Despite its busy location I’d never spotted Luigi’s Italian restaurant in Birstall – but after it was recommended by a friend I decided to give it a try.

It’s converted from a former pub and opened in January last year. The owner, Luigi Dabundo, has been a restaurateur for 30 years, having run eateries in Liversedge and Horsforth.

Entry is next to the kitchen and you’re greeted by delicious cooking smells and the chef whirling pizza dough in the air.

It’s very well staffed by Italian waiters, waitresses and bar workers who are attentive, welcoming and friendly. The restaurant is very light and sunny and tables are prettily covered in red and white checked tablecloths.

We visited last Sunday night and even though it’s traditionally a day for a Sunday roast, the restaurant was still fairly busy.

The menu has a variety of choices and, as I would expect in a good Italian restaurant, 18 pizzas to choose from!

Starters arrived soon after we had ordered and were all freshly cooked.

We ordered mozzarella in carrozza (£5.50), mussels from the specials board (£6.95), deep fried brie in breadcrumbs (£5.50) and a mushroom and pepper starter from the specials board (£5.95).

I had the mozzarella which was coated in breadcrumbs, deep fried and covered in a lovely rich tomato sauce.

My husband had the mussels, which came in three different sauces including his choice of white wine and garlic. I am not a fan of seafood so declined to try them but he said they were lovely.

The brie arrived garnished with a side salad and tomato relish, which was beautifully cooked and held together perfectly.

The mains were served within just a few minutes of our plates being cleared away and were just the right temperature to tuck into immediately.

Luigi's Pizzeria Ristorante, Bradford Road, Birstall
Luigi's Pizzeria Ristorante, Bradford Road, Birstall
 

I had the Canneloni Gratinati (£8.50). The menu states main dishes are served with potatoes and seasonal vegetables, but mine didn’t come with any so I thought this may have applied to the steak dishes. However, the portion was big so I wouldn’t have been able to eat any! The dish itself was cooked very well and there was plenty of mozzarella cheese which was light enough after having mozzarella for my starter too.

My husband ordered Spaghetti Vesuvio (£8.95) which sounds very hot, but was not overpowering and was cooked beautifully with plenty of vegetables and salami.

My vegetarian guests chose a calzone (£8.95) and risotto marinara (£10.95), both of which are meat dishes, but the kitchen was happy to serve them without meat and when the bill arrived £2 had even been knocked off the price of the
risotto.

The calzone was huge and we all had a bit! I am a seasoned pizza fan and this was delicious. The crust was perfect and the toppings and seasonings struck just the right balance, with plenty of garlic. My guest said he really enjoyed it and was glad everyone wanted to try it because it was so big!

The risotto was delicious although with a seafood kick so did not appear to be strictly vegetarian. The dish is intended to be served with mixed seafood but other vegetarians considering this should not worry that it suffers when the seafood is removed.

For dessert two guests shared a creamy limoncello served in a wine glass which inspired a lot of appreciative noises! It was the last one – although it being Sunday night, this is understandable.

My husband had an orange sorbet, which was delightfully served in a frozen orange, and I had Neapolitan ice cream which was drizzled in sweet strawberry and chocolate ice cream. The desserts added up to £12.50 for all three.

VERDICT: The meal was delicious and we all said we would definitely go again. As a pizza fan I think I would be hard-pressed to find a better one in north Kirklees! My vegetarian guests very much enjoyed their meal and would be happy to go again. However, they would be more inclined to make a return visit if more vegetarian options were added to the menu.

921 Bradford Road, Birstall, WF17 9NL

Tel: 01924 470777

Website: www.luigisbirstall.co.uk/

Opening hours: Tues-Thurs 5pm-10pm; Friday and Saturday 1pm-10.30pm;

Sunday: 1pm-9pm

Children: Yes

Disabled access: Yes

The bill: £76.25 for four

Would you go back?

Yes, we all said we would.