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Liverpool Confidential's 2011 food and drink gongs

Which restaurants and pubs made it memorable here in Merseyville?

Written by . Published on December 23rd 2011.

Liverpool Confidential's 2011 food and drink gongs

Caveau Does FrenchCaveau Does FrenchNewcomer of the Year
Caveau in Woolton Village is basically Lark Lane's legendary L'Alouette relocated to the most southerly edge of the city.

To those who remember it, this all translates as great relief to know that the owner of the latter, Dave Roberts, back in business doing the do – and that is turning out fabulous Gallic dishes in a way that nobody else in Liverpool can touch.

Oui, oui? Indeed we would.

Best atmosphere
Warm, friendly, relaxed and unpretentious - The Quarter on Falkner Street has pitched it just right. Always bustling, and with that elusive cafe society buzz that the corporates spend zillions on, trying to create, you will not want to leave.

Bold Street CoffeeBold Street CoffeeBest Daytime Eats
Bold Street Coffee proves that you don't need PR to pull in the punters, just passion. Not only does it serve, with verve, the sort of coffee that makes the Costas and Starbucks of the world dispensable, but its salads, soups and sandwiches mean it's standing room only come lunchtime. Great cakes too from Laura's Bakery who turns out possibly the best chocolate brownie in the city.

The Church of Scientology Award for Continuing to Believe in the face of Overwhelming Evidence...
It had to be Vooo

Hop VineTop Sunday Lunch:
The Hop Vine
Best Sunday dinner
The Hop Vine, Burscough, was a strong contender for best pub but for most of you it's a big ask to invite you to trek all the way there just to drink its excellent cask ales brewed across the yard of its delightful beer garden. And, as a canal boat from the Albert Dock takes three days to get there, you are going to have to set off early to sample its unbeatable Sunday roast. 

Best Place to Get Lost on a Friday Afternoon – when it's dark
Paddy Smith's Hanover Street Social is an inviting prospect. Tapas, wine, big plates, small plates... unhurried service as you watch the world go by - and that will be over a good couple of hours. 

Best Place to Get Lost on a Friday Afternoon – in the summer
The back yard of the Clove Hitch at 23 Hope Street is possibly the best place in the city centre to vanish when nobody is looking.

Best Pub
Peter Kavanagh's just about wings it for welcome - and tenacity.

Sidney Bailey's No Good Punchin' ClownsSidney Bailey's No
Good Punchin' Clowns
The Egerton Street boozer, run by Rita Smith for the past 20 years, shows how you can buck the trend of pub closures and misery with the right recipe of good beer and belting entertainment. On Tuesday nights, PK's is currently the hottest, most packed night in the city with its raucous and wonderful combo, Sidney Bailey's No Good Punchin' Clowns. A must.

You Could Have Knocked Me Down With A Feather Award
The Brink in Parr Street gets this for billing itself as a dry bar. This is a term which doesn't exactly make you want to rush there, and yet, and yet...when you do it may surprise you by actually serving some of the tastiest food in town.

This is really no surprise when you learn that Tom Gill from the Everyman Bistro is in charge of the kitchen. He's already won plenty of awards, here's another one! And speaking of which....

Paddy ByrnePaddy Byrne2011 Food Hero
Paddy Byrne of the late, great Everyman Bistro.

Paddy, along with business partner Dave Scott and brother Tim, pioneered innovative cuisine and fresh ideas that were without peer in Liverpool for decades, winning him scores of accolades. He deserves all our salutes setting a consistently high bar – and we're not talking about the sort in the main room. The passing of the Bistro does not spell the end for Paddy who will, we are pretty certain, regenerate. As Tony Bennett would have it, the best is yet to come.

Da PieroDa PieroRestaurant of the Year
Two – and once again they are both on the Wirral.

Da Piero in Irby for its flawless rustic Italian cooking and Ross Gray's impeccable modern British efforts at the Peninsula Dining Rooms, making New Brighton a destination for the first time in a generation. 

The Turkey
The Rocking Horse outside Aintree Racecourse is the first restaurant that thousands of people see when they come to the world's biggest steeplechase.

When the going got heavy, and it did on our visit, Liverpool Confidential's seven-year-old dining companion had already been bitten. Based upon a previous experience, he refused to go unless he could take his own sandwiches. Straight from the horse's mouth - but then he has always been something of a neighsayer.

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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

SimonDecember 24th 2011.

Some good looking places here. Nice to see Paddy get some recognition at last. Come back soon!

AnonymousJanuary 1st 2012.

The Everyman Bistro could have mopped up all of the above (bar the Turkey) in my book so if it returns in any guise i'll be first in the queue.

Shakes headJanuary 1st 2012.

Lovely picture of the Bistro. Missing it

Joan BurnettJanuary 6th 2012.

I'll miss the Bistro forever!

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2012.

So will I Joan.

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