Is this the best lunchtime set menu in Liverpool?

Il Forno lunch dishesIL FORNO means “the oven” in Italian.

It’s no surprise then that freshly fired pizza is the first scent to tempt Private Life at the Duke Street restaurant. Indeed, a huge open wood-fire pizza oven is the centrepiece of the restaurant, which we hear last year won ‘England’s Best Pzza’ award.

We had wandered into Il Forno on a Wednesday afternoon, fed up with our usual computer screen lunch boxes. Hoping to add a little la dolce vita to our day.

Quickly we realised fab pizza is not the only trick up the eatery’s sleeve.

Turns out Il Forno has a pretty special new lunchtime specials menu… and, let us stop you right there. We know what you’re thinking. Set lunch menus are always a little bit rubbish, huh?

Well, my hungry friends, think again.

We tucked into a pretty special starter of Scottish mussels which, with a slab of crusty homemade bread, and appropriate drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, garlic, cherry tomato and parsley, was downright heavenly.

Mains range strips of tenderloin chilli beef to pizza or penne. We opted for the former beef dish – washed down with a glass of crisp white wine (shhh – don’t tell the boss). All fresh and delish.

Two courses from Il Forno’s lunchtime specials menu are just £9.95. Add a third for £13.95. Not bad for vegetarians too! We hear the veggie lasagne is fairly special.

Is this the best set lunchtime menu in town? Quite possibly.

You’ll find Il Forno at 132 Duke Street. Check out their menu and book online at

Il Forno oven

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