Foodie Friday – Little Italy in Lancashire
Michelin award one-star to restaurants using top quality ingredients where dishes with distinct flavours are prepared to a consistently high standard. A very good restaurant in its category and worth a visit.
La Locanda in the picturesque village of Gisburn in the Ribble Valley of my beloved Red Rose home county of Lancashire, fits the Michelin bill – and has done for 20 years or so.
It is Secretly Famous.
I had never heard of it until Herdy founders Spencer and Diane visited it with Alessandro and Giovanna, and fell in love with it. They treated me to a no-holds-barred dinner there last week – and wow.
It ticked all the Michelin boxes – along with that vital hospitality ingredient – the X Factor – in the shape of the wife of the owner/operator duo; front of house maître d, storyteller, sommelier and force of nature – the redoubtable Cinzia. Partner of equally magnificent Chef, the vintage Moto Guzzi riding, award winning Maurizio.
Amazing antipasto – the ‘best pasta in Lancashire’, my favourite guilty pleasure (fresh sardines), rabbit, special, hard to find Italian wines. Great little bar, lovely private dining room, and the ‘Real Italian Meal’ – eight courses, four hours. Living life slow.
If you’re in the Lakes, Manchester, Liverpool, Preston or the Yorkshire Dales, the drive to La Locanda is beautiful, natural, ‘real’, and calming – and then Italy awaits!
Eat like an Italian! Here’s what Maurizio treated us to:
Marinated Apulian Cerignola olives, fried Ascolane olives stuffed with meat, Cerignola olives and cherry tomatoes paste
Pane Carasau condito
Traditional Sardinian thin and crispy bread, served with Col D’Orcia Tuscany extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, fresh chopped rosemary and garlic
Pane della casa
Maurizio’s hand craft breads is leavened for 24 hours.
Pane Toscano, Ligurian focaccia, Baglio del Pianetto – Palermo Sicily extra virgin olive oil, Trapani Sicily sea salt and aceto balsamivo di Modena I.G.P.
Goosnargh chicken livers, ‘Nduja spicy Calabrian sausage, crostone bread
Wild boar and truffle mortadella, venison salami, 12 months matured truffle Pecorino cheese
Caprino con scalogno caremellato
Maurizio’s hand craft home made goat cheese with caramelised shallots
Sardine al forno
Fleetwood fresh boneless baked sardines with extra virgin olive, rosemary, lemon and micro salad
Tortelloni d’agnello e tartufo con fonduta
Maurizio’s hand craft tortelloni filled with Chew Farm in Padiham lamb and black truffle served with Taleggio D.O.P. cheese fondue
Ravioli di ippoglosso con gamberoni e pistacchi
An ancient recipe from the Sicilian Cuisine. Maurizio’s hand craft ravioli filled with halibut served with a sauce made with pistachios, milk and king prawns
Traditional from Abruzzo. More than 24 hours marinated Texel breed lamb shoulder skewers from Chew Farm in Padiham with extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs, tomato and ’Nduja Calabrian sausages dip, salad leaves
Braciole alla messinese
A very ancient recipe from Sicily.
Grilled 35 day matured Aberdeen Angus fillet steak slice, filled with Caciocavallo cheese, parsley, bread crumb and extra virgin olive oil, served with peperonata (stew peppers)
Coniglio in porchetta con patate al rosmarino
Gisburn Forest wild boneless rabbit filled with Tuscan sausages and cavolo nero, wrapped with pancetta and served with his own juice and rosemary new potatoes
Bonarda Dell’Oltrepo’ Pavese DOC – Tenuta Il Bosco year 2020 – Lombardy
Barbera Langhe DOC – Rosa Cozzo Mario year 2019 – Piedmont
A.D.1212 Umbria IGT – Decugnano dei Barbi year 2019 – Umbria
Gradisca “please yourself” – craft lager from Amarcord – made in honour of Federico Fellini the film maker of La Dolce Vita