For me, pizza falls into the same category as donuts, ice cream and shortbread. I tell people I’m not really that tempted by them and boldly claim that they certainly wouldn’t be my first pick off the menu but catch me eating any of the above and you’d be forgiven for thinking I had been possessed by the digital spirit of Pacman.
In fact, had you peeked through the warm and inviting façade of Rudy’s on Liverpool’s Castle Street last weekend, you would have witnessed those exact scenes. The girl who scoffs at pizza and ice cream, literally scoffing 8 slices of Ancozzese into her face and just minutes later, pouring a shot of Amaretto over the best chocolate gelato she has ever eaten in her life.
Let’s not get ahead of the plot though! Let me first tell you all about the brand-new Rudy’s Pizza restaurant in Liverpool…
Rudy’s Pizza, Castle Street, Liverpool
Rudy’s Pizza restaurants already exist all over the country but Liverpool’s edition is the latest addition and from doing a bit of Insta-stalking, it’s every inch as cool. It holds Neapolitan tradition at its heart and translates this authentic Italian hospitality into a cosmopolitan dining experience. The kind of laid back, modern dining experience that clearly appeals to the kind of person who might wear a £10 thrift shop biker jacket with a pair of brand new £700 Gucci mules.
You know the type… I mean, I AM the type so I should know and maybe that’s why I felt so at home at Rudy’s. I think the Scandinavia-meets-Shoreditch vibe, minimalist furniture, neon bar, exposed kitchen and industrial decor might have had a lot to do with it too though. Lit by not much more than candlelight in a Saturday night in November, I could have stayed in the cosy little marinara-scented bubble for hours and hours and hours.
In order to deliver it’s signature soft, bubbly-based pizzas and do Naples proud, Rudy’s follows 4 simple steps:
- Dough made fresh every single day and left to ferment for 24 hours
- Simple but effective ingredients
- Baked in authentic pizza ovens hand-built in Naples
- Blast cook for just 60 seconds for crisp crust but a warm, pliable, doughy base
Let me tell ya, I think these guys might have discovered the secret to pure pizza success. Around our table for four we went for the Margherita (£6.50), the Portobello (£7.20), the spicy Calabrese (£8.20) punctuated with hot n’duji sausage and the Ancozzese (£8.90) – all of which were knockout. Probably, actually, the best restaurant pizza I have ever eaten. Bold claims, I know.
The latter was a ‘white pizza‘ which essentially swaps the everyday tomato base for extra cheese instead and was something I was glad I finally got round to trying. I’m not sure it has swayed my ways but then I am a create of habit.
As a side note for anybody wondering, Rudy’s also offers a number of well-considered vegan pizzas which are quite clearly much, much more than a feeble afterthought.
The Rudy’s Pizza Dessert Menu
Truth be told, the Rudy’s dessert menu is modest to say the least and if you don’t like the rich, indulgent flavours of coffee, chocolate and nut which are synonymous with an Italian sweet menu then forget it.
Luckily, me and mine are suckers for anything that falls into those categories so we were quite happy to pick something from the admittedly limited selection. Around the table we had two Affogatto – one with the classic measure of Amaretto and the other with a plentiful shot of Frangelico liqueur – some simple vanilla ice cream, and two scoops of Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream with a shot of Amaretto doused over for good measure.
Mine was the boozy brownie ice cream and BOY, was it every bit as heavenly as it sounds. Nothing like the aneamic, washed-out chocolate ice creams I’ve had in the past which are like chiseling through a block of ice… This was thick, deep in colour, rich as you like and the perfect accompaniment for the warming almond liqueur. YUM.
Clearly, Rudy’s Pizza isn’t about what’s going on at the bar – the clue’s in the name. However, for a venue that is definitely more of an eatery than a watering hole, Rudy’s does have a pretty impressive drinks menu. From apertivos and traditional Italian digestifs, through to an extensive wine repertoire and various beers, there’s more than enough to get excited about.
I flushed my cheeks with a couple of Blood Orange Mimosa (£5.90) which were a decidedly more potent take on the classic, laced with Solerno blood orange liqueur – like grandma’s Buck’s Fizz but all grown up. We also went for a few choices from the wine list which were expertly guided towards by our knowledgeable waitress – yet another example of how Rudy’s strikes the perfect balance between cool, casual dining and sophisticated hospitality.
You’ll be seeing a lot more of me, Rudy!
I was very kindly invited to review Rudy’s Pizza, Liverpool but all words, photographs, opinions, teeth, hair, boobs and nails are my very own.