The Monro, Liverpool *****

The Monro, a wonderful gastro-pub in the heart of Liverpool, is one of my favourite places to eat out, and is somewhere my family have been going for years.

The menu is excellently well-balanced, with a variety of choices for meat eaters, Vegetarians and Pescatarians alike. Their menus are seasonal, and range from the entirely affordable to the entirely reasonable, as there is a choice of Pre-Theatre and A la Carte options. As a family, we usually eat earlier in the evening, but on this occasion chose from the A la Carte which offers a huge selection of dishes.

The pub itself has a beautiful interior, elegant yet homely at the same time, and never feels like it’s trying too hard to be an upper class establishment. The term ‘gastro-pub’ can sometimes be off-putting, as it sounds as though a pub is trying to be something it is not, but The Monro does not suffer from this affliction. The atmosphere is always relaxed, yet merry, and the staff add to the friendly feel of the place, always attentive and full of smiles.

On this occasion (Father’s Day) we were seated in the front area, which is complete with fireplace and comfy leather chairs. We usually sit towards the back, close to the beer garden, which is always buzzing with lively activity in the summer months and full of greenery; but wherever you are, visitors are sure of great, speedy service.

To start with, I sampled the Veggie Soup with poppy seed bread roll, at £4.95. The soup is freshly made and different every day, and this evening it was tomato and lentil. I like my soup to be thick and full of flavour, and this starter did not disappoint. The portions are the perfect size, more generous than similarly priced restaurants, yet delicate enough to leave you wanting more.

For the main, I had Herb Crusted Smoked Goats Cheese, with English asparagus, beetroot gezpacho, spinach, potatoes and salty rocket  for £13.95. I was torn between this and the Baked Summer Peppers with couscous, broad beans, basil pesto, olive tapenade & toasted pine nuts (also £13.95), which my father chose and immensely enjoyed. My main course was wonderfully balanced, and very light, which was a pleasant surprise, given that it relied mainly on cheese and breadcrumbs. The goats cheese was soft, full of favour, and baked to perfection and rested upon a bed of vegetables. My only complaint would be that the potatoes were a little dull, but up against the varied flavours of the rest of the dish, this was hardly an issue.

The rest of my family tasted the Smoked Salmon Salad and Wild Rabbit to start, and for their main courses had the Hampshire Lamb and the Sea Bass. As usual, there were no complaints and we all thoroughly enjoyed our meals.

The desserts in The Monro look fantastic, and unfortunately I have yet to try one. Luckily, the pub runs The Society Of Pudding Tasters once a month, where guests are invited to have a meal followed by a selection of desserts, and the opportunity to meet the chefs whilst enjoying a complimentary cocktail. I hope to attend one of these events soon, and for £24.95 you get a lot for your money! As well as this, The Monro run wine tasting events and other one-off gastro delights throughout the year.

Always a family favourite whatever the menu, with fantastic service and steaming hot, great quality food in a relaxed and comfortable setting. Their selection of real ales and ever-changing house beers is extensive and the staff are fully equipped to help you make your selection. Above all else, The Monro is always bustling with life, proving its enormous popularity and Liverpool’s appreciation of great food.

The Monro, 92 Duke Street, Liverpool 0151 7079933

About teafortwotalk

Freelance writer @Pickwickmag @Corridor8 @Biennial / Editor @artinliverpool. Available for writing and copyediting.
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