An Italian restaurant in Worsley has been keeping customers hooked for more of its authentic fish and seafood dishes.
Vesuvio, on Simpson Road in Boothstown, is a hidden gem amongst an ordinary shopping parade. Set back off the main road and nestled in with a bookies, a corner shop, a Chinese takeaway and an Indian restaurant, you could easily miss this little slice of Neapolitan heaven.
Childhood friends, co-owners and chefs Nico Vanacore and Guiseppe Lombardo, opened their Italian restaurant almost 10 years ago as it quickly erupted and became popular among locals ever since.
“We are very big on fish,” chef Nico Vanacore says, as the menu shows a selection of seafood dishes including, swordfish, cuttlefish spaghetti, mussels and octopus mayonnaise – amongst other oceanic delights.
Born in Naples, the pair followed in the footsteps of both of their dads, who were also chefs, and started their culinary journey working in Nico’s uncle’s restaurant back home. The friends have been cooking together since they were 10 years old. Fun fact: they even went to school with Gino Di Campo.
On how they keep their customers hooked , Giuseppe says: “We change the specials all the time. It’s a residential area so we have a lot of regulars who come on a weekly basis.
“If you come two weeks in a row, probably you’ll find mussels or scallops but done in a different way each time.”
Guiseppe came to Manchester in 1994 and began working at Tiggi’s in Preston before cooking at San Carlo’s in Manchester city centre. He and Nico later launched their very own restaurant Vesuvio to be closer to their homes in Worsley, with the idea that they would be able to spend more time with their families, and do the school runs as they’re closed in the mornings.
The duo are hands-on and get stuck in with the day-to-day running of things, taking it in turns cheffing in the kitchen at the rear, and running the ‘front of house’. The only time they get a proper rest is on a Monday but they love what they do, so they don’t seem to mind – although they joke that their wives sometimes complain that they are married to the restaurant.
Giuseppe explains they use fish stock for the base of many dishes but never add wine, saying: “Wine is for drinking, not cooking. Catering school taught us that if the fish is good and fresh you eat it the way it is, without embellishment. Wine is not necessary for flavour if your ingredients are good.”
Standing out amongst the dishes, much like the great Mount Vesuvius, is their famous, Mixed Vesuvio — a traditional meal of Naples. This is a hot pan of fish and seafood in a broth, topped with a pizza base for a lid, which absorbs all the flavours of the sea — great for tearing and sharing. This fragrant steamy dish makes an excellent feature for friends and families to enjoy whilst also sampling some more of Naples’ authentic cuisine.
Also on the menu is Vesuvio’s frittelle which is an indulgent fritter of pasta with pecorino cheese sauce, roasted ham and peas battered and deep fried until crisp. On the streets of Naples, you will find these in a cone along with deep fried courgette flowers, hunks of fish and calamari.
As well as rolled swordfish fillets stuffed with iron-rich Italian broccoli leaves (cime di rapa), scamorza (smoked mozzarella), anchovies and juicy tangy tomatoes. Unlike other more delicate fish dishes, this one socks you with a LaMotta-worthy flavour punch. And for those who fancy some meat, there’s the tender melting beef cheek reclining on a rich stock-based sauce.
As the drink is as important to Italian’s as their food is, this restaurant also boasts a selection of Neapolitan wines, and you can finish off your Mediterranean visit with some deep fried ravioli filled with chocolate and a glass of grappa to ‘blow the doors off’.
Manchester restaurant serving ‘world’s hottest curry’ to anyone brave enough
It has been described as ‘like eating molten lava!’
A Manchester eatery is daring customers to try its extremely hot curry for National Chilli Day.
This February 22nd, Zouk is creating the World’s Hottest Curry as part of the restaurant’s celebration of National Chilli Day – where courageous participants will have to eat a whole portion of it within the allocated time frame to win a prize.
The dish will feature the World’s Hottest Chilli (according to the Guinness Book of Records), the star of the show, The Carolina Reaper.
The Carolina Reaper Karahi curry – available in chicken (£15.95) and vegetable (£14.95) options – will be available Monday, February 19th to Friday 23rd as a special.
Zouk has also created the world’s hottest kebab, the Reaper Seekh Kebab (£7.95), also made with Carolina Reaper Chillies, mixed lamb and chicken keema.
The restaurant is offering prizes for those bold enough to take these fiery dishes on.
On National Chilli Day (February 22nd), Zouk is challenging the most daredevil customers to take on the Reaper Curry or Reaper Seekh Kebab, where if they manage to complete the task they can win prizes to be enjoyed at the restaurant at a later date.
As a menu special, there is also a devilishly good Chilli Margarita drink for guests to enjoy – although this is made with milder fresh chillies.
The prizes for those customers with a ‘strong stomach and mind’ are:
- Finish the full Carolina Reaper Seekh Kebab in one sitting (maximum eating time is 30 minutes and no help from companions) and you will get your kebab on Zouk, plus a £10 gift card to enjoy at the restaurant to redeem against food or drinks at a later date.
- Finish the full Carolina Reaper Curry (either chicken or vegetable) in one sitting (maximum eating time is 30 minutes and no help from companions) then you will not only get your Reaper Curry on Zouk, but you will also win a Brunch for two at the restaurant at a later date.
- Finish both the full Carolina Reaper Seekh Kebab and the Carolina Reaper Curry in one sitting (maximum eating time is one hour and no help from companions) and you will get your kebab and curry on the restaurant, as well as winning a Zouk Sunday Roast Meal for two.
Knowing the Reaper is officially the world’s hottest chilli, it may not surprise you to learn from the chefs that even cooking this curry is a bit of a challenge.
Owner Tayub Amjad commented: “The chillies are so hot that the chefs must be careful when handling them. You can feel them on your hands and stinging your eyes. The heat really is intense.
“We’ve also made a vegetable karahi suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Last year we made a kebab but this year we’ve upped the stakes and made a seekh kebab reaper dish, we believe it is the world’s hottest kebab.
“Last year only about 15 people completed the challenge and beat the reaper so I can’t wait to see who takes on this trio of Reaper dishes in 2024.”
Anybody who finishes one of these challenges will also get a Zouk Ice Cream Sundae to help cool off those scorched taste buds!
Zouk believes this to be the World’s Hottest Curry, so if you fancy putting it and yourself to the test, make a booking now and embrace National Chilli Day’s Biggest Challenge.
To find out more about the challenge and prizes or book a place at Zouk, click HERE.
Zouk’s World’s Hottest Curry Challenge takes place at Zouk Tea Bar & Grill, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, Manchester on Thursday February 22nd.
*Diners will be required to sign a disclaimer before trying.
A week-long margarita-mile bar crawl is coming to Manchester next week
A mile-long Margarita bar crawl is returning to Manchester with a host of venues set to take part to celebrate the drink’s national day.
Honouring National Margarita Day on February 22nd, the celebratory bar crawl will feature El Tequileño tequila in a variety of cocktails at venues across the city.
Known as ‘Mexico’s best kept secret’, El Tequileño is produced in the heart of the old town of Tequila and stays true to its authentic roots.
The brand will collaborate with Maldon Salt – because what’s a Margarita without the perfect dusting of premium salt around the rim of your glass? – to deliver the event at bars including Stray Bar, Madre, New Century, Fierce and Smithfield Social.
Whatever your Marg preference – classic tequila and lime, frozen or spicy – there will be plenty of signature mixes to sip on between February 19th and 25th.
Stray will showcase distinguished blends like their Tomato Vine Margarita, Madre will be serving up flights of the good stuff, while Fierce are mixing it up with beer to make the Cervezarita.
In a nice touch, ALL participating bars will be discounting Margaritas to £6 on Margarita Day (February 22nd) itself.
Many of the venues taking part are also adding margherita pizzas to the mix, so you can grab a slice to accompany your tipple.
Tequila fans and connoisseurs can learn about the origins of their favourite drink and how it is made from very special guest Tony Salles – the grandson of El Tequileño creator Don Jorge Salles Cuervo.
Tony will meet those on the mile at The Daisy to chat about all things tequila on National Margarita Day.
Taking inspiration from Manchester’s Margarita Mile last year, London and Leeds cities will also be hosting their own first Margarita Mile in February 2024, also in conjunction with El Tequileño, Maldon Salt and Tabasco.
The Margarita-Mile bar crawl takes place from February 19th – 25th at the above participating venues.
*Please remember to drink responsibly.
Individual Restaurants offers new loyalty scheme focused on personalised customer experiences
Members can enjoy access to sporting events, free birthday drinks, discounts, Club IR parties and top culinary experiences
Individual Restaurants brings Club IR – the new highly anticipated loyalty scheme offering customers an unforgettable experience and real rewards.
The move comes after customer insight from Individual Restaurants revealed that 60% of people don’t value points as part of a loyalty programme.
Individual Restaurants says the new programme, which launched on January 4th, elevates what diners can expect from a loyalty card, ditching the tired ‘points’ system and instead focusing on giving guests what they really want; personalised offers, exceptional service and money-can’t-buy experiences.
With personalisation at the heart of Club IR, members on each of the three tiers; ‘Club’, ‘Black’ and ‘Diamond’, can expect the ultimate tailored experience.
From a round of drinks on your birthday to exclusive invitations to VIP events such as luxurious Club IR parties, top sporting events and once-in-a-lifetime trips to top culinary destinations, Club IR has it all covered.
More than a loyalty scheme, Club IR has been curated based on valuable customer insight that shows more than half of customers prefer a variety of offers and discounts, as well as surprise rewards (92%) and a tiered system of loyalty (85%).
The Individual Restaurants collection includes Restaurant Bar & Grill, Piccolino, Riva Blu and Piccolo by Piccolino, totalling 31 restaurants across the UK.
As part of the new programme, members will be the first to know about news and events, and will be privy to a variety of specially curated in-restaurant perks.
With an amazing new app, Club IR could not be easier to access, allowing guests to see exclusive rewards and experiences available in real time and book tables.
Individual Restaurants has designed the programme so all guests are welcome from the moment they join the club, with benefits starting from sign up.
Andrew Garton, CEO of Individual Restaurant Group, said: “We know from our members that it’s not points that they value.
“Instead our guests value personalised service, incredible food and friendly hospitality – something that we pride ourselves on at Individual Restaurants.
“With our new loyalty scheme, we’ve taken what was an extremely popular programme already and listened to guests to make it even better – with more personalised offers, luxury experiences and tailored event invitations.
“Club IR exemplifies our values through specially curated, personal offers for our members, a range of incredible money-can’t-buy experiences and a knowledge that they will always receive the very best service when they enter any one of our restaurants.
“We’re confident that our new Club IR loyalty programme is the best on the market. “We value every single one of our guests, and want to reward them in the most special and personal ways we can.”
Become a member of Club IR or find out more by clicking HERE – you could have the perfect Valentine’s Day!