Had a great big dorado served on a platter with potatoes, veg and gravy at ‘La Grotta Azzurra’ in Toamina. Served at the table. Awesome.

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1) Anything at The Pig On The Beach Hotel. Went for a week for our 25th wedding anniversary. All ingredients grown or caught within a couple of miles. I had a slab of turbot caught that morning. Chef told me in the day that it was coming. It doesn’t get fresher than that.

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So there you have it, the top ten. Like I said though, there are hundreds of number elevens. Well done chefs a great year. Lets see what we can have in 2015.

Salvi’s Cucina – Manchester

Possibly the best Italian meal I’ve ever had?

Salvis Cucina (kitchen in Italian) is a new, rather understated eatery that has sprung up in the nondescript concrete avenue of John Dalton Street in Manchester. I sportingly took The Flame there as recompense for a forthcoming road trip with a couple of gentlemen friends to watch a bunch of rock debutants in North London outpost Enfield.

The outside
The outside

Salvis sprang forth in the mind as one or two local work pals have raved over their pre existing ‘Mozzarella Bar’ down the other end of town in the ill fated Corn Exchange Triangle. Salvis are an Italian dynasty that has purveyed quality Italian ingredients in Manchester for a few years now. And after our meal I wholeheartedly suggest they continue.
Decor is rather modest, the odd flash of colour from a strategically placed painted chair. The open kitchen dominates, the hardworking chefs plunder their skills amongst a plethora of shaving, slicing and turning machinery. It’s a pleasing sight.

Menu, colourful chairs, the kitchen, the specials roll
Menu, colourful chairs, the kitchen, the specials roll

Our table was preordained after I had ventured in earlier in the day. Our table was set right up against the semi height glass frontage. As this was a sunny eve our table was streaked with fresh sunlight and fresh(ish) Manchester air. It was wonderful. Our delightful Italian waitress plied us with water and wine and took our order after explaining the specials in the most delicate Italianate English. To further help the specials are scrawled on a large brown paper roll. Nice touch.
Our antipasti soon homed into view. Mine first, ‘Cappachio Di Nanzo Rucola E Grana’ (beef, rocket, Parmesan, drizzled with olive oil, balsamic and lemon £8.50). It was wonderful, ‘waffer’ thin slices of raw beef with a cheesy, oily, herby coat. As a treat I did ask if I could try some smoked mozzarella as I was intrigued. Rather than the slither I anticipated I was graced with a fully dressed ball in a separate bowl. It was a bit too much to eat in one lump but I loved the smokey rind, definitely one to bear in mind.

The antipasti
The antipasti

The flames starter was a bit of a strange one. Entitled ‘Timbalo Di Venture Con formaggio Di Capra E Pesto’ it was subtitled as mixed grilled vegetables stacked with goats cheese and topped with pesto (£8). It turned out to be three deep fried orbs set on a base of dressed leaves and a super homemade pesto. It wasn’t what was expected but it was still delicious and was gleefully mopped up. The grilled veg were merely slithers mixed in with the cheese and deep fried.
We both went for simple pasta dishes for mains but even these were a step above the norm. Mind you I could argue they should have been at £11.50 and £13 a plate. It isn’t cheap, but ye gods they were both sensational. The flames ‘Pasta Con Pesche Spada, Melenzane, Scamorza E Pinoli’ (swordfish, aubergine, pine nuts and smoked mozzarella) probably shaded it. The pasta itself beautifully cooked and seasoned. The tastes and textures sublime.

The mains and the tiramisu
The mains and the tiramisu

I had a pasta off the specials board. ‘Pasta alla Salvis Whit Salsiccia et asparigi’ (sausage and asparagus). Finished in a tomato sauce (or ‘sowse’ as our waitress called it) it was still a simple pasta dish but somehow it just tasted so much better than most I’ve ever had before. I can’t really explain why but it was. You’ll just have to try yourself!
I as usual I rounded off with a desert for research purposes. I run a personal competition to find a tiramisu to match my childhood version as provided by Culcheth heroes ‘Don Luighi’. I think I have found a joint top version. It seemed a bit too thick at first but deep down the ‘V’ shaped flask the moist, boozy, creamy loveliness came bounding through. A triumph at any price but at £4.50 it had no equal.

Smoked mozzarella
Smoked mozzarella

Whilst us chaps all know brownie points have ceased to be legal tender in most relationships there is no doubt Salvis worked its magic on The flame. The Gentlemans weekend continued without a hitch and there is no question we will be back. Going forward I can see this being one of our favourite staple restaurants. Highly recommended.

19 John Dalton St
Manchester
M2
http://www.salvismanchester.co.uk