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I was wondering if anyone out there could help me with this question. Did David Macmillan open a new Italian restaurant called Liverpool? And, if so, how long is it going to be before Lesley C. names him the greatest Italian chef in this city?

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It's called Liverpool House. And David McMillan is not doing the cooking, so there :raz:

Considering the general low level of Italian restaurant food in this city, Liverpool House, though not solely Italian, could easily come out on top if only for making an effort to be original.

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It's called Liverpool House. And David McMillan is not doing the cooking, so there  :raz:

Considering the general low level of Italian restaurant food in this city, Liverpool House, though not solely Italian, could easily come out on top if only for making an effort to be original.

So does this mean that the review is already written?

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I tried Liverpool House last Tuesday and whole-heartedly recommend it, although I will right off the bat warn you that the prices are very Joe Beef-y and I find that there is usually less “value” in italian cuisine than in cuisines such as Joe Beef, Chasse et Pêche or Pied de Cochon for example. 24$ for a plate of spaghetti, even though it has taleggio cheese and some truffles, is still pretty expensive for something that is 90% pasta.

Nevertheless, I would definitely consider Liverpool House my go-to place for good Italian.

The décor is very cool. Rustic, lively, white themed, although the lighting is pleasantly dim, wood, leather, candles. No sign on the door, which gives it that “best-kept secret” feel. It’s literally two doors down from Joe Beef.

There was a written menu, as well as some additional dishes written down on the blackboard. Everything is à la carte.

Here’s what we tried:

- Parmesan “pudding” with beet salad: Absolutely delicious, flavours complemented each other beautifully; there was some sort of jam with the beets which made them sweeter and a little tangy: just perfect with the richness and saltiness of the parmesan pudding.

- Grilled red pepper with anchovies, garlic and pecorino cheese: Probably the best mix of flavours. The garlic just made the dish zing.

- Clams with cinzano: Very simple, but the clams were cooked perfectly and we couldn’t stop scooping some broth with our bread.

- Pappardelle with ragu: Delicious in a comfort food kind of way – the ragu actually closely resembled the one I make at home. However I would have wanted that touch of genius that reminds you why it’s SO worth it to eat out sometimes.

- Pizzoccheri with rabbit ragu: This one had that special flavour that you’re looking for. Very good and you could taste the rabbit.

- Red snapper with fennel and orange: Probably the best entrée we had. Fennel was subdued so as not to overpower the fish. You could tell the skin was probably crispy when they plated the dish, but the sauce softened it. Would have loved it if they had been able to prevent that.

- Filet of baccala in tomato sauce: NOT good. The baccala was tasteless and the tomato sauce was very ordinary.

- Sides: roman cabbage and roasted squash. Cabbage was good but roasted squash was horrible. It was hard-ish, waxy and the flavours just weren’t interesting.

- Desserts: Zuppa inglese presented like a sundae of chocolate mousse and “creme anglaise”. Good but not out of this world, especially compared to the “Almond cake” with candied almonds, ice cream and mascarpone: sweet but not cloying, contrast of textures, nice yeasty cake.. very good end to a meal.

Also, the service was perfect.

All right guys, now it’s your turn to try it out and post your impressions!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Apparently, Liverpool House was a pub in Montreal competing with the original Joe Beef many years back. In the same way as Joe Beef is not a steakhouse, the name Liverpool House is not indicative of the menu offerings.

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why is it called liverpool house serving italian?

just a curious question

N.B. The River Cafe in London is one of the best Italian restaurants in the world.

Just because the food has an Italian bent does not mean the name has to have "La Trattoria" in the title ... :wink:

Edited by iharrison (log)
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why is it called liverpool house serving italian?

just a curious question

N.B. The River Cafe in London is one of the best Italian restaurants in the world.

Just because the food has an Italian bent does not mean the name has to have "La Trattoria" in the title ... :wink:

At the same time, a name like "Liverpool House" suggests something different than what is actually served. There's no major issue here other than it's kinda funny. Would you think of finding the best Pad Thai at a place called O'Byrnes Pub and Grill?

The River Cafe, too, is a fairly generic name that just suggests that there's a river, and a cafe, not a British city.

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why is it called liverpool house serving italian?

just a curious question

N.B. The River Cafe in London is one of the best Italian restaurants in the world.

Just because the food has an Italian bent does not mean the name has to have "La Trattoria" in the title ... :wink:

At the same time, a name like "Liverpool House" suggests something different than what is actually served. There's no major issue here other than it's kinda funny. Would you think of finding the best Pad Thai at a place called O'Byrnes Pub and Grill?

The River Cafe, too, is a fairly generic name that just suggests that there's a river, and a cafe, not a British city.

Not all that familiar with Liverpudlian cuisine. What exactly would you expect them to serve? :wink:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Expecting the worst, I walk in with a skeptical attitude about what we are about to experience. I feel sorry for my poor guest as he did not see this coming.. Poor Carl merely thought this was a dinner between 2 friends. Yet, within minutes of arriving, he sees that I have actually got him involved in a challenge. Me the Skeptic versus a restaurant that I am convinced won't cut it, despite what the world thinks.

No sooner had we been escorted to our table, and I was locked into the banquette by closely spaced tables, but my friend Carl (just nearing 60) is sprawled out on the floor.WTH??? I can't get up to help him due to my being locked in, and thankfully due to the slow roll of the chair, he had not hurt himself. As everyone in the restaurant was watching Carl flounder to get up, all I could say to him is 'Carl you silly b-----d (verbiage considered unsavory for eGullet), what the hell are you doing on the floor'? ... thank god Carl is tougher than most men a third his age, and tremendously cool tempered and diplomatic. The problem all started not because Carl has a big rear (which he in fact does not), but due to the fact that someone had cut a 1 foot square hole in the floor for a heating duct, and placed a cast iron grid over the hole without screwing it in. Carl slides his chair back to sit down, whereby sliding the grate away from the hole, the chair leg falls through the hole as he sits down, and Carl ends up on the floor....

a quick apology, and a couple Bellini's land on the table.

As the hostess, and the waiters fuss over an apology, I let them know that I suspect this is the least of my worries. As I came expecting the worst for my dinner. I further add that if my experience is as mediocre as I had experienced at Joe beef, I will leave a satisfied man knowing that my suspicions were spot on. They challenge me saying that they think I would be very pleased.

Still the Skeptic, I scour my menu for the wine list... Oh, damn, someone goofed and put 2 menus back to back. I swipe Carl's menu and order a very nice and modestly priced Spanish Cab '04 that was slightly oaky, and not too heavy.. Perfect.

Carl orders the intriguing caramelized pork belly, and a main of home made Rabbit Sausage. I ask for 'Fred's pick' accepting anything the kitchen may send my way.

Carl's Pork was in fact braised in a sweet marinade, and not truly caramelized. A bit of crackling, and more rendering would have been nice, but it was tasty nonetheless.

I get The aged ricotta and fried artichoke salad, which is a great combination, despite the clash of an overly spicy chili sambal, that has a very Asian overtone. Don't get me wrong, I love chili's and everything hot. just that the chili's did not do this dish justice, and should have been left out.

Fred sends out some home smoked salmon... Despite what I would say is a heavy maple smoking,the salmon is well paired with a horseradish cream and a perfectly cooked cold soft boiled egg. This is an excellent pairing and the plate works perfectly. I would love to try this dish with Alder smoked Atlantic salmon.

Carl gets the Rabbit Sausage which I am curious about how much rabbit is in this sausage, it seems to me most all rabbit, yet I seem to taste some pork, and excessively salty. The Gateau of potatoes is nice, not too exciting, and very large. The Mostarda is not a la maison. Sweet and crunchy, tasteless and translucent, the Mostarda plays a reasonable complement to the Rabbit Sausage, but a true home made Mostarda would have taken this dish over the top.

I got the fresh cod on a bed of Chick peas and veggies, with Chick pea (Channa) fries. (Thank god it was not more Polenta Fries). Soft and fluffy, with a slight crispness on the outside, the 2 large and generous fries were an excellent complement to the perfectly cooked cod, and the simply heated chick peas and veggies making up it's bed.

For dessert we order the Macaroons. The Macaroons are topped with a home made cherry ice cream, and sandwiched between the macaroons is some thick cream with a scattering of perfect raspberries. Carl says he will only take a bite, he eats half.

As we are dining I notice the place filling up, and not with the typical crowd from Joe Beef, but with mostly (remainder of paragraph removed, considered too inflammatory for this forum).

HOLY Smokes!!! It looks like they travel in packs... They all know each other.

Walking back to my car, I notice that Joe Beef is mostly empty with staff standing around while a few customers dawdle over their meals... Did they just shoot themselves in the foot. Liverpool house seems to have carried on the tradition of being Joe Beefs competitor, in both history and the present. The restaurants are too close, and not distinct enough to afford both a full house.

Edited by fedelst (log)

Veni. Vidi. Voro.

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Expecting the worst, I walk in with a skeptical attitude about what we are about to experience. I feel sorry for my poor guest as he did not see this coming..

This was one of the weirdest posts I have ever read on eGullet.

"Bells will ring, ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting.... the bell... bing... 'moray" -John Daker

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I further add that if my experience is as mediocre as I had experienced at Joe beef, I will leave a satisfied man knowing that my suspicions were spot on. They challenge me saying that they think I would be very pleased.

I don't know whether to congratulate him for the parts that weren't so great or console him for parts that weren't that bad.

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Expecting the worst, I walk in with a skeptical attitude about what we are about to experience. I feel sorry for my poor guest as he did not see this coming.. Poor Carl merely thought this was a dinner between 2 friends. Yet, within minutes of arriving, he sees that I have actually got him involved in a challenge. Me the Skeptic versus a restaurant that I am convinced won't cut it, despite what the world thinks.

Your post is cryptic and at best, hostile.

I have had several stellar meals at Liverpool House over the past two months. In my opinion, it proves night in and night out to be the perfect foil to Joe Beef and as a regular patron at both, it has become obvious to me that neither has cannibalized the other. The quality and service at Joe Beef is better than ever and both restaurants are full whenever I sit at the bar or walk by - and as a Little Burgundy resident I do so frequently.

Look ... Dave, Fred and Allison have done a terrific job revitalizing a once moribund strip of Notre-Dame with two unique, unpretentious restaurants that do nothing but serve great food in a casual, convivial environment. They and their staff work tirelessly, work long, hard hours and have an infectious love and enthusiasm for what they do.

I've seldom seen a restaurant, let alone two, that inspire such loyalty among patrons. People simply love being there. If you're not one of them, don't go. Stay away and spare us the bile. It's obnoxious.

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My apology for the weird and cryptic post. To the point, I liked the food. I have found that at Rosalie, and Joe Beef, the food will at times be very salty (case in point the Braised rabbit at Rosalie in he first year of operation, and more recently the sauce from the cote de boeuf for 2 at JB) , and I had expected the same. Is this a coincidence, or is there a common factor? I am not yet certain.

The crowd seemed to be more there to be seen than to dine. Despite the nice dining room, we found the noise was too loud to comfortably carry a conversation. Sort of a logarithmic progression... Each table finding it harder to talk, tries to talk louder so as to be heard, etc. In a very similar space in Old Montreal I found that when I mounted a simple hanging valance a short distance from the ceiling the effect it had on the noise worked wonders.

Hostile... well... perhaps, considering my past experience with Joe Beef, I had been hoping the LH would be better. I was obviously miffed that within a minute of entering the place that my guest was flat out on the floor, due no fault of his own, but due to a really dangerous hole in the floor barely covered by an unattached grate merely placed over it. It was akin to the coyote's ACME instant hole with a carpet placed over it in the road runner cartoons. You would expect better from a place that seats 40 plus diners a night. I call this a liability.

Perhaps unlike Pavlov's dog, I expect that after having gone through the motions a few times, that I anticipate a different result. I was pleased that the results were in fact different, and I am truly pleased that the food was worth the praise it has been getting..... despite the my opinion of the Rabbit sausage being very salty.

The observation about JB was as I saw it. Perhaps it was slow that night, maybe most all the JB clients went home and were in bed by 10:00 who knows. It was merely an observation. LH ws packed, JB had maybe 10 patrons at the most. Draw your own conclusion...

You are spot on about the praise Dave, Fred and Allison deserve for bringing life to this sleepy part of the city. Yes, their passion has never been challenged. But, if the food is not worthy of the praise, I have no issues about mentioning it, and converse, if it is stellar, I am delighted to say so. I am tired of the sheep that will never declare that the emperor is not wearing any clothes; I call it as I see it. I offer a subjective opinion and it is your right to form your own. I certainly would not expect you to count on anyone else to influence your opinion.

As you state, you are a regular at both locales, and you clearly appreciate the experience. Because I state my opinion, describe my experience, and may not particularly agree with you, does not make my commentary obnoxious. I did not head over to LH looking to have a bad time. I went in the hopes that I would have an enjoyable evening with a friend. Starting the evening by scraping Carl up off the floor certainly was not a good start. Ian, am sure that you would agree.

Expecting the worst, I walk in with a skeptical attitude about what we are about to experience. I feel sorry for my poor guest as he did not see this coming.. Poor Carl merely thought this was a dinner between 2 friends. Yet, within minutes of arriving, he sees that I have actually got him involved in a challenge. Me the Skeptic versus a restaurant that I am convinced won't cut it, despite what the world thinks.

Your post is cryptic and at best, hostile.

I have had several stellar meals at Liverpool House over the past two months. In my opinion, it proves night in and night out to be the perfect foil to Joe Beef and as a regular patron at both, it has become obvious to me that neither has cannibalized the other. The quality and service at Joe Beef is better than ever and both restaurants are full whenever I sit at the bar or walk by - and as a Little Burgundy resident I do so frequently.

Look ... Dave, Fred and Allison have done a terrific job revitalizing a once moribund strip of Notre-Dame with two unique, unpretentious restaurants that do nothing but serve great food in a casual, convivial environment. They and their staff work tirelessly, work long, hard hours and have an infectious love and enthusiasm for what they do.

I've seldom seen a restaurant, let alone two, that inspire such loyalty among patrons. People simply love being there. If you're not one of them, don't go. Stay away and spare us the bile. It's obnoxious.

Edited by fedelst (log)

Veni. Vidi. Voro.

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Considering the fact that both JB and LH change the menu so often, I think it's only normal that not every dish can be a hit. For that reason I think they should be judged differently, and praised for taking risks. Too many Montreal restaurants play it safe. I understand why, but those seared scallops with lemon compote (not naming any names here) are getting pret-ty boring.

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