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South of what was once Manchester’s Little Italy, Solita is the brainchild of business Renaissance man Franco Sotgiu, who runs it alongside co-owner Simon Pogson. The original Northern Quarter site has overcome a squashed interior and prosaic location (a patch of outside space boasts close-up views of a looming multistorey car park) to positively thrive – a bit too much, perhaps, if you’re trying to get a seat at peak times. The menu, served on two floors (street level is nicer), taps a rich seam of Americana, with deep-fried mac 'n' cheese balls and bacon-fat popcorn among the comfort-rich stalwarts. The food is given broad appeal by the use of decent local ingredients – the signature steak is 40-day dry-aged Cheshire rib – and an idiosyncratic approach to fast food classics, which has produced the Big Manc among other homages. Burger obsessives are readily accommodated alongside challenge eaters devouring the naga chicken wings.
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Piccadilly Gardens Station 472m
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Mon-Fri 12N-10pm (Fri -11pm) Sat-Sun 10am-11pm (Sun -9pm)
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