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:

Le Olive

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.

Fegatini piccanti

Goosnargh chicken livers, ‘Nduja spicy Calabrian sausage, crostone bread

Antipasto toscano

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

Arrosticini abruzzesi

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

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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