Piccolino in Knutsford reopens this week following a glamorous refurbishment, including an all-weather roof terrace and bar.
It was at the turn of the millennium, just over 15 years ago, that the first ever Piccolino opened its doors in Knutsford, Cheshire.
Located on King Street in a historic listed building, amongst the cobbles and 18th century cottages, Piccolino, the Italian restaurant and bar, has just undergone an extensive glamorous makeover.
The restaurant is open all day, everyday serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner until late.
After establishing itself in Knutsford and the surrounding areas of Cheshire, Piccolino has now opened restaurants in London, major cities and some of the most sought after affluent towns and suburbs in the UK. Its restaurants are often frequented by celebrities and well known personalities.
The major refurbishment of the original Piccolino has seen the restaurant double in size to seat 150 guests and the creation of an all-weather roof terrace, with a state of the art retractable roof is sure to be a big attraction to sun seekers.
Although the restaurant has had a complete makeover from the basement toilets to the top floor roof terrace, we have managed to keep the charm that Piccolino in Knutsford is known for. The refined but simple use of classic timeless materials including Carrera white marble, oak, antique brass and reclaimed woods is brought to life with striking blue leather finishes, where inspiration was taken from the Italian boat builder Riva.
On the ground floor, looking out onto King Street, the main bar has been extended into a white marble “eat at” cocktail bar. The addition of a cold counter deli on the same floor will serve freshly baked breads from their own bakery, salamis and cheeses from artisan suppliers all over Italy, and an amazing selection of wild fish and shellfish, as well as seasonal salads.
You are sure to be tempted for a dessert too. The pastry counter is in full view of the restaurant where chefs will also be showing off with their waffle and pancake making skills. Piccolino has its own bakery run by skilled pastry chef Antoine Quentin. It prides itself on the fact that all ice cream, sorbets, cakes and desserts are made in house.
The restaurant extends to the first floor, where the addition of a further cocktail bar and all-weather roof terrace, provides an amazing outlook over the park. The terrace will be the place to be seen for breakfast, overlooking picturesque countryside with an equally stunning sunrise.
The restaurant has a feel of Harrods food hall with its working displays of bread, cheeses, hams, shell fish, seasonal fruit, vegetables and patisserie, to name just a few.
At the heart of the menu is a Josper grill, which is fired on natural lump wood charcoal and sustainable wood specifically sourced from the English countryside.
Piccolino is passionate about provenance. It has its own butchery in Cheshire where a team of nine skilled butchers source the very best meat and poultry.
All their beef is sourced from carefully selected farms across the British Isles and they specialize in 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 own bespoke Himalayan pink salt brick, dry ageing room. Every single steak is hand cut by their team of skilled butchers.
The menu has an extensive selection of wild shell fish, sourced mainly from the clear waters of the UK, via small independent suppliers. Fresh handpicked crab from the Isle of Man, native lobster, wild Scottish langoustines, hand dived scallops, rope grown Scottish mussels and Mersea Island rock oysters are simply the best.
Artisan filled pastas are all made in house by Marcello Ghiretti, the in house pasta specialist, using premium Neapolitan “00” flower, fine semolina, free range eggs, olive oil and sea salt.
James Gingell, head of kitchen operations for the group, was with Piccolino when it opened in Knutsford in 2000. He says: “Although the business has grown substantially our food philosophy, to serve Italian foods as it should be, has remained the same. We visit the regions of Italy, meet the producers and are committed to serving the best quality seasonal ingredients, to bring our guests classic Italian dishes.”
The drinks list is both extensive and very Italian, offering a diverse selection of seasonal inspired classic Italian cocktails, Italian vermouth, Amari, sweet liqueurs and an impressive list of craft beers.
With the addition of a first floor wine wall the all-Italian wine list takes centre stage. Dario Barbato, the in house sommelier is on hand to help guests who want to explore the list.
“So keen are we to for guests to try our fine and rare wine selection, we have only added a nominal mark up, charging a fraction of the prices when compared to other restaurants” says Dario.
To kick start the summer feel on the terrace we have flown in DJ Julien Jeanne who has worked at some of the coolest ski and beach resorts throughout the Mediterranean. He will play the roof terrace and bar from Thursday until Sunday, in the coming weeks.
Steven Walker, founder of Individual Restaurants, the company behind Piccolino, says “Knutsford is where it all began so it was only right that we returned to give the restaurant an amazing refurbishment. We have a loyal following in Cheshire and after a few comments from friends and guests that the décor was tired, I felt the time was right to deliver a stunning restaurant.
“After visiting the best outdoor terraces at some of the coolest restaurants and hotels in major capitals of the world, we are excited to bring a taste of this to Knutsford with the creation of the roof terrace and bar.”