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Published May 9th 2019
Traditional Italian Food The Way 'Mama' Cooked It
It was established more than 30 years ago, so a first ever visit to this charming, independent Italian restaurant in Staffordshire was clearly long overdue, particularly as I happen to be half Italian on my mother's side. It was perhaps even more embarrassing, given my heritage, that my belated experience of Pizza by Goli was entirely due to friends who, themselves, had wanted to try the restaurant for the first time. Pizza by Goli, which is situated on Tamworth Street in the historic city of Lichfield, can lay claim to be a restaurant chain. But it would be the smallest chain possible, consisting of only two 'links', namely this particular eatery in Lichfield and a sister restaurant on Birmingham Road in Sutton Coldfield, both of which were established in 1987.
Pizza by Goli's frontage belies its delightful interior
Pizza by Goli boasts fantastic, traditional Italian cuisine and, having dined there for the first time, I can honestly say it is no idle claim. In fact, this was literally a refreshing change, and improvement, from the much larger Italian restaurant chains out there. An added bonus on the wet evening we visited is that the Lichfield restaurant lies directly across the road from a public car park, enabling us to make the shortest of dashes to get inside. My first impression was how cosy and compact the restaurant is although, as it quickly filled up, I realised that there is another, smaller seating area upstairs. The owners of Pizza by Goli appear to take pride in specialising in pizzas made with their own authentic home-made dough, which is apparently produced fresh daily. However, my only criticism, if you can call it such, is that the name of the restaurant implies it is yet another pizza house so familiar on the High Street. But nothing could be further from the truth as I discovered an extensive menu containing more than 20 traditional Italian pasta and risotto dishes which appear alongside the wide range of pizzas.
My friends and my wife and I started the ball rolling by choosing the same 'starter' of Bruschetta al Pomodoro e Basilico, namely toasted Italian bread with fresh chopped tomato, basil, garlic and olive oil, at £4.80 a portion. With our appetites suitably whetted with what was to come, we then went for the main courses. I chose the Tagliatelle Panza consisting of flat pasta strips with pieces of chicken breast and mushrooms cooked in a tomato sauce, while my wife went for a traditional Cannelloni dish of fresh 'pancakes' filled with minced beef and vegetables with béchamel sauce, bolognese, topped with cheese. My friends opted for Tagliatelle al Branzino - flat pasta strips with fresh sea bass, sundried tomato, garlic, white wine and cream sauce - and Penne al Salmone, comprising tubes of pasta with salmon cooked in a tomato and cream sauce. All the restaurant's pasta dishes are cooked with white wine and garlic and, in the case of our meals, were priced between £10 and £12 each. Everything was washed down by a combination of soft drinks and a bottle of the Montepulciano house red wine at a reasonable £14.95.
Pizza by Goli in Lichfield can be contacted on 01543 250916. It is open seven days a week: Monday to Saturday: 5.30pm to 11pm; Sunday: 5.30pm to 10.30pm; and Saturday lunchtime from 12noon to 2.30pm. The 'sister' Sutton Coldfield restaurant, which also has an outside terraced dining area at the front, can be reached by calling 0121 355 0222 or through its separate website.