It’s a family project that’s been almost 20 years in the making but it’s clear Piccolos’ labour of love has been time well spent.
After travelling to England from Iran 40 years ago, owner Hussein Kamkar has worked hard to perfect his passion for making delicious food.
Loyal customers would agree it’s a skill the family have well and truly mastered.
On my visit, every dish was individually crafted and, by the end of the meal, there was barely a morsel left of anything.
You don’t need to be in the restaurant business to know that’s a good sign.
After finally picking out a wine from their extensive list, I settled on my starters and main.
Despite being tempted by their many traditional Italian dishes and weekly specialities, my penchant for bruschetta and pizza got the better of me.
The satisfying crunch of the Bruschetta al Pomodoro was complemented beautifully by the light buffalo mozzarella and juicy cherry vine tomatoes. The red and green pesto sauce was just the finishing touch needed.
Wanting to be at least slightly more adventurous for this review, I (only slightly) deviated from my love of pizza and plumped for the Calzone Piccante.
It came full of fresh onions, green pepper, olives and chilli and was topped with a generous helping of tomato and cheese.
Sometimes calzones can suffer from overflowing with ingredients or being slightly too dry but, thankfully, there were no such problems here.
After two delicious courses I managed to find enough room for one of Piccolos’ desserts.
If I thought picking a wine was difficult, this was almost impossible.Piccolos pride themselves on their desserts so choosing between panna cotta, a white chocolate and passion fruit cheesecake or an amaretto tora was no mean feat.
But, the tiramisu could not be ignored and I soon felt vindicated in my choice as I enjoyed the light trifle with a classic amaretto taste.
Mr Kamkar said the secret to Piccolos’ success was a commitment to quality ingredients in a cosy, intimate atmosphere.
He said: “It’s very important to keep fresh, quality, locally-sourced ingredients and a varied menu.
“The majority of our customers are repeat trade so word of mouth is crucial for us.”
My three-course meal with wine cost £47.75.
Star rating out of five:
Three more to choose from:
La Luna, Ecclesall Road Mama’s and leonies, Norfolk Row, City Centre Vito’s, South Road, Walkley