Updated: Jan 7
Hello again my lovelies. So, I feel like you are getting to know me a little bit through my blog postings of late. My passions, food, iced coffee… any coffee really. But here is a new one for you, and possibly my number one, Italian Food, most specifically freshly made pasta, is there anything better? So, with that in mind, off I went last night to Little Italy in Albany’s main street, York Street.
I still feel as though Little Italy is a fairly new restaurant in our lovely town, it opened its door in December 2018, led by the gorgeous owners Carmella and Giuseppe who is also the head chef. I noticed Giuseppe working away in the kitchen last night, you know that’s commitment when two years later you are still doing the hard yards yourself. In my own musings, I did wonder whether Little Italy might be in direct competition with The Venice Pizza Bar and Restaurant when they first opened, but thankfully they have stayed strong and both of my favourite eateries are still absolutely thriving! I have seen lines out the door at both restaurants recently. More Italian food for all of us! Yay!
Now I was a little slow off the mark in actually getting in to sit down at Little Italy, indeed last night was my first sit down meal. But after trying their takeaway meals for my birthday last year they have become the prime spot to buy dinner for home celebrations for both mine and my best friend’s families. My best friend I must add is much better than me at getting out. She and her husband had their child free anniversary dinner at Little Italy a couple of years ago, and to be honest, I am not sure they have eaten anywhere else since! It has stuck as both the most delicious place to feed both ourselves, and our kids, but also as a beautiful sentimental spot for the happy couple.
It may look unassuming from the exterior, but inside Little Italy is just beautiful. Gorgeous hardwood interiors, beautiful art on the walls, a lovely bar with a lovelier bartender, delicious dessert and gelato display and truly lovely hostesses looking after us. Now I have done it again and only stuck to my tried favourite dish – to be honest I am a bit obsessed with it – the Gnocchi 4 Formaggi, which I only just thought about, is a vegetarian dish – not usually my go to ha-ha. But thankfully last night I look some of my family with me so I could also eat off their plates ha-ha.
So, my gnocchi, oh my goodness. Seriously I could eat this every day of the week, it is so deliciously flavourful, with the most perfect textured gnocchi you have ever eaten. Yep, I have had it as takeaway three times, and now once dining in. Amazing. So officially it is fresh gnocchi, with mozzarella, parmesan, fontina, and blue cheese tossed with spinach, mushrooms, and sage. Unofficially yum! It is so creamy and delicious, I swear you can taste all the different cheeses but the blue and parmesan really stand out, the mushrooms and spinach have never tasted better, and please, someone let me live out my dream to eat this forever?
My sister had the Caserecci al Pistachio el Fungi – also vegetarian. Officially, homemade pasta, pistachio, mushrooms, basil, white wine, and cream served with parmigiano cheese. Unofficially? Also yum! I hadn’t given this option much thought before, maybe because I am not a huge fan of nuts in general? But my lovely sister thankfully offered me a taste of hers, and I wish I had snagged a bigger forkful! Oooh its so tasty! Lovely and creamy, with that beautiful mild white wine taste, the pasta is absolutely perfect. Funny too because I have just recently discovered dried caserecci in the supermarket and have been telling all who will listen about what a perfect shape of pasta it is and how obsessed I am. Sadly, my sister finished the rest of her dinner herself. Singing its well-deserved praises with every mouthful.
My mother is next up, also predictable, god love her. Ordering Saltimbocca alla Romana, yep, Saltimbocca the dish she must have ordered dozens of times at The Venice, hey, if it isn’t broke don’t fix it right? Officially what she had is veal scallopine topped with prosciutto, sage, and white wine, served with bacon and cheese croquettes. Firstly, you don’t know how hard I had to try not to steal her prosciutto – yum! But then, oh my goodness those croquettes looked so beautiful! So crisp and golden on the outside, and smooth mashed potato inside, almost too perfectly shaped too! Very impressive.
Of course, we had entrees as well, I just love their cheese garlic bread. This time though, with the encouragement of my sister who knows me too well, we also tried the Camembert entrée. Camembert cheese crumbed with roasted hazelnuts, deep fried, and served with caramelised red onion relish and bread. Literally every part of this dish was perfection, and again, I don’t like nuts. But do yourself a favour and order the camembert!
Little Italy also offers a lovely range of desserts, cakes, and gelatos. My sister and my son both had ice cream, by the sound of it my sister was extremely impressed with her choice of a combination of Café Grande and Salted Caramel. And apparently for my son, Cookies and cream is now his favourite flavour. I ordered a Honey Chocolate Mousse, so interesting, had the gorgeous silky chocolatey mousse, but with this hint of honey behind it, great idea, and the cream it was topped with was flavoured with strawberries, a gorgeous dessert, I wish I weren’t so full and was able to finish it!
So that pretty much wrapped up our night as my littlest man started to get a bit more vocal than I would have liked by this point. Little Italy, my friends, I highly recommend you try it out if you haven’t yet, and if you have, go again!