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Oct 30, 2007 09:23 AM

Can I get someone's take on Liverpool House?

I've seen it pop up in a few strings, but I haven't seen any concrete info on the place...anyone been there yet? How was it? Worth trying this weekend?
Please let me know - thanks!

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  1. Funny you should ask. I was just just telling someone about it this morning,

    My husband and I went there last week after Anthony Bourdain's lecture. I was very much looking forward to the whole evening - the talk and then dinner.

    I got a bit of "tude when I called to make the reservations a few weeks prior, but decided maybe it was just me.

    Well, some people might love the place, but it's not for me. It's one of those see, be seen, not necessarily snooty places but just made me uncomfortable. I love food and especially good food, and have no problem on occasion paying well for it. What I got there was good, but it certainly didn't blow me away. I found the apps overpriced ($10 for a chicory and arugula salad seemed ridiculous to me), though my husband loved his Vitello Tonnato. My main was good, but it's not something I (or anyone else for that matter) couldn't make at home. When I eat out, I don't care if it's the simplest thing in the world, but I want it to stand out. To be the best simplest thing it can be. I guess I want my food to have a certain je ne sais quoi, and the entrees here, that we sampled just didn't.

    Desserts were average - the chocolate thing (can't remember what they called it) was really just an overly rich, under baked (mostly liquid) molten lava cake.

    I won't go back. It wasn't horrible, but I wouldn't go back.

    9 Replies
      1. re: mainsqueeze

        It was great, but we're not allowed to talk about it on the Quebec board since it's not directly food-related. ;-)

        Check out the scoop in this thread on the News & Media board:

      2. re: maisonbistro

        We went 2 saturdays ago on a rainy evening and found the place very comfortable and didn't feel any of the see & be seen vibe. None. We were in a cozy booth, the service was great, very friendly. We had slurped a slew of oysters at our friends place prior, so for dinner we (4) shared the large salume plate. Thinly sliced chacuterie (salami, proscuitto, cappacolla, headcheese etc) and fresh figs...wished there were more figs on the platter.

        I do agree that the dishes are those that could be prepared by most at home, but the preparation was nice and fresh. I had a pasta with beautiful cream sauce and a generous slice of black truffle. Simple, but so good. Others had veal meatballs, osso buco in a puddle of saffron risotto, and an orecchiette special----don't remember much of that one. A bowl of beneights with chocolate ice cream and a nice cappucino ended the night. Overall, we thought it was very good, not stellar, but very good. I didn't pay but I think the bill was around $300 which included a couple of glasses of wine, couple of beers, bottle of wine and coffee. Nice.

        1. re: minisma

          Thanks for your input folks. I was most concerned about the 'price-to-experience' value ratio that I consider so important. I don't go out for the big dinner often, but when I go I don't mind spending $200-300 for 2, but I want to feel like I got a true experience for my money. The last time I went to Joe beef I was left feeling like someone forgot to warn me that I was essentially eating in a small pub with no tablecloths but paying for Toqué.... I guess sure-bets like Bronte and Chasse & Pêche don't come along that often...

          1. re: buzz_sapien

            It is very similar in atmosphere to Joe Beef - a small pub with no tableclothes - but the prices are lower (portions are also manageable in size). A decent meal for 2 should run around $100, depending on what you drink. It's definitely not the same as CCP, but neither are the prices.

            1. re: cherylmtl

              Just checked, our meals were $380, not $300 for 4 of us.

              1. re: minisma

                How much was the wine/beer part of the bill versus the food? That seems rather high, considering most mains are in the $20 to $25 range, less for pasta.

                1. re: cherylmtl

                  Sorry, I don't recall and I didn't actually see the bill, but it was $380 with tip. We were celebrating a birthday, couple (or 3) glasses of wine, couple of beers, bottle of wine, dessert and coffee for all.

                  1. re: minisma

                    well, i almost went to LH, but last minute decided to place my chips on a sure-bet - did Chasse-& Pêche....can't get enough of that place right now. i will be poor and in the street soon, but happy...!

      3. I had a much better experience there than maisonbistro. However, I do agree with her about it being a "see and be seen" place - too much like Joe Beef in that respect, which I dislike about both places, especially since they're both so tiny, you really can't avoid overhearing the conversations of the people at the tables around you. But I did really enjoy my meal at Liverpool House a few weeks back, as did everyone else at my table. I'm guessing it's one of those places you'll either really like, or end up on the fence about. The food is good, basic, with high quality ingredients, and some prices seem quite reasonable, while others do seem a little high for what they are, so it depends on what you order.

        6 Replies
        1. re: cherylmtl

          What do you classify the cuisine as? Upscale basic Italian?? Do you see many Italians there? Do you think someone like Mario Batali would like it?

          1. re: BLM

            It's contemporary basic Italian-inspired, if that makes any sense. It's not a red sauce place. I had braised beef with polenta as my main, for example - it's simple food, well-prepared, not a lot of ingredients. Other mains on the menu that day, that I can remember off the top of my head, included veal scaloppini with marsala, pasta with sausage, and some form of steak. You won't necessarily see many Italians there, but will see lots of the Hampstead/Westmount crowd - same crowd as at Joe Beef.

            1. re: cherylmtl

              Do they have a print menu, or it changes daily(like at Joe Beef)? I was bit worried that this Italian food for non-Italians(along the lines of the drek Canadian Chinese food you still see in Montreal). Sorry for so many questions.

              1. re: BLM

                They have a regular printed menu, with a selection of apps, about 6 pastas and 6 mains. They have some additional specials on the blackboard that change daily.
                I would call it Italian-inspired, but you may want to drop by and look at the menu to get a better idea - there's no info on their web site. But it's definitely not dreck. I don't think it caters to the typical Italian restaurant-going population though - probably more along the lines of the people Bottega caters to.

                1. re: cherylmtl

                  Sounds more Northern than Southern Italian inspired, which is a refreshing change. There aren't too many Italian restaurants in Montreal that serve rabbit! Do they have a homemade ravioli or agnolotti dish?

                  1. re: Venusia

                    They didn't have homemade raviolo or agnolotti on their menu this past weekend, but I have no doubt they show up from time to time. The menu on Saturday was almost entirely different from when I dined there last month, with fewer pastas, but everything was yummy. And they did have rabbit with pasta this time...(although they also had porchetta, so it was no contest there for me). BTW, who else on this board was there on Saturday? (and you know who you are...)

        2. What's the parking situation? Any lots nearby?

          2 Replies
          1. re: mmmfood2007

            There's tons of free parking on side streets nearby.

          2. Wanted to offer my two cents about LH but I can't seem to remember what we ate (and this was maybe two months ago). This could speak to the hum drum experience. I wouldn't recommend it but if you do go there is a pinot noir from cali that was amazing (70$??). The food...i'd never go back... it was boring.

            1. Just to add my two cents worth, though I think it's all pretty much been said, went to LH for the first time tonight. Live in the neighbourhood, figured that we should support the locals (we often go to Limon, the Burgundy Lion, Quoi de n'Ouef for breakfast...) Anyhow... as for the Italian/nouveau italian/ north-south italian questions... it's not really Italian, at all. It's market food. Fresh, in season ingredients. What's fresh is what you are getting, or so it would seem. A decent range, decently prepared, fresh tasting food. Nothing over the top, nothing overly complex, simple and good. If you are looking for 'cuisine', or a flashy experience, this is not it. There are pasta and meat dishes on the menu - the menu does not seem to skew particularly French OR Italian. It's local, and seasonal, and uses good quality ingredients. There are the foodies, there are the once in a blue moon this is a special occasion crowd, and there is a contingent of people who come there to drop cash like it's going out of style... I think that is due in part to the relaxed atmosphere of the place. It does not come across as pretentious, and so people can come as they are (don't forget your wallet though).

              For two of us, a shared appetizer of salmon and beets (simple, underdressed/flavoured for my taste, though fish was excellent - $18- hmmm), steak, green salad, and AMAZING potatoes (pan fried? baked? crispy, golden and delicious) and salmon w/celeriac purée (a bit too much, could have had another veg or something...). A glass of red each ($12/glass - seriously?), and an amazingly fresh (again, I know) dessert of strawberry icecream with milk chocolate... creme? sauce? it was like killer crème anglaise, or a really soft pot au chocolat with fresh strawberries... I loved it. oh, and amazing bread. Total bill was $120, which I find a bit steep for a basic dinner for two.

              Perhaps because we were at an individual table in the corner (by the window), we didn't have to deal with tight tables and overheard conversations. The service was amazing, unobtrusive, helpful when requested, and very gracious overall. I was really impressed (and not just because of what I had read). I ask a lot of questions, am not a total foodie,not particularly knowledgeable, and I found they were very patient with questions, and helpful with wines (tastings without question. Try before you buy ;) )

              Overall, great experience, but, a bit outside of my price range for it to become a regular hangout....

              *** I was impressed at the offering of meals for two - whole deboned duck for $30, with an app or two could be a nice meal. Also, a pork (I believe!) dish for a little bit more than that (for two ppl) presented on an impressive platter. No printed menu.