Intimate and laidback Portuguese small plates with irresistible menu and wine list

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 4-11pm
Thursday: 12-11pm
Friday: 12-11pm
Saturday: 12-11pm
Sunday: 12-9pm

Set in the heart of Sale’s successfully revamped Stanley Square — now one of South Manchester’s most exciting destinations for eating and drinking — Petisco is a rare beast. Portuguese small plates (although, it has to be said, most are generously proportioned) aren’t the most common kitchen type, and to say this place ranks up there with some of the best food we’ve had in the city betrays its membership to a very elite club. The kind of places you really want to go back to, the moment you leave. 

Anyone who has spent even just a weekend in cities such as Lisbon or Porto will have returned envious at the amazing neighbourhood bar culture in Europe’s most westerly nation. That’s exactly the kind of place Petisco is looking to recreate here in our own hometown. Intimate in scale, with a relaxed, canteen feel, a handful of tables guide eyes directly towards the kitchen hatch which, of course, has been lovingly tiled in blue porcelain. Meanwhile, high seating around the bar emphasises the fact this is a spot for both ‘proper meals’ and wine-fuelled grazing. 

The menu is reassuringly specific and concise, not to mention bold and packed with dishes which are almost impossible to leave out of your oder. Absolute must-tries are the monkfish rice with Crispy kale and pickled fennel, Roasted cauliflower with lentils, shallots, almond, chilli and Molho de iogurte, Pork belly, pig cheek, curly quaver and artichoke puree, White wine clams, Pan fried sea bream, and Wild boar meatballs. But we challenge you to order anything that’s not good enough to reorder again and again. As you would hope, Portugal’s amazing — and, compared with France, Italy and Spain — often lesser explored wine production is the trophy piece of the drinks menu, although if you prefer there are also plenty of beers, spirits and cocktails to go at too.