Cheshire Life Women in Business Luncheon - Don Giovanni’s, Manchester

Carey Peers, Clarissa Kirk, Rebekka O'Grady and Amy Coney

Carey Peers, Clarissa Kirk, Rebekka O'Grady and Amy Coney - Credit: Archant

Busy business women couldn’t resist our invitation to attend Cheshire Life’s ‘women only’ lunch in one of the region’s best Italian restaurants

Gamberoni Grigliati- grilled giant king prawns with garlic, chilli and parsley in butter sauce

Gamberoni Grigliati- grilled giant king prawns with garlic, chilli and parsley in butter sauce - Credit: Archant

Don Giovanni restaurant in Manchester city centre is now proudly celebrating 30 years in business.

There are many good restaurants in this bustling city, but Don Giovanni has continued to be one of the region’s finest since opening in 1984.

Prior to its move 10 years ago to its current very chic premises on Oxford Street, Don Giovanni held court just across the road in a venue with more traditional Italian decor.

Guests at Cheshire Life’s ‘women only’ March luncheon stepped into Don Giovanni’s classically modern interior, fresh with bright Mediterranean orange leather furnishings, smoked glass and chrome which complemented crisp white walls. It’s spacious, with room to seat 150 diners and a further 50 in the private dining area to which we and our guests were directed.

The room was pleasantly decorated with warm neutral colours and sheer truffle curtains draped across the floor-length windows, casting a soft light into the room.

The occasion was an opportunity for local business women to network and celebrate achievements. High flyers from a range of occupations, including solicitors, accountants, interior designers and boutique owners enjoyed welcoming glasses of soft Italian Pinot Grigio and were then seated on beautifully decorated tables to begin the dining experience.

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Don Giovanni’s kitchen, led by head chef Roberto Tintis, tailored a diverse lunch menu to enchant guests. Roberto, 31, who has been creating exceptional dishes within the Manchester restaurant since July 2011, and has a clear vision of what culinary experience he wants his diners to enjoy.

‘I’m trying to give as much as possible to create the best Italian dishes. Many people within the UK love traditional dishes such as lasagne or spaghetti al pomodoro,’ said Roberto. ‘On my menu I want to produce this simple but tasty food, as well as adding modern classics.’

Roberto, who started his culinary career as a kitchen porter in London, moved to the UK from Sardinia, Italy in 2001. Seafood was a staple part of island life, so he wants to push more fish dishes onto Don Giovanni’s menu expanding people’s understanding of Italian food.

He learnt the basics of cooking living at home: ‘As Momma used to do!’ laughed Roberto. To be a Head Chef at a young age is something Roberto is extremely proud of, but says that he couldn’t do it without his excellent team. ‘We’re not a large team, but the “backstage” things are the most important. We all help and learn from each other.’

Each course had a selection of three dishes, accommodating all palates. Starters included Gamberoni Grigliati (grilled giant king prawns with chilli, garlic and parsley in butter sauce) and Caprese (slices of buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil). The dishes were all a generous size, beautifully presented and packed with flavour.

As with the starters, the main dishes were hearty portions and included 10oz Bistecca al Pepe (grilled sirloin steak with a crushed peppercorn sauce, served with mixed vegetables) and Ravioli Burro Salvia (egg ravioli filled with ricotta and spinach in a butter and sage sauce). Many guests complimented on how delicious the freshly-made pasta was and the parcels rich filling. The sirloin steak was cooked medium, with a well seasoned creamy peppercorn sauce adorning the 10oz cut of meat.

Perhaps the best, in my opinion, was saved until last, as the dessert selection was divine. A choice of Tiramisu, Formaggi (cheese board) and vanilla cheesecake graced diners’ tables as an excellent finale to the lunch. The cheesecake, made with fresh vanilla pods and topped with summer berry compote, was the crowing glory. It was sumptuously creamy and the tangy compote provided a contrasting sharpness.

An afternoon of chatter, good company and exquisite food. As author Virginia Woolf once said: ‘For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.’ Well if this lunch was anything to go by; Cheshire ladies are very much known and are here to stay.


1-2, Peter House, Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 5AN; Tel: 0161 228 2482;

Mon-Thur noon-2.30pm; 5pm-11pm; Fri-Sat noon-11.30pm; Sun noon-10.30pm.

Starters from £4.25; mains £8.45-£22.95.


To start, a choice of…

Gamberoni Grigliati

Carpaccio di Bresaolo


To continue, a choice of…

Spaghetti Aragosta

10oz Bistecca al Pepe

Ravioli Burro Salvia

To finish, a choice of…


Vanilla Cheesecake