The passion project of a band of foodies whose links to Italy – and each other – are as strong as their love for good food, wine and la dolce vita, The Italianlab is Wilmslow’s headquarters for true Italian culinary culture. Coffee, informal lunches or dinners, or a couple of casual drinks and shared cichetti are all possible at Italianlab’s Hawthorn Lane premises. Just round the corner from the city centre’s hub of shops and eateries around Bank Square and Grove Street, Italianlab is destined to become the area’s first and foremost destination for those seeking out the cuisine and culture of the bel paese.
The Italianlab was born out of the shared philosophy of sommelier Sara Giacomini (married to chef Diego Critelli, together they run a restaurant in Padova), Elizabeth Caddick (who together with Federico Squizzato produces Parma prosciutto in Padova), and Giuseppe Camastra (who together with Mariangela Cardone operate a restaurant in southern Italy’s Calabria). Their ethos is ingredient-driven, the idea being that if one respects the food, the rest will follow. And, with such pedigree behind them and the ability to rustle up and import the finest ingredients from regional Italy, it’s no surprise that The Italianlab’s town centre trattoria is fast becoming Wilmslow’s dedicated little Italy.
Lunch at The Italianlab is served from 11am until 3pm, and Wilmslow diners are advised to drop their usual sense of punctuality, do what the Italians do and stretch this ‘hour’ out as long as possible. Not a hard task, considering that sharing platters like the Parma prosciutto (from Elizabeth Caddick very own Paduan factory) with gnocco fritto, daily pasta dishes, gourmet Italian sandwiches, panini and piadini lie in wait alongside a stunning selection of fine Italian wines by the bottle or glass. Dinner continues the tradition, with the chef’s selected cichetti for two a popular draw for locals looking for light bites accompanied by a glass or two of prosecco in the town centre. Main courses ramp up portions with delicacies like Calabrian pasta, beef tagliata, Venetian-style veal liver and fried tuna with spicy caponata making their mark on Italianlab’s chalkboards down Hawthorn Lane. Given Wilmslow’s love of Italian class, advance reservations are advised.
Small and welcoming venue with attentive staff keen to explain the Italian dishes. The meals are well presented and food is delicious. Definitely recommend this restaurant who also sell Italian products.
Excellent restaurant with a great little shop. There are many food choices on the menu and they are very accommodating. We were late for our reservation and they were super about it!
We just had the mixed antipasti dish of meats and cheese..all were of very high quality and delicious. The dry muscat wine was also excellent. The general atmosphere was just right too, not too noisy despite some children in at 1800 hrs, and felt pretty 'authentic', if there is such a thing. Staff were charming, attentive and efficient. All very satisfactory and we will be back for a proper meal, when time doesn't press as last night, and expect it will be a very pleasing experience
Excellent food, really Warm welcome, diversity in the menu, very good wine, I really recommend the Italian lab as well for a great atmosphere, friendly and warm.
Main course was tiny portion of one small sea bass fillet and a little mixed veg. That was it - for asking price of £19! No potatoes. I have had more as a starter in restaurants. I thought this was wholly inadequate. Spoke to waiter. A second portion of a sea bass fillet and potatoes was supplied so I was then satisfied. Unfortunately, the damage was done. I would not take friends as I would not want to be embarrassed by a repeat of this miserly service. However, the restaurant did deal with my complaint very well and the food was fine. My partner had a pasta main course and that was an adequate portion. If my experience is typical, it is unlikely that diners will return or recommend. The restaurant must address this issue if they want to survive in a competitive market. Only 2 weeks ago, I was in a similar restaurant in Didsbury and ordered sea bass. I received 2 large fillets, lots of veg and lots of potatoes and commented to the waiter that it was a very good portion. Service good. Based on original main course, I would only have given 2/6. The extra portion raised it to 3/6
Whilst the food was very nice the service wasn't very good at all. After main course we were just left sitting there. Never offered a desert menu, took ages to get the attention of someone to order coffees and after eventually having to get up and ask for the bill we contemplated just walking out to see if anyone would react. Have to add by then there were only two other customers so the staff were far from busy. Not sure I would bother returning.
A lovely, small, independent Italian restaurant serving fresh, delicious food. I ordered elderflower and soda but was served lime and soda, which I fortunately like and didn't feel was worth questioning. The waitress was Italian and English her second language. The owners/staff are friendly and efficient.
Attentive staff and good ambience. Mix up over order, with main courses arriving before starters but that was quickly rectified. Chef came out of kitchen to apologise that it was her fault. Food tasty and very authentic!
excellent starter (a mixed board of meat cheese, bruschetta etc etc), very nice mains, atmosphere also very good and very friendly staff - why not 6 stars then? only because I think its somewhat overpriced (over £100 for 2 courses for 3 people)
Not enough staff so service was slow as soon as it got half full. Was also disappointed that 3 starters, a few mains and a few desserts were not available. Prices above average. Food quality generally good, but expect more for the price.