Liverpool House is right next door to Joe Beef and is owned by the same people. The ambiance is a little chalet-outdoors, with a major buzz and a focus on meat and fish. The food is great, and the decor is great but unfortunately there are a few issues such as noise level and service.
2501 rue Notre-Dame Ouest,
Montreal, QC H3J 1N5
Liverpool House is the easy to miss sister restaurant next door to Joe Beef. In fact, we drove past it about 3 times while looking for parking and I only was able to find it on foot following along the street numbers! Inside the bar and restaurant are split up. The bar is tiny, and well, so is the restaurant! I think there were about 40 people in total (although I could be wrong!) The feeling is chalet-chic with a stuffed animal head (I think it was a deer) and a canoe strapped to the roof.
We were seated and our drink order was promptly taken. I was not drinking (preggo!) so my husband ordered a glass of wine recommended by the waiter which ended up at $11. The wine menu is listed on a huge blackboard. The cheapest wines are $45 per bottle (two types), and then $50 per bottle (2 types) with prices going up to $135 per bottle. They also have a special selection of wine – La Reserve – which starts at $100 per bottle up to $330. In addition, they have their own Joe Beef Pilsner which seemed fairly popular at $9 per bottle.
The menu is on a blackboard and we were encouraged to check it out before we sat down. It is all in French (just a note for out of towners) and is pretty vast. I found it difficult to remember everything and actually had to right it down (is it just the pregnancy??). A selection of the plates on offer the day we visited includes the following. For entrées there was a Gratin d’Homard ($24), Smoked Salmon ($16), Cavatelli with Duck Ragu ($14). For mains there was a Doré ($28), Côté Levée Liverpool ($28), Lobster Spaghetti ($45), Jeaux de Veau au Curi ($30), and a couple sharing dishes including a Jarret de Porc for 2 people at $25 each which looked very popular.
The reason for which we were encouraged to check the blackboard menu before being seated is because the seating is very tight and the table must be moved in order to get in (and I’m fairly thin – even with the bump!) Be prepared to be fairly close to your neighbours.
The bread came fairly soon afterwords – one piece each of a fairly standard sourdough and butter. Yes, – one piece. Considering the long wait for the food, I am surprised that this was all that we were offered. We did ask for more and received it but it just seems a wee bit stingy. Or perhaps they don’t want people filling up on bread considering the portion sizes?
The food itself was good. My dining companion had the cavatelli (pasta) with duck ragu and a fried egg which was deep and meaty. I had the smoked salmon starter which consisted of layers of potato, sour cream, salmon, and cornichons. It was very nice and light.
For the mains, the meat/fish was definitely the star of show. I ordered a pork chop (carré du porc) which ended up being a double pork chop smoked, and then braised in a light barbecue sauce with pasta. No veg for you veg lovers (I guess you have to get them in the entrée). Considering that it was a pork chop which are usually pretty dry this one was lovely. It was so large though it literally had to be carved. My partner had the doré and he got the entire fish – two filets. He even had trouble finishing them because it was so large! He said it was lovely as well.
But because a restaurant is about so much more than the food, and especially at this price, I have a few more comments. For one, the restaurant is LOUD. I literally had to yell at my partner to be heard which is not great. You are also seated very close to your neighbour, who is naturally yelling too, so if you get some shreaker next to you (like I did) it is pretty unpleasant. Second, the service was not great. We sat down at 7:00 and received our mains at 8:30 which is pretty long in my opinion. And my last gripe is the whole blackboard experience. It is super long, and really hard to remember if you have a few questions. Plus the restaurant is so small it must be a pain for those people seated near the blackboard to always have people standing huddled around them.
Overall, the food was good, the decor was great, but overall the experience was somewhat lacking. I would go back, but at that price perhaps once a year for a special occasion. I am not going to run back. Our bill for two with one glass of wine, starters and mains was $111 before tip. If we had a bottle of wine we could have easily paid upwards of $100 each and I just am not sure it is worth it.
Note that reservations are taken for two services – 7:00 and 9:30.
Decor: Love it! Cozy chalet-chic.
Service: Very friendly and knowledgeable but long.
Prices: It’s pretty pricey! Out bill came to $111 before tip for two mains, two starters, 1 glass of wine and a sparkling orange drink. With wine it could easily run up to $100 per person.
Food: Excellent! A focus on meat or fish on your plate so if you love veg get the massive starter salad beforehand.
Good For: A special occasion or night out with friends. The food is great, but for many people the lengthy wait for food, noise, and crammed restaurant would be a major turn off.
ps I know – a big boo to me on the lack of photos…. I decided to review this restaurant when it was already too dark out for outside photos and have yet to head back. If I do head back in the area I will add them to this blog post.