With elegant British food and a prime spot on the city’s most picturesque thoroughfare, it’s no wonder 60 Hope Street has become a stalwart of the fine dining scene.
We all have those restaurants we take our parents and lovers to when we’re looking to impress. The ones where the tables are resplendent with fresh flowers, white linen and three different types of cutlery, where the waiting staff call you “sir” or “madam” and you can just about manage to scrape together enough money to buy the second cheapest bottle of wine from the menu so you don’t look like a total cheapskate. These places may not necessarily boast big name chefs or have any Michelin stars to their name, but they’re as far removed from their “dude food” counterparts as steak tartare is from a greasy hamburger.
One restaurant of this ilk that Scousers in the know keep up their sleeve for special occasions is 60 Hope Street. Situated in a gorgeous old Georgian house on one of Liverpool’s most picturesque thoroughfares, 60 Hope Street is a stalwart of the city’s fine dining scene. While some elements of its presentation may seem slightly dated (starters served on chunks of slate with a 90s nouvelle cuisine flourish), it has a well deserved reputation for serving elegant British food made with the region’s best seasonal ingredients, alongside a few unmistakably Liverpudlian surprises.
The dishes on offer at 60 Hope Street may not be the most daring out there but the quality of their cooking shines through in every bite. Different concoctions come and go with the seasons, but a recent visit saw me feasting upon a starter of deep fried squid that was an utter delight – bouncy, fresh squid enrobed in a shattering light batter just made for dunking into aioli. Mains of lamb with spiced aubergine and tomatoes and roast Goosnargh chicken breast with lemon and oregano parmentier potatoes, rocket and pancetta didn’t disappoint either. Seemingly simple, both were an absolute joy to eat – the chicken in particular being a stand out dish, with its moist meat and crisp, crackling skin perfectly complemented by the punchy, greek-inspired flavours of the lemon and oregano potatoes.
And then there are the desserts. One of 60 Hope Street’s most lauded sweet treats is their “deep fried jam sandwich with carnation milk ice cream.” In other restaurants this could be dismissed as gimmickry but here it’s a masterclass in comfort food, perfectly evoking the tastes of childhood in one gloriously gooey bite. Even their baskets of bread are exemplary – freshly baked that day, pumpkin seed-studded and served with little pots of salted butter and fruity extra virgin olive oil perfect for dipping, smothering and devouring with rather unladylike haste.
Okay, so it’s not cheap by the standards of fellow Scouse eateries (you can easily blow £100 on a meal with wine here without even casting a glance at the cocktail list) but it would take a very churlish diner to argue that you don’t get value for money. In this time of foams and frippery, 60 Hope Street is a true Liverpudlian gem.