Whatever the weather in central Liverpool, dining at Casa Italia is always rather like lounging on a balmy Italian street. With lamp posts lining its walls, chequered cloths on its tables, and pizzas and pastas filling its menu, the restaurant has offered a taste of rural Italy in the heart of the city for almost 40 years. Outside, Eleanor Rigby’s famous bronze statue sits sadly on a bench opposite; inside, families and friends tuck into hearty Italian staples served by gloriously avuncular waiters. Highlights include focaccia bread dripping with olive oil, and pizza dough that’s made fresh each day; the pescatore (with seafood, capers and peppers) is just one of the many classic toppings available. Baked tortellini arrives with slivers of chicken in a rich béchamel sauce, topped with mozzarella. We accompanied our portion with house wine, served by the half-litre carafe. Well worth braving the peak-time queues.