Alessio and Federico were born in a small town called Grotte near Agrigento in southern Sicily. They had an idyllic upbringing under the beautiful Sicilian sun and learnt the importance of fresh, good quality ingredients at their mother’s kitchen. From their father they mastered the art of customer service by accompanying him in his mobile street food van. From arancini to cannoli and all that's in between, Sicilian cooking and street food is in their blood.
Alessio had the travel bug, and even though the Carlisi family is extremely close-knit he wanted adventure, so when he turned 18, he travelled up to Milan to work in a prestigious hotel and restaurant. After a while he decided to come to the UK, and he was deliberating between Liverpool and Glasgow as he had friends in both but eventually Liverpool won his heart. He worked for years in Il Forno and while his original plan was to travel further afield and maybe try out Miami, the management at Il Forno saw he had something special and brought him up through the ranks instead.
Federico followed Alessio over a few years later and while he attended catering college for a while, his real passion was mixology and he worked in high end bars, perfecting the art of making beautiful cocktails.
The brothers had bigger dreams though and worked hard to save enough money to open their own place together.
“We opened Carlisi on Dale Street in 2018 with the dream of bringing authentic Italian food, drinks, and service to the people of Liverpool. We import a lot of our products directly from suppliers around Italy and we’re proud of our heritage.” They were open for just over a year before COVID hit and they rolled with the changes, offering takeaway cocktails, and opening as a deli selling their imported Italian goods.
They achieved their dream of opening their own place with panache and flair and have a loyal customer base. When you walk into Carlisi, you are greeted like family, and you can't resist returning. Even though they live on different parts of the continent, the whole Carlisi family remains extremely close knit and their parents and older brothers come over to visit often. Don't be surprised to walk in and find Mama Carlisi behind the bar!
The food they serve is widely praised as delicious and presented with such artistic flair and passion that you just cannot find anywhere else in the city - at least without paying haute cuisine prices. The cocktails are to die for, Federico guarantees that you won't find a better Aperol Spritz, in or outside of Italy and their customers often say that Carlisi has the best coffee they've ever tasted.
This obvious passion ensured that even through the pandemic they thrived and so much so that just 5 years after opening their first Carlisi, they plan to open Carlisi Bar & Kitchen on Allerton Road in Spring 2023 which will be serving a mouth-watering range of bona fide Italian pasta recipes along with the bruschetta, breakfasts, and street food they've come to be famous for. You can read more about that here. Ciao! Ci vediamo presto! (We'll see you soon!)