GIFTED | Buon Natale! Welcome to my Christmas SPAM! I've had a fab few weeks in Liverpool enjoying some UNREAL food from some UNREAL restaurants. To kickstart the festive season (I know it's only September, but let's be realistic - we're on the countdown now!), I was invited by Il Forno, Duke St. to try their Christmas Party menu - and it was fabulous. We were treated to a sample of pretty much every dish on the menu, and no word of a lie - I am still full.
If you want to see my experience in action, head to my IGTV here:
And without further ado - let's see all the amazing Christmas food I feasted on at Il Forno!
Restaurant: Il Forno
Cuisine: Italian (Christmas Party Menu)
Location: Duke St. Liverpool
Christmas Party Menu Price: 2 courses – £25, 3 courses – £29
How To Book: Click Here!
NIBBLES | Olives, bread sticks, oil and balsamic - what more could you want to kickstart an Italian inspired Christmas food tasting spree!?
Starters are always my favourite part of any meal - they always encompass the best kind of food, especially when it comes to Christmas food - pate, smoked salmon, scallops - omg absolutely drooling writing this ... and Il Forno did not disappoint.
Gamberoni | Pan-fried king prawns, garlic butter and chilli sauce, cherry tomatoes, croutons
If you love prawns, this dish is an absolute winner! Light, fresh and those prawns were so juicy. Yum!
Chicken Liver Pate | Chicken liver pate, toasted bruschetta, caramelised onion chutney
Pate: it's what Christmas is all about. It's totally acceptable to eat at any time of the day from December onwards. Well, in my house it is anyway! Il Forno's pate was smooth and luxurious, perfect for spreading on bruschetta. Yum!
Burrata e Salmone | Smoked salmon tartar, creamy burrata cheese
I think the salmon was my fave dish. If I went to Il Forno again for the Christmas Party Menu, this is the dish I'd choose. Just look at how beautiful it looks on the plate. And that caviar to finish - wow! Absolute luxury on a plate. Get me a spoon, I'm going in!
Parmigiana (v) | Oven-baked aubergine, parmesan, tomato sauce, basil & light pesto
I try to be meat-free in the house and enjoy meat as a treat when dining out, so this dish was a fab one to try to commit to memory (so I can replicate it at home). I adore pesto - especially when it's homemade. There's nothing quite like basil to cement a dish as authentically Italian. A firm favourite with all our table: carnivores and vegetarians alike.
Capesante Zafferano E Pecorino | Pan fried king scallops , saffron cream, shaved pecorino cheese
If you don't like scallops - what's wrong with you!? I'm joking, more for me! Now these big, juicy kings were divine. That saffron cream - wow. Show stopping. I'd probably get these to share as well as a starter - because I love food! Wrapped in bacon, they were perfectly seasoned and the whole dish was delish.
MAINS | Note to self: don't eat too many starters that you fill up before mains. Total school girl error by me! I foight tooth and nail to get through this lot. Here's a run down of some of my festive faves from the Il Forno, Duke Street Christmas menu.
Branzino Alla Brace | Chargrilled Seabass filler, chargrilled vegetables
Super fresh seabags with crispy skin and all the veggies. If you're after a lighter dish amongst all the Christmas indulgence, this one is for you! Those juicy blistered tomato really made the dish for me!
Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli (v) | Spinach & ricotta ravioli, sage butter
Wow. OMG this dish. I am still dreaming about that sage butter. It just makes me salivate. My photos do not do this dish justice - sorry! It's unreal though. My favourite dish of the entire evening. Perfect for Christmas, lunch, breakfast the next day ... no shame here!
Salmon Pasta - Because what more would you want from a very Italian Christmas!?
Do you know why I absolutely adore authentic Italian restaurants? Because their pasta is literal perfection. And this dish at Il Forno was no exception - perfetto pasta! Fresh, creamy and super seasonal (because what is Christmas without all the smoked salmon hmm!?)
Lamb Shank - The ULTIMATE Christmas dish
Now were are talking! Get in ma belly! I am meat free Monday to Friday so when I dine out, it's all about beautiful meat like this! Wow wow WOW! That red wine jus is lit 99% red wine as well - boozy AF. And who doesn't love getting drunk off food!? Gorgeous dish - don't expect to have room for dessert after this one!
Strudel Mela | Warm apple strudel, vanilla ice cream
DE. LISH. OUS. Like a posh school pud, hearty warming and filling. No room at the inn at this point though! What a meal guys!
Il Forno Chocolate Bomb | Homemade coconut cheesecake bomb, hot chocolate sauce
The showstopper! The chef poured molten hot choclate over the 'bomb' to reveal a centre of coconut cream/ So indulgent! Wanna see it in action? Watch my video.
Traditional Tiramisu | Handmade sponge fingers, soaked in espresso coffee and layered with Mascarpone cream
You can't go for an Italian and not have a slice of the good stuff. Laced in espresso, this dessert was up there with one of the best tiramisu I've had!
Formaggi | Selection of cheeses, jam & biscuits
Christmas for me is all about the cheese. I was totally saturated at this point, but I have a cheese stomach, next to my dessert stomach which always has a little room for a nibble of a cracker with pecorino and chutney - yum! The perfetto way to end a very Italian Christmas at Il Forno, Duke St.
Thank you so much for the invite Il Forno - feeling super festive and super full!
If you do decide to try it out for yourself - let me know which dishes you loved the most!
Want to try their Sunday roast too? Blog post on the way or watch it in action on My Instagram, here.