I’ve read in a few different articles, from a few different places, that Liverpool is fast becoming a culinary hot spot, worth visiting just for the array of restaurants. But is this the case? What do you think? Personally I’m not sure, undoubtedly the number and choice of destinations has greatly increased over the last 10 year, and the quality has also improved (although not as much as quantity). However do we have anything that other similarly large cities don’t have? Restaurants like Il Forno, Deli Fonseca, Salt House tappas to name just a few are independent establishments that offer great food and service, but they are not stand out restaurants. What we don’t have is a high quality fine dining restaurant, one with 3 or 4 AA rosettes or a Michelin star.
There are restaurants that have talked about a Michelin star before now, yet nothing has materialised. The London Carriage Works was certainly a restaurant aiming for Michelin standards, but as yet has never made it, although some of its prices might make you think otherwise. The Panoramic boasts the most perfect location showcasing a view that I doubt could be topped by any in the UK, but the food so far has not proven a match to the surroundings. I dined there about 18 months ago and on the whole found the food to be poor for the hefty price charged. However I’ve heard there is a new head chef in residence, and that standards are improving, indeed the introduction of a tasting menu is a clear sign of its intent.
60 hope street, the long standing institution in the Georgian quarter continues to do well, and I hear from a friend who knows some of the kitchen staff, that they also have a new chef. As to their intentions, I’m not yet sure, they like to think of themselves as the best restaurant in Liverpool, thus aiming to raise standards and refine the food would certainly seem like the next step.
I, for one, would really like to see a top quality fine dining restaurant in Liverpool, worthy of a Michelin star. I feel it could easily be supported by the local economy and attract further visitors to our city. However at the moment I don’t see any restaurant we currently have as being good enough. If we are to be considered a culinary hot spot we still have a significant piece of the puzzle missing.