We were tempted by Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina (£7.50) – gnocchi with tomato sauce and cheese – a parmigiana (£7.95) and a couple of the burgers, which looked alarmingly enormous, the Super Sandwich (£8.95) layering chicken, sausage, bacon, egg mayo, tomato and lettuce would have defeated us, we were sure.
We went for the Insalata Di Mare starter (£6.95) with a Bruschetta Al Pomodoro (£3.95) – hardly winter fare but very tempting if the ingredients were good. And they were – the calamari, octopus, mussels, prawns and clams were fresh and dressed in olive oil and garlic on a bed of leaves. Simple, light and very tasty, though perhaps a little tart and a little oily.
Our dining partner had a Valterino pizza – goat’s cheese, pesto and sundried tomato. A thin crust and a tasty topping were good, but at a tenner you’re really reaching the limit of what you can charge for a pizza. Its high cost seemed a little odd considering the ample – and cheaper – seafood salad.
A couple of Bira Moretti brought the price to £26, which is reasonable. We’re always on the look-out for inexpensive foody places in town, away from the madding crowd of Liverpool One and its chains, and The Italian Club fits the bill very well.
When we went, The Italian Club was fairly quiet and relaxed but it’s easy to imagine a busy, noisy place with steamy windows and delicious aromas wafting down the long, narrow cafe-cum restaurant. Either way we liked it. With sister restaurant the Italian Club Fish up the road – and a wealth of inviting, inexpensive cafes and bars flourishing nearby, the top of Bold Street is becoming something of a microclimate for independent hang-outs (we’ll ignore that ghastly Tesco for the time being, eh?). And that’s a very good thing.
The Italian Club
85 Bold Street