Piccolino’s a new menu a “seasonal delight” for all

The Place
Piccolino Sheffield has been a popular fixture on the city’s dining scene for over a decade now, a focal point of the Millennium Square development that has managed to keep enticing punters with the promise of classic Italian cuisine served in a sleek, contemporary setting. The large heated terrace area is another winner for anyone seeking some toasty al fresco dining, and the restaurant was bustling away nicely as Exposed entered on a midweek evening, buoyed by large tables of families and friends celebrating the graduation ceremonies taking place in the city centre. It made for a pleasant, lively atmosphere that complemented the spacious, modern layout inside.

Seasonal ingredients and dishes are a big part of the restaurant’s ethos. As such, we went along to try their new autumn/winter menu, featuring a fresh selection of tender slow-cooked meats, roasted vegetables and hearty pasta dishes, all designed to provide the perfect comfort food hit as the nights being to nip.

The Food
For starters, we enjoyed some of plumpest, most sumptuous olives I’ve ever encountered in a UK restaurant (apparently Cerignola olives are renowned for their thick, fleshy texture). We shared these gems with a plate of arancine tartufo (£8.50), five delicious deep-fried rice balls topped with parmesan and oozing with gooey mozzarella cheese. A creamy truffle sauce provided an additional savoury punch as a welcome dipping accompaniment.

Beginning an Italian meal in the correct fashion – with big, juicy olives.

Aranicne balls packed with melted mozzarella… the stuff of starter dreams.

On to mains and I ordered the rigatoni all’anatra (£14.50), a classic, wonderfully rich duck ragu cooked in wine and rosemary. My partner opted for another newcomer to the menu, choosing the vegetarian option (there are plenty!) with the Ravioli Zucca (£10.50), a very wholesome dish of ravioli stuffed with warm butternut squash and seasoned with hazelnut, sage and – interestingly – crumbled amaretti biscuits. These delights were washed down with a large glass of plummy Venetian merlot. When in Rome (or indeed S1) and all that…

The tender, rich duck ragu was a hit.

We were just about to slip into a contented carb coma, but then the dessert menu arrived, and our cheerful waiter managed to talk up the Panna Cotta (£7.50) just enough to pique our interest. We were glad to be won over, too: this light sweet was drizzled in tangy amaretto and passion fruit sauce and served as a perfect palette cleanser for an evening of delightful, hearty dishes.

It doesn’t get more autumnal than roast butternut squash ravioli!

The Verdict
Piccolino continues to punch above fellow Italian restaurants chains, bringing to the table a wider choice of dishes, a touch more authenticity and a whole new level of taste. Banish those winter blues and book yourself in!

Bookings at piccolinorestaurants.com

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