LIVER POOL• LERPWL.COM
Most readers over the age of about 25 will have, at some point, wake up in the area around Lerpwl. It was from a TV studio near here that Richard and Judy roused the nation on This Morning throughout the ’90s. And, indeed, this restaurant in Liverpool’s Royal Albert Dock has something of the pair about it, being warm, eccentric, and prone to long-windedness.
I visit just before Christmas, in the brief period before everything closes again. Entering through the heavy glass doors, you get a sense of expensive emptiness: a flagstone floor, white walls, and ash-and-racing-green leather dining chairs surround a gleaming open kitchen, where a brigade of cooks is hard at work under chef and co-owner Ellis Barrie, who made a name for himself when he appeared on Great British Menu.
My heart bleeds a little for Barrie and his brother Liam, who also runs the well-reviewed Marram Grass on Anglesey. They’d planned to open their Liverpool venture earlier in the year, but the pandemic put paid to that. Still, when I sit down, things at Lerpwl are very much in full swing, and an enthusiastic waiter presents me with the menu.
The thinking behind the food is seasonality. Not that you’d know it from the list, since it’s written in the sparse diction of a traffic policeman. Dishes are described minimally — ‘wood pigeon’ and ‘Galloway beef’ — which means it’s left to the waiter to explain that the wood pigeon comes with pureed artichokes and is given a wonderful texture by the addition of toasted granola and a smidgeon of truffle. And he’s not wrong. It’s the best pigeon dish I’ve ever eaten.
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