If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to visit an Italian city and really immerse yourself into the Italian culture, you’ll know that Apperitivo is a huge part of the Italian food and drink scene. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it involves cocktails or wine and small plates of Italian delicacies where locals can sip and eat until their hearts content, chatting and laughing in a relaxed atmosphere with family and friends. Really, what’s not to love? Noticing a lack of true Italian practices at the business end of the city, Carlisi’s owner Alessio vowed to open a bar, in which you could step off the streets of Liverpool into the vibrancy of Italy and enjoy the simple delights of delicious food and drink. And we’re happy to say he’s succeeded.

Walking into Carlisi, you’re given the typical, warm Italian welcome and, despite not needing to be told, encouraged to eat and drink as much as possible. The selection and variety at Carlisi is super impressive, from popping in for an Espresso and a pastry to putting aside a few hours to slowly consume the entire Bruschetta bar and work your way down the cocktail list, this bar is perfect for any occasion, with the friendliest of owners doing everything he can and more, to accommodate you.

It seems the concept of Carlisi is a simple one – eat, drink, laugh and eat some more. The menu consists of delicious brunch offerings including Vegetarian and traditional Italian breakfasts as well as yoghurt and homemade granola for those that prefer a lighter bite. The cabinet at the front also contains some unbelievable Panini’s, perfect for those that want to grab and go from a nearby office – and a whole lot fresher than Tesco.

With it being a Saturday afternoon and having already sampled a fair few of our city’s finest bars, we opted for some red wine as well as an Aperol. To eat, we decided on the meats and cheese sharing board complete with crackers and chutney (winning). The bread and olives (a neighbouring table were chatting over a bowl and they looked insanely delicious) and the smoked salmon and Burrata Bruschetta. Carlisi prides itself on their Bruschetta selection and I can definitely vouch for the variety on the menu, making if an extremely hard choice to choose just one!

Our food came out in stages which was perfect for chatting and whiling away the afternoon. First up was our super soft, warm focaccia, drizzled in olive oil and paired with huge, green olives full of fresh flavour and sprinkled lightly with salt crystals – just the perfect accompaniment to a large glass of red. Our nibbles were swiftly followed by crisp and light Bruschetta’s heavily loaded with the creamy, mellow and mild flavour of Burrata complemented perfectly with salty smoked salmon – a real delight.

Our Bruschetta’s were swiftly followed by the meat and cheese board of dreams, packed full of cream cheese and crackers, tangy, salty Manchego, tender parma ham and the warm spice of salami – a totally perfect sharing lunch.

We may have nibbled until our heart’s content, but there’s always room for dessert (especially when in Italy). Our Cannoli arrived drizzled in white chocolate, crispy on the outside and sweet and creamy in the middle, just as they should be.

It’s definitely fair to say that the brand new Carlisi Liverpool is a fantastic new addition to Liverpool’s foodie scene. For a small but perfectly formed Italian haven amongst the busy streets of Liverpool’s business district, step through the door of the unique Carlisi, drink, dine and laugh, just as the Italian’s do.

For more info and to view their menu- head to the Carlisi website.

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