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The name may translate as 'madhouse', but Manicomio is a slick, "professional" set-up – in fact, the craziest thing you'll see is a few pairs of red corduroys among its "colourful customers". Situated on Duke of York Square, the principle draw is a "great" people-watching terrace opposite some chichi clothes stores. The kitchen's breezy pan-Italian food '"never disappoints", but also '"never blows you away'": our grilled octopus with murky lentils was certainly forgettable, although butter-soaked wild garlic and nettle ravioli fared better. Swordfish with zesty orange and earthy olives was decent enough, although the best was saved to last – a beautiful, seasonal plate of strawberry sorbet, honeycomb, meringue and elderflower jelly. Service is eager and friendly, if not always polished, and wines are suitably patriotic. However, all of this comes at quite a price, so make sure to "come with a full wallet".
*Please note that on 23 December, last orders will be taken at 3pm and the restaurant will be closed from 24 December 2016 - 1 January 2017. The deli will be closed from 24 - 27 December 2016 and on 1 January 2017.
I'd booked Manicomio for our shopping day owing to it's perfect location, the calm oasis that is Duke of York Square, plus I fancied Italian food. For starter, Mr S chose smoked tuna which was delicious, light and not overly salty.No, for once that's not salmon that you see, but a trout crudo served with a Sardinian flatbread topped with smoked aubergine, it was my favourite of the two starters.With the upcoming trip firmly on our minds, it was all we could talk about it... what we were thinking of taking, which bit we were most excited about and what I was scared about...
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