Contemporary Italian restaurant situated in the impressive ‘Heart of the City’ area.
Millennium Square won’t be a name familiar to many Sheffielders – it’s actually the rear portion of the area better known as the Peace Gardens, opposite the impressive Winter Gardens and St Paul’s Mercure Hotel. Piccolino occupies the ground floor of the slightly less impressive office building opposite, though the restaurant itself is a pleasant, bright and airy space surrounded by glass, with ample seating for parties of all sizes. In the summer, tables outside offer an impressive view of the Peace Gardens, Winter Gardens and Town Hall (and numerous building sites, it must be said).
Being located so centrally, Piccolino is the venue for a great many business meetings during the daytime, and in the evening caters to many couples and parties on their way to the cinema, the theatre or the city’s pubs and bars, as well as those simply out for an enjoyable meal. Piccolini is a good size and has an open plan design, and even when it's busy it never feels particularly crowded or noisy. Its position overlooking the Peace Gardens means Piccolino sits in peaceful surroundings even on busy Friday and Saturday nights and it's well away from the city centre’s livelier thoroughfares.
Piccolino is part of one of the ever increasing number of Italian chain restaurants, and as such its menu (or something very much like it) will be familiar to most. It’s traditional Italian, prepared to a high standard, offering plenty of choice without being the most original menu you’ll ever see. Pasta, pizzas, salad and risottos comprise the bulk of the menu, though as with all Italian restaurants the apparent simplicity is deceptive and there's enough here to suit all tastes. Vegetarian dishes are numerous and varied.
Pasta dishes include everything from spaghetti alla bolognese to lasagne el forno, linguini with king prawns and a dozen or so other choices, all priced around £10. Salad, pizza and risotto menus offer similar variety at very reasonable prices (£6 to £10) and are supplemented by fish and carne sections including such offerings as baked sea bass, crispy duck with honey roasted apples, and lightly fried veal escalope with spaghetti. Prices for these larger ‘secondi’ dishes vary from around £15 to £20.00.
Before 6pm, a ‘menu rapido’ operates offering any ‘grande’ pizza, pasta, risotto or salad, along with a glass of wine, bottle of beer or mineral water for £10 – an excellent value for money deal for those looking for a better quality of quick, daytime bite.
Needless to say, the drinks menu is centred around the wine, and a good dozen reds and whites are offered, as well as roses, Champagnes and proseccos, starting at £14.25 going up to £95. Bottled beers – the traditional Peroni among them – spirits, soft drinks and hot drinks are also available, including the full range of Italian coffees.
The Last Word
Piccolino is a chain restaurant and it won't be the most distinctive or extravagant Italian you’ll ever visit, but it’s high quality and good value for money (particularly during the daytime) make it well worth a look.