“ 2-4 St. Marys Row, Moseley, Birmingham, West Midlands, B13 8JG. Tel. =44 (0) 121 449 8818. „
Little Italy is an Italian Restaurant in Moseley, Birmingham. It is well situated on the main cross roads at the centre of Moseley Village and has a pub, The Hog’s Head, right next door. Moseley itself is a great district of Birmingham populated mainly by students and hippies, it has 9 pubs and 5 continental restaurants (see my other reviews if and when Dooyoo add my suggested items!), 5 Balti Houses and a Chinese Restaurant in a very small area. Consequently, Moseley rocks. Little Italy does not have a licence to sell alcohol as the powers that be decided that there were already far too many licences in such as small area anyway. This is an advantage to the average punter as it means that a boozy night out doesn’t cost anywhere near what it might do if you were paying for your wine on top of your meal. There is an off licence about 30 yards away from the restaurant itself with a large range of wines and beers at fairly reasonable prices. Little Italy does not charge a corkage fee. The menu is varied and will have something to suit everyone’s taste. Appetisers are offered in the shape of bread and butter - £1.50 for 4 and fresh, marinated olives - £1.50 for a bowl for 4 people. There are 2 menus to choose your starter and main course from. One is a house menu and doesn’t change and one is a fish and specials menu, which changes from day to day depending on what is fresh. A salad starter is about £2, soup of the day is about £3 and most other starters (including garlic mushrooms, battered calamari, melon & parma ham etc) and between £3 and £4. There are approximately 10 starters to choose from and portions tend to be on the very large side. Twice I have spoiled my main course by enjoying my starter too much. The minestrone soup comes very highly recommended but is a full meal in itself. Main courses cost anything from £7 for a basic pizza or pasta to around £15 for grilled sword fish or the steak of the day dish. There are about 8 different pizzas to choose from and about 10 different pastas to choose from. The pizzas have a thin base but are large with plenty of fresh topping. The pasta comes in a bowl that looks small but is horribly deceiving. The spaghetti carbonara is the best I have ever tasted. The dessert menu is also varied. There is plenty to choose from and all the favourites are there. Fruits of the Forest cheesecake and Chocolate Fudge Cake are my partner’s favourites. I have tried the Italian Coconut Ice-cream and it was wonderful. Desserts cost about £3. There are plenty of different types of coffee to choose and they are all fairly flamboyant. The restaurant is run by an Italian family, some of whom do not speak English incredibly well. There is lots of characteristic shouting in the kitchen and it makes for a great atmosphere. It is a fairly small restaurant but has three floors. The basement looks a little dingy to me, the ground floor is the most spacious floor and the 1st floor is a theme room and I am told is great to eat in. They do have smoking and non-smoking areas but if you are particular then booking is essential. The toilets are nice and very clean and the service is fine, not too quick or too slow. My criticisms of Little Italy are few. However, when I have sat in the window I have been very cold and their proscuito ham is far too salty, as are their anchovies apparently. I would recommend it to anyone. It is great for party bookings too, as if there are any more than 10 of you, you will probably have a floor all to yourselves. A 3 course meal with appetisers and coffee comes to between £15 and £20 per head. But you can just pop in for a pizza at £7 per head too. Little Italy has huge competition in Moseley but it has very quickly found its niche.