No. 42: Liverpool House
Squeezed between the internationally famous Joe Beef and the hip Vin Papillon on Notre-Dame West, Liverpool House is meant to be a neighbourhood spot—the one locals can dine at, without doing battle with tourists for their last-minute reservations.
The main draw is its oyster bar—where the selection is superb. The kitchen’s original, Italian thrust diminished swiftly after starting chef Emma Cardarelli ventured out on her own (to start Nora Gray), but some of it survives under the new regime of Ariel Schor.
The lobster spaghetti, as at Joe Beef, is a constant. All products are top quality, seasonal and as local as possible. The neighbouring Joe Beef vegetable garden supplies this kitchen, too. But to put things in culinary perspective, if you expect Dover sole at Joe Beef, at Liverpool House you should be content with halibut. Expect rabbit (braised leg, roast ballotine of loin, with peas and sage), grilled quail al mattone (under a brick) and mildly modernized classics of similar style.
A new covered terrace in the back provides diners with an al fresco experience similar to the one at Joe Beef, with lower prices and shorter waits. The latest addition: an indoor charcoalburning oven built by co-owner, chef Fred Morin, himself.
The food is great; James, the sommelier, makes eating and drinking at the bar a great experience. – JOHN AYLEN