[Gatley, Greater Manchester] Piccolo

Gatley’s a funny old place when it comes to food. It’s a small area with only about 5000 population but it supports 11 takeaways, 5 restaurants (four of them south Asian) and five cafes. But it can’t support a greengrocer.

I wouldn’t really bother with any of the south Asian places. We’ve eaten in them all and they’re all OK in that samey way all high street curry houses are OK. So, we went for dinner at the village’s fifth restaurant. It’s a while since we’ve been and there have been some adaptations to make it more spacious (i.e. get more tables in). You don’t feel crowded and it’s nicely lit – not too bright but bright enough to read the menu and see your food.

There were polpette to start – four golfball sized meatballs, well seasoned and in a good tomato sauce with a couple of slices of toast on the side. The same bread formed the bruschetta on the other side of the table, generously topped with chopped tomato and red onion. Good starters.

For a main course, lasagne was a decent enough offering. Pasta just al dente and a good ragu. Well dressed bowl of salad to accompany. Chicken was the other protein, the breast flattened out to an escalope shape and fried. It sat on a strip of aubergine and a few strips of red pepper, topped with scamorza cheese. I suppose I ordered this as I was intrigued about the scamorza which I’ve not come across before. Turns out it’s another of those Italian cheeses that can be quite muted in flavour but are great for melting – like Fontina and Talaggio. I like this and the generosity of the portion appealed to the glutton in me.

Only one of us wanted dessert. Yep, that was the glutton still directing operations. I can never resist tiramisu. This was a pretty good version, not up there with San Carlo Fiorentina (near the airport) but there was a kick from espresso and another from booze which countered what was still perhaps an overly sweet plate.

A good dinner and a pleasant evening all round.