Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Restaurant Review: Bottomless Pizza & Prosecco at Buca Di Pizza, Manchester


Today brings a new Manchester restaurant opening that I was really excited about - Buca Di Pizza*.

This independently run pizzeria has already made a name for itself in Leeds for its  'Tutto' deal - unlimited pizza orders with bottomless refills of prosecco or house lager for an hour and a half.

Sounds like a dream to me!

I went down to the new cellar-style restaurant on Lloyd Street (close to Red's True BBQ) shortly after the opening to see if it lived up to expectation.

The restaurant is really nicely decorated inside. Walking down the steps from street level, you feel like you've stumbled across a real hidden gem. Buca Di Pizza, Manchester feels like an unassuming, Italian cafe, classically designed but with quirky relics lining the walls.

Opting for the Tutto deal, of course, I started off with prosecco (which was perfect) before trying the 'house' birra - which I'm usually a bit dubious of but I was pleased to find that Buca Di Pizza's was great!

The Pizzas

I was amazed at the choice on the menu. BDP specialise in Neapolitan style pizzas with 'a modern twist', with the menu split between classic Italian toppings and their own creations - including notable pizzas like 'The Snake Charmer' (Goan coconut curry sauce, chilli glazed paneer, lamb koftas, onion bhajis, grated carrot & beetroot, mint yogurt) and 'Rome of the East' (sweet potato & chickpea sauce, crunchy fried falafel, herb marinated feta, red onion, rocket and chili & mango dressing).

Our first pizza choices were a 'Nduja Love Me?' for me (tomato & basil sauce, grated mozzarella, mascarpone, spicy nduja paste, pepperoni, roast chicken, sundried tomatoes) and a 'Hickory Pig' for Chris (hickory barbecue sauce, grated mozzarella, chantico spiced cheddar, smoked pancetta, hickory smoked pulled pork) - both from the 'Pizza Buca' creation menu.

Both were well made and piled high with good quality toppings - impressive! Mine was very tasty and even though I'm usually more of a classic girl, the multitude of toppings seemed to work really well together; the mascarpone especially was a delicious touch. Chris was happy as Larry with the Hickory Pig as he loves BBQ sauce base pizzas but they just aren't for me so he doesn't have them often!

We ate these a little too quickly, eager to try a couple more. Next up were two pizzas from the Classic menu - a simple Pepperoni and a Frestosa - tomato & basil sauce, stracchina cheese, rocket, prosciutto and balsamic glaze. I found the balsamic a little overbearing on the Frestosa but other than that, these were great too - though we definitely preferred our first choices from the Pizza Buca menu!

We didn't manage much from our second pizzas so the friendly staff kindly boxed them up for us to take away.

At £25.95 per person, the Tutto deal represents great value - and quality! Though if stuffing your face isn't necessarily your thing, the individual pizza prices are really reasonable and they also serve pasta dishes too.

Is bottomless pizza and prosecco something you'd like to try?


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Restaurant Review: Steak Out at El Capo, Manchester


Another food review today, and not somewhere that would immediately come to the fore of my mind when thinking of somewhere to eat - it's Mexican-themed Northern Quarter bar, El Capo*!

Steak Out Monday

Chris and I joined El Capo for their Monday 'Steak Out' - an appetising deal of steak for two, two sides and a bottle of house wine for just £25, impressive indeed!

We're both big fans of a steak and having never eaten at El Capo before, we were eager to find out if this deal was as tasty as it sounded.

Not wanted to miss out on cocktails, we ordered a couple of those while we waited for the food. I had the house margarita: tequila, sugar, lime and salt - it was strong!

Chris had the 'Cocktail With No Name' - a homage to Clint Eastwood's masculine 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' character, containing the not-so-masculine ingredients of mango vodka, creme de peche, lime, lychee and pink grapefruit. This one was really good! 

On to the main event! The steak looked and tasted soo good. Substantial, well-seasoned (with extra salt and pepper on the board to taste) and sliced up so we could see how perfectly cooked all the way through it was. It was executed beautifully, medium rare as ordered.

We felt like our two sides were well-chosen: a wonderfully gooey, cheesy and tasty mac and cheese, with triple cooked sweet potato wedges. Both sides were delicious and went well with the steak.

The house red wine, an easy-drinking Merlot was the perfect finishing accompaniment.

I was majorly blown away by the value and quality of El Capo's steak night. The colourful and casual surroundings (and the fact that Happy Hour lasts until 7pm!) make it the perfect impromptu evening out as an antidote to the Monday blues.

My next trip will definitely be for 'Wing it Wednesday' - 50p chicken wings all night!

Have you eaten at El Capo

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