Tuesday's showery and grey evening was lit up for me by a visit to Fumo - which did not disappoint!
Newly opened in the KPMG building just off St Peter Square, Fumo is the latest venture by the San Carlo Group, with the same convival atmosphere and buzz as the flagship restaurant. It is all smart glass, with clean lines, funky white light fittings, and a smart bar which is one of the latest to stay open in Manchester.
We arrived at 18:30 but the party was already in full swing, with birthday celebrations and parents out treating their sons and daughters for graduating helping to give it a buzz that is usually only seen at peak times in other restaurants.
We were shown to our table by the head waiter, who had to rush off to join in singing Happy Birthday at the table next to us. He had forgotten to give us our menus, but returned two minutes later full of apologies, and demanding (of the other waiting staff) that bread and olives be brought to the table immediately, on the house.
Fumo serves food in an Italian tapas-style, with the menu recommending that you choose 5 or 6 dishes between you. Because we were looking to get off to the Manchester International Festival, we chose to skip starters and just have all the food brought out at once.
The six dishes impressed, as did the fact that they staggered bringing them to our table - the first four came fairly uickly, but the final two only arrived after we were half-way through, making sure that all the dishes could be tasted hot!
My personal favourite was the aubergine melanzane - basically lasagne made with aubergine instead of pasta layers - but the Scallops also went down well, and the Calamari were perfectly cooked.
The pizza was good, and a healthy size given that it was only on the tapas menu and (as you would imagine) the Tagliatelle Bolognese was also a winner!
I was left a little disappointed by the Salsiccia, though that was mainly because I had been expecting the Italian sausage to be served in a tomato-based sauce, like it is in Southern Italy, but it came on a bed of haricot beans, a la northern Italy. It was well cooked, but not quite what my taste-buds had been expecting!
There was a great selection of quality wines, but we went with the Sauvignon Blanc, which was sweet and mellow in the mouth, and I could have quite happily drank it all day!
Overall, a fantastic experience - we were well looked after, the food was fantastic, the restaurant has a nice buzz, and we will come again!
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