Little Furnace Smithdown Road
Back in early 2013, two pals Peter and Ryan had their first taste of Neapolitan pizza, while on holiday in Palermo; four years later, they were serving up their own version from their stall in Baltic Market and had the keys to this Smithdown Road restaurant. They’re still going strong.
At Little Furnace, we’re taking UNESCO heritage status pizza, as in Naples style. This is not ‘thin and crispy’ pizza. If it’s thin and cripsy pizza you’re after, look elsewhere. Prepared using special flour (here, Tipo ’00’ or Tipo ‘0’), a sourdough culture and a good number of hours (no less than eight, but at Little Furnace more like between 25 and 55), adorned with high-quality toppings then traditionally cooked quickly in a super-hot wood-fired oven, Neapolitan (Napoletana) pizza is intentionally soft and cloudy, fold-up-able and in-mouth-put-able. It’s also very digestible, so you can put those Rennies back in your handbag, missus. Toppings wise, the boys offer both classic combinations and their own creations, plus vegan and vegetarian alongside more meaty offerings. A separate vegan menu (we have our eyes on the friarielli melanzana, which involves oven salt-baked aubergine) sits alongside a traditional one, and gluten-free options are also available in the Smithdown Road restaurant. Not just the one bianca pizza is available, either: the white base is topped with garlic spinach and mushroom, or bacon and mushroom, or how about staff favourite the Alhambra, which packs a punch with fennel salami and truffle oil. Ingredients are authentically Italian: n’duja sausage, prosciutto cotto ham, fior di latte, buffalo and Parmesan cheeses… and there’s a vegan mozzarella to boot.
Drinks wise, and there are both local (Love Lane) and Italian beers (Peroni, Moretti and Menabrea), cocktails and an all-Italian wine line-up. Sit back, relax and bear in mind Little Furnace’s slogan: “Be prepared for love at first slice.”
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