What a lucky girl I am …
… to sit and have a beautiful lunch in a brand new fine-dine restaurant in Liverpool’s Cultural Quarter – on a Wednesday afternoon!
Why? I’ll tell you…
Some of you may know that I love writing about food and drink and hanging out with some of the countries best Chefs, and none more so than Chef Paul Askew. Paul has just opened his first solo venture, the Art School Restaurant in Liverpool, and when he asked me to pop over the water to review it, I hopped over the Mersey without any hesitation at all!
You see I know Paul Askew, and I know that he is so passionate about food as well as the producers who he works with, many of whom have been supplying him with extraordinary ingredients for years.
Located right in front of the new entrance to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (which re-opens this November after an extensive refurbishment), The Art School Restaurant has a discreet entrance, but you can guess at this stage that you’re walking into somewhere very special, with its glass lantern roof which sits neatly on top of an unassuming, original brick building.
‘One’ is met by a proper host / doorman / concierge / dapper chap complete with bowler hat and 3 piece suit (and probably a fob watch too!).
In the lobby there is stunning piece of sparkling silver furniture – a safety deposit box with 108 little drawers, but you’d need to be an Art School founder member to learn more about that!
Arriving into the bar and restaurant itself is a treat, it is not overdesigned (so many are unfortunately these days), but instead is elegant and sumptuous. Every table is dressed perfectly with crisp white linen, and the immaculately presented staff use pristine white gloves to serve the plates from a silver tray. Nice.
I sat on a table very close to the large tinted glass window which frames Chef Paul’s kitchen (its so much nicer to see the Chefs at work rather than to hear them!).
So…. amuse bouche arrives; Chilled vichy suisse soup with natural smoked haddock, avruga caviar and organic extra virgin olive oil. You can only imagine. Heaven.
I went vegetarian for my starter; twice baked soufflé of wild mushrooms, thyme and truffle with Dijon cream and charred onions. It looked beautiful, and the combination of ingredients was, again – heavenly.
For my main course I chose fillet of hake with haricot beans, Savoy cabbage and smoked Southport belly pork. You can’t imagine how beautifully the belly pork complimented the hake (well, maybe you can – and you’d be right).
Dessert was naughty but nice (as it should be) with a dessert plate for sharing? With who? This gorgeous autumnal ensemble included pear and apricot bordelou, mini eclairs, lavender pavlova, coxs apple tatins and macaroons – and was just enough for little old moi…
And it was all finished off with proper coffee (from Joe Black Coffee, only the best!) and a lovely foodie chat with the big man himself!
The Prixe Fixe menu changes every few days, and the fish dish changes every day. And I have to mention what amazing value Prixe Fixe is:
2 courses £22.50 and 3 courses £29.00
If you’re wanting the full Chef Askew experience however, then you need to dine from his Menu Excellence …. divine.
Dinner at the Art School Restaurant is the best gift you could give to anyone, well – anyone who knows anyway!
Prix Fixe Menu available lunch and dinner Tuesday to Saturday 12 till 3pm and 5 till 6.15pm
2 courses £22.50
3 courses £29.00
Menu Excellence available lunch and dinner Tuesday to Saturday 12 till 2.30pm and 7pm till 9.30pm
£65 for aperitif and 5 courses
The Art School Restaurant Liverpool
1 Sugnall Street
0151 230 8600