‘Almost like being in Venice’.
That was the verdict after my boyfriend and I visited a little hideout in Leyland called Antonello’s, as we attempted to recreate one of our favourite meals from our trip to Italy last year.
Ok, so we weren’t sat in a courtyard in the sunshine having got to our destination on a water bus, but for Leyland town centre, it wasn’t too bad.
There was even a photo of our favourite city on the wall, and one of the things I like about Antonello’s is the cosy decor.
Warming reds and yellows, along with candles and artwork on the walls, give the feel of being in a foreign country, so the setting was set.
Now for the food...
I ordered pan fried prawns in a tasty garlic butter sauce, which were delicious, and Jack had chicken livers, which came with onion, peppers and chillis.
He too was impressed, and we enjoyed a bowl of garlic olives to go with our starters.
(We had asked to have the olives first to nibble on while our starters were prepared, but the restaurant was surprisingly busy for a Tuesday night – almost full in fact – and the staff were a bit rushed off their feet.)
We didn’t have to wait too long for our food though, and the two waitresses were friendly and assertive, despite the amount of customers they had to serve.
They even had to turn some people away later in the night, who showed up without booking a table.
For the main courses, we both went for pizza, but Jack had a special request as he tried to recreate one of his top meals from our visit to Venice.
He asked for a pizza with a tomato base and anchovies and olives - with no cheese.
It’s not something which appeals to me, but it’s a popular option in Italy we found, and Jack certainly enjoyed it.
The request was met, although it did set him back more than £10, which we thought was a bit steep for a pizza without any cheese.
My choice was part of the midweek special offer, so only cost £4.99.
It was a ‘quattro stagione’ pizza with cheese, tomato, mushroom, artichokes, ham and black olives. It was delicious, and the pizza base itself was thin and crispy, just how I like it.
We were tempted by the dessert menu, even though we were both pretty full, but when a table of about 14 arrived and started to place their orders, we figured we’d be in for a long wait, so decided to call it a night.
For reference though, the options on the blackboard were sticky toffee pudding, tiramisu , chocolate fudge cake, lemon sorbet, and ice cream.
Despite my description of Antonello’s being a ‘hideout’ - which I think is justified due to its homely feel and small restaurant area - it is actually quite a well-known and popular haunt in Leyland.
It’s upstairs above its takeaway counterpart, which I think would also be worth a try at some point, and we’ve already made plans to go back to Antonello’s with some friends (we’ll make sure to book a table in advance!)
The bill, with two soft drinks and two Peronis, came to just under £40.
Address: 69 Hough Lane, Leyland, PR25 2SA
Contact: 01772 937 178
Details: Restaurant opening hours, 6pm until 10pm (last orders), seven days a week
Wheelchair access: No, as the restaurant is upstairs