I was lucky enough to live in Malta for a period of my childhood and because of this, I am a major lover of all things Mediterranean and Italian. Add my 4 month stint in Italy part way through my languages degree and its fair to say that I’ve spent a good proportion of my lifetime living and eating the Italian way. Generally speaking, if I have to choose somewhere to eat then I’ll normally opt for an Italian restaurant over a different cuisine. Another one of my favourite things in life is a traditional Sunday lunch. We don’t have them all that often – Richard always complains about how much work they are (although somehow, I don’t remember him ever making one. Baffling.). When I was invited along to try out an Italian take on the classic roast dinner – I knew I couldn’t say no. I must admit; when I hear the words Il Forno Sunday roast doesn’t normally spring to mind. I was wrong to be sceptical.
Classic Italian decadence with the Il Forno Sunday Roast
Il Forno, a staple restaurant in the heart of Liverpool on Duke Street (right next door to Sapporo Teppanyaki, in fact), is somewhere I frequented quite often when I lived in Liverpool. Their linguine allo scoglio, for example, is an absolute delight and I could eat it by the bucket load. Their pizzas are incredible as well, cooked there and then in their ‘forno’.
We were invited to Il Forno to try out their Sunday Lunch Menu – and my, oh my, were we given an absolute treat of a meal. When we arrived, we were offered the choice of red, white or rose wine – Rich was driving and I’m not much of a drinker, but we opted for the white wine under the premise that I’d have a couple of glasses and he’d have a few sips (spoiler alert: I had more than a couple of glasses. Simply to mop up the Roast. Honest.) Our host explained to us that we’d receive our roast on a sharing board, along with a couple of side orders to accompany the meal – sounds good to me! The host also explained the contents of what we were going to taste; tender beef topside, lamb shoulder, smokey porchetta and half a roasted chicken. You can opt to have the experience as a sharing board, like we did, or else have the roast as an individual meal.
A challenge for even the most passionate Roast Lover
The host asked jokingly when he placed the board down in front of us whether we were up for a challenge but I genuinely don’t think we truly anticipated just how filling the roast would be. As well as the different meats, we also had sweet potato, seasonal vegetables and yorkshire puddings, plus a rich gravy that brought everything together. The meat was tender and absolutely delicious – particularly the smoky pork. I’m a massive fan of lamb so that was my personal favourite but in all honesty, I could have eaten the entire thing twice over with no complaints whatsoever. The gravy was quite rich and I made the mistake of just whacking it on the plate – I should have been a little more conservative with it as a little definitely goes a long way. Adding the two side dishes we were given to the mix – creamy cauliflower cheese and mac and cheese – and we were absolutely stuffed to the brim (to the point where we even turned down the offer of dessert.)
Il Forno went above and beyond however, and brought us over an Il Forno Chocolate bomb – a homemade coconut cheesecake chocolate bomb, with a hot rum and chocolate sauce. The perfect finish to a fantastic lunchtime treat. The sharing board is priced at £30 for two people sharing, which is an absolute bargain. There’s more than enough food to feed even the hungriest of diners – an extra £15 gets you a bottle of wine as well. The Il Forno Sunday Lunch is definitely a luxurious treat – but one worth experiencing.
[This experience was gifted to us by the team at Il Forno but as always, my opinions remain my own.]