For one reason or another, when one has lived in Harrogate for a certain amount of time, they are called back there. This day was no exception. Those who know me will be aware of my revulsion towards conventions. I sacrificed 9 years of my life to this town and I was not about to give it another hour. So on our way down from Newcastle, I fought against each successive suggestion that we ought to simplify the whole process by having another synthetic meal in our hitherto-home.

Nay I say! Richmond is the perfect distance between the two towns and I had not eaten in La Piazza for 6 years. So there we went. Now, knowing that we were to cover almost 150 miles by the end of the day, we did not opt for knock-out meals. By that I mean meals which are so heavy that you are forced to take an afternoon nap.

LINGUINE PICANTE (G, Ce) Spicy Italian sausage with grilled mixed peppers and onions in a rich tomato sauce

The lighting in this place at noon was quite dramatic, so you’ll forgive me for posting phenomenal photos. Mother ordered the spicy linguini. I am happy to report it wasn’t debilitatingly spicy. And cooked to perfection, I might add.

SPICY RISOTTO (G, Ce, M) Thin strips of beef and chic ken cooked with onion, peppers, mushroom in red wine spicy tomato sauce

Father opted for the spicy risotto. Same concept as the pasta but with risotto and strips of beef. Thankfully they were anything but thin. The flavour was on point, the rice was cooked well (very easy to fail risottos). and of course the lighting makes the dish seem far more appealing than it already was.

RISOTTO ALFREDO (M) Arborio rice with mushrooms and chicken in a light creamy sauce

My own meal was a winner. Just the perfect combination of flavours in a light sauce. The portion size was enormous and yet, I left feeling satisfied but not overburdened. This is an important factor in any luncheon for me.

RAVIOLI DI POLLO (G, E, M) Pasta parcels filled with spinach and ricotta cheese with pancetta, fresh chicken and petit pois in a cream sauce

Celia, in her wisdom, took my advice and avoided the Carbonara. This is a tip for all of you. any Carbonara which is made with bacon; onions or cream should be avoided at all costs. Even if starvation is the only alternative. I remembered this dish from 6 years ago. Indeed, when the Richmond girl I was dating came to visit me in my first year of University, I recreated it for us. I was so impressed by this La Piazza dish that I wrote down all the ingredients I could taste on a napkin. Then I made it again and got it almost right. But the real thing is a spectacle in itself. Wonderful wonderful dish. Easily the best meal on the menu.

The tiramisu was visually and culinarily astounding. No pretentious filter could do it justice. Really quite impressive. Of course we were so stuffed from the enormous portion size of the last course that we could only handle one dessert between four.

Overall, I am still impressed with La Piazza and I am elated to be able to share this special restaurant with you, here. I hope the next time you are in North Yorkshire, you shall give it a try.