Not fancy cooking, family cooking – dishes with a taste of home
When it comes to Italian food in Liverpool, Confidential readers are spoilt for choice. But if La Famiglia isn’t on your radar yet, it should be. Tucked away up the cobbles of Stanley Street, La Famiglia offers the flavours you know and love with a distinctly Southern Italian twist.
The owners of La Famiglia have brought a taste of their own family and friends to Liverpool
No strangers to the Italian food scene in Liverpool, the guys at La Famiglia have worked with many of the big names in the city before taking the leap into opening their own place.
But what makes Sardinian food so different?
"It’s a mixture of cultures," Giuseppe and Krzysztof explain.
"Italian, Spanish, North African. We can play around with it and experiment a bit."
We kick things off with the antipasti menu, a full ball of creamy burrata served atop a sweet and crunchy caponata salad. This dish was introduced to the menu by one of the restaurant’s Puglian chefs - finely chopped cubes of carrot, aubergine, sweet red pepper, almonds and pine nuts really go to show that in cuisine like this, simplicity reigns supreme.
Culurgiones, a traditional Sardinian dish, is another stand-out. Potato and pecorino ravioli are the Italian answer to dumplings, resting in a simple tomato sauce with fresh mint leaves and basil oil.
"Every dish has to have a taste of home", explains Giuseppe.
"When my brother came here he couldn’t believe we had this on our menu in the restaurant. It’s a home dish, rustic, they wouldn’t serve it to you in a restaurant in Italy."
For main course, we share two pasta dishes recommended by the owners and it’s no surprise that these are the restaurant’s best sellers.
Paccheri mare is the La Famiglia answer to seafood spaghetti which, whilst delicious and a popular choice across the city, isn’t quite the authentic dish we like to think it is.
Here, thick chunks of tubular pasta sit amongst a whole trawler net of treats – shell-on king prawns, mussel and squid. It is a pure taste of the sea, taking us straight back to some of the best holiday memories with each and every bite.
Our top tip is the fettucini pistachio - not only a dish we’ve never eaten before but we’ve never even seen it on a menu - and no wonder.
"You can’t get it here", smiles Giuseppe proudly. "I think the nearest place that does it is Sheffield."
Fresh fettucine in a naturally creamy pistachio sauce - a few chunks of crisp pancetta add saltiness, a spritz of lemon zest freshens it all up, and of course a blanket of freshly grated parmesan finishes it off. If you try one thing on the menu, make it this.
Sensing we’re stuffed to the brim and faltering about ordering dessert, the staff go ahead and order one for us anyway. Very kind.
Seadas, a Sardinian dish made with leftover cheese is another home dish that you’d usually only find around the dinner table. Mild, soured cheese is cooked into a fritter and then generously drizzled in warm honey. Giuseppe and Krys say that it’s the only one you can get on a menu anywhere in the North West.
The owners of La Famiglia have brought a taste of their own families and friends here to Liverpool and it definitely fills a gap.
Rustic, homely dishes are made with the highest quality ingredients and every single dish oozes with care, passion and dedication. They stick to what they know, with no airs and graces and certainly no gimmicks.
While Guiseppe maintains, "We don’t need to be shiny", they’re definitely a hidden gem, and should be top of your list of restaurants to visit right now.
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