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Liverpool report

Jenny Sheridan | Mar 29, 2008 08:28 AM

Had a couple of days in the Capital of Culture (or Construction - there are cranes everywhere). Lunch at the Tate was good: Mrs Kirkhams' delicious Lancashire cheese with local air-dried ham and home-made piccalilli. Dinner at the Olive Press was an enjoyable experience, with relaxed atmosphere and knowledgeable service. The pastas were disappointing but the starter of bruschetta with wild mushrooms (plenty of ceps) and Taleggio was yummy. The puds were good too. The affogato had Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) as well as espresso - very Nigella. The fig, treacle and walnut tart with mascarpone was also excellent.
The next night's dinner was at The Side Door and was mixed. Again, professional, friendly service. A first course of warm smoked fillet of wild Loch Something trout was really lovely, as was the very genuine caponata it came with - but why put such unrelated foods together? Calves' liver on a potato and pumpkin rosti was good but there was too much of it. I left one of the two large slices, and I hate waste. I just hope the chefs ate it, or the washer-up. The roast cod came with braised fennel and delicous nutty crumbs. The puds were less interesting than the Olive Press.
Both restaurants came to about £65 for two people including a bottle of wine. Not perfect but better value than London for comparable food.

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