After ten years at the forefront of the Italian restaurant scene in Chester, Piccolino is set to open its doors again after an extensive makeover.
Little sister of the elegant Opera Grill facing it, Individual Restaurants, the company behind some of Cheshire’s most popular dining venues, will unveil the restaurant’s chic new look on Saturday, March 25, just in time for Mother’s Day.
Situated on Pepper Street, the restaurant will open every day from lunch until late and will be headed up by General Manager Mario Dagostino, who says he treats his guests like relatives.
He said: “We are just like a huge Italian family that loves our guests.”
Piccolino, Chester will also host the brand’s first ever Prosecco bar, with guests trying one of the range of 10 Proseccos invited to enjoy a selection of tempting cicchettti for free every afternoon during ‘Aperitivo Time’ from 3pm until 6.30pm.
Aperitivo is an Italian tradition for a pre-dinner drink when friends meet to drink, relax and enjoy a selection of elegant nibbles.
Each glass of Prosecco from the swish bar will be served perfectly chilled thanks to the restaurant’s in-house glass froster, and guests will be able to choose from the ‘frizzante’ – semi sparkling, kind, or the full-on fizz of the ‘spumante’.
The new drinks offering will also include an impressive selection of craft beers.
With a reputation for detail in terms of food, service and cleanliness, the interior design follows suit, with an opulent look created with the use of classic, timeless materials including Carrara and Nero marbles imported from Italy, antique brass, English oak and oversized handmade lamps, all brought to life with striking light blue leather seating inspired by the famous Italian yacht builder Riva.
Piccolino’s principles have remained the same since it opened its doors: to deliver classic Italian dishes using the best ingredients they can find.
This is clear from the minute you walk in.
The open kitchen will provide the feel of a Harrods style food hall with its meat, poultry, fish and shellfish counters.
Passion for provenance is at the heart of the menu and the company has close links to artisan suppliers all over Italy, bringing some of the best cheeses, salamis and grocery items to the UK.
Boasting its own butchery in Cheshire where a team of nine full time skilled butchers source the very best meat and poultry direct from farms, Piccolino strives to serve the very best of the season
All the restaurant’s beef is sourced direct from carefully selected farms across the British Isles and it specialises in certified Black Aberdeen Angus.
Individually selected cattle are hung for 7 to 10 days and dry aged on the bone for a minimum of 35 days in a bespoke Himalayan pink salt brick dry ageing room. Every single steak is hand cut by the restaurant’s skilled butchers.
In addition to this, the menu will have an extensive collection of shellfish which will include fresh handpicked crab from the Isle of man, native lobster, wild Scottish langoustines, rope grown Scottish mussels and Mersea Island rock oysters
Piccolino’s fish is caught responsibly from sustainable sources, including some of the finest day boat fish from around the British Isles.
Individual Restaurants has developed strong partnerships with small independent family run suppliers such as Chapmans of Rye on the south coast of England to ensure the best fish direct from their boats.
Artisan filled pastas will all be made in house by Marcello Ghiretti, the pasta specialist, from the highest quality Italian 00’ flour, free range eggs, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.
Wherever possible, seasonal fruit, vegetables, salads and herbs will be sourced from handpicked growers and organic farmers.
There will also be a pastry counter and gelato bar with pastry chefs adding a magically theatrical touch to food by making waffles and pancakes right before guests’ eyes.
Those who fancy sipping on something sweet can treat themselves to one of a selection of seasonally inspired classic Italian cocktails either at the restaurant’s elegant bar or continental style on the terrace.
Guests will also be encouraged to try Italian Vermouth, Amari and a range of other sweet liquors and can discover their own wine style by sampling different varieties from the stylish wine boutique.
The boutique, which can also be hired for wine and cocktail masterclasses, will showcase an extensive all-Italian wine list, together with a vast selection of champagne.
Only a small mark-up will be added to each bottle, making the price a fraction of that in other restaurants.
Steven Walker, founder of Individual Restaurants, said: “Piccolino Chester was busier than ever but we felt a fresh, new look would be something nice to give to our loyal guests and longstanding team following the opening of Opera Grill.
“Our principles remain the same and we deliver classic, Italian dishes using the best ingredients we can find.”
He added that the restaurant will also adopt the same no-nonsense tips policy as others in the group.
He said: “At Individual Restaurants we aim to deliver outstanding guest service.
“That’s why 100% of all service charges and tips left by our guests go to our people.