La Famiglia Restaurant, Keynsham Review

La Famiglia is the Italian restaurant on the Bath Road that everybody is talking about, newly opened it’s gathering great reviews and the word on the street is that it does the best pizza that side of town. With encouragement like this who wouldn’t want to try it and as the Italian phrase goes “ho una fame da lupo” translated by me as “I have the hunger of a wolf” so much more descriptive than the dreary old English version, “I’m starving” – which is how we felt as we fell in the door early one evening!

With Christmas approaching fast the restaurant was beautifully decked out and we admired the sparkling Christmas tree in the corner, themed in white with a host of rather cuddly penguins, polar bears and snowmen at the foot, a magnet for the smaller diners amongst us. Losing no time, we breezed through the pizza list and decided to share a ‘La Famiglia’ with mushrooms, onion, peppers, ham, pepperoni, olives and cheese, together with an antipasto platter with hams and salami from different Italian regions.

To follow I ordered from the oven baked pasta menu, vegetarian lasagne with roasted vegetables, tomato and bechamel sauce, and my husband took the spaghetti shellfish with white baby clams, mussels, prawns, garlic and tomato. The restaurant can also provide gluten free pasta and pizza upon request which I thought was a great service.

Once the starter was served, we knew there and then that the wolf had been properly banned from the door; the antipasto was enormous and beautifully presented on a wooden platter groaning with spiced salamis, Parma hams, sun dried tomato, a whole wobbling mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts, salad and toasted bread. It was delicious and together with the excellent pizza (everybody was right) we had to have a short break sipping Peroni before we tackled our main course.

Our spaghetti shellfish and lasagne arrived as we were arguing about when to put up our Christmas tree, now at once me, in a couple of weeks him, and luckily the disagreement was silenced by lovely mouthfuls of pasta and exclamations of enjoyment. Both dishes were robust and hearty and if we didn’t quite make it to the last morsel it was our own fault for having too much of a starter!

After a bit of a breather the lovely lady owner so charmingly told us it was impossible to leave without a glass of limoncello and a taste of their homemade tiramisu which we gave in and shared. So glad we did as it was the perfect end to an Italian meal, and if you feel like giving your Christmas an Italian twist, La Famiglia cater for parties of all sizes and you may find they have a few tables left – but hurry to book as the news is out!

Jacquie Vowles