Leonis Latin Cellar
Though it is a bit of a hidden gem, Leonis Latin Cellar is also an underground sensation, tucked away in the heart of Manchester, that is worth seeking out. This established family eatery has been perfecting the winning combination of Italian and Latin influences for years, with a veritable army of loyal customers to testify to its quality. Leonis is cheerfully decorated in red, white and green to reflect the familiar colours of the Italian flag, and exposed brickwork and wooden tables lend a cosy, rustic feel. This unfussy sense of style is echoed by the menu, which is packed with authentic ingredients and intense flavours. Pizzas and pastas are reliably perfect, and a plate of meatballs in Napoletana sauce with spaghetti provides a real taste of the Mediterranean. Such excellent value for money is hard to find, but it doesn't get much better than the Leonis lunchtime offer, with any pizza or pasta and a drink for £4.95, or a two-course meal for £7.95 (offer not available in December). If you fancy more of a Latin American flavour, you must try the pollo borracho, which translates as 'drunken chicken': tender chicken with a sauce of four different liqueurs, cream and pineapple, served with fresh vegetables and potatoes - it might be you, rather than the chicken, that ends up slightly tipsy. Alternatively, the paella de la casa does justice to this classic Spanish dish, and the tapas selection is plentiful, delicious and moreish. A special set menu offers three tasty courses for £19.95 and, to complete a great party, a one-litre jug of fruity sangria is only £12. This kind of tasty, honest food is perfect for a party or special event. Leonis provides a convivial atmosphere for any intimate event of up to 80 people. Centrally located and close to transport links, Leonis Latin Cellar invites you to bring the family or the whole office to share some tapas, perhaps with a bottle of Chilean, Italian or Spanish wine from the extensive wine list. In Italy, Spain and Latin America food is made to be celebrated together, so get everyone involved and book a table.