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Lavianos Keynsham Review 4th April 2017

 Lavianos Keynsham Review 4th April 2017
Laviano’s is a new addition to Keynsham and from it’s opening in November last year, it has proved a roaring success. The word on the street it that you need to fight to get a table and when you do it will be worth it. We went into battle on a Tuesday evening and found many jolly diners in situ already and long tables laid up for more to come. We were intrigued Laviano’s is obviously the Pied Piper for pizza and pasta lovers but how so? The interior is actually rather un-Italian, the reception has cosy sofas and is softly candlelit, there’s a long bar and the large kitchen is exposed to the main restaurant. This was all very chic and a far cry from the checked tablecloths and red and green decor of old.

Service is delightful, charmingly old fashioned and courteous, and we were comfortably seated with a large chilled beer before you could blink an eye. I love Italian food and the menu is great – to be honest I could have chosen everything on it. There are sixteen (yes sixteen) different pizzas to take account of, antipasti cured meats or fish platters to share, every kind of pasta and risotto, as well as chicken, meat and fish dishes. We were in an orgy of indecision.

Finally, we decided to share a pizza to start, namely ‘Sebastien’ with tomato, gorgonzola, mozzarella, Parmesan and goat cheeses, followed by for me ravioli salerno – fresh beef ravioli cooked in white wine and garlic butter with cherry tomatoes and tomato sauce and for my guest, risotto pescatore with calamari, prawns and clams in white wine, garlic and tomato sauce.

Whilst we waited for our starters we watched fascinated as the two chefs cooked up a storm and produced a seemingly endless progression of dishes without breaking sweat. It was a marvel of organisation and a great cabaret to go with dinner. The pizza arrived already cut into bubbling wedges for us. Quite simply it was the best pizza I’ve ever eaten, perfect crust to topping ratio, excellent combination of flavours and when the waiter came to check on us we could only mumble our praises through a cheesy haze.

Our main courses were equally pleasing and let me tell you that the portions are way beyond generous but I ate every scrap of my delicious ravioli, making sure not to leave even the smallest blob of the thick rich tomato sauce. The risotto was lovely too, bursting with fruits of the sea, the Arborio rice just the right side of al dente fulsomely soaked in the white wine and garlic sauce.

We now understood Laviano’s enviable success, the secret being great food, and well, just great food!

Jacquie Vowles

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