Sunday 31 May 2015

NYL Restaurant and Bar, Liverpool

NYL Restaurant and Bar
I'm dead lucky. Two reasons. Firstly, I get invited to try out new menus at restaurants, which is ideal for someone whose main hobby is eating. Secondly, I have a ready supply of folk who want to accompany me on these ventures! My friend Lee is my usual partner in crime as we share a mutual love of mid-afternoon cocktails, eating lots, and making friends with strangers. 

This week we went on a little trip to NYL Restaurant and Bar in Liverpool. We made a bit of a day of it, which also involved buying lots of goodies from L'Occitane, befriending a delightful young chap called Alan in Kiehl's, an epic trek to the Rookwood (which was closed - hiss, stamp), and more cocktails in Lucha Libre. It was quite a day. 

When we rocked up at NYL, we weren't expecting anything quite so grand. The vibe is very much 'New York meets Liverpool' - thus the name. We thought it reminded us much more of traditional English high society, in a similar way to the styling of Hawksmoor
NYL Restaurant and Bar
The impressive former Royal Insurance building has been lovingly restored to its former glory, with wooden panelling on the walls, intricate plasterwork on the ceilings, and brown leather-clad seating. Lighting is muted as natural sunlight pours through the huge windows. It feels special.

We were greeted by the delightful Hannah, who seemed genuinely pleased to see us; she was probably wondering if we were already drunk - we were not, we were just very excited. After a quick chat we were offered drinks and given menus. We just sat and took in the scenery for a couple of minutes before deciding on cocktails.
NYL Restaurant and Bar
Big Apple: Smirnoff Apple vodka shaken with apple, lemon juice and caramel syrup.
Rum Old Fashioned: Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum, sugar syrup, Angostura bitters garnished with an orange zest.
Lee and I have a standard MO for cocktail purchase. I tend to go for something very sweet and fruity, whilst she will opt for the one with all the alcohol in it. Seriously, the Big Apple has to be one of the best cocktails I have ever drunk in my entire life. It was sweet but tangy, and very refreshing. They should serve it in pints. The Old Fashioned was reassuringly strong with a lovely orange aroma.
NYL Restaurant and Bar - Cocktails
There's plenty of choice on the lunch menu, so we really didn't struggle finding something we both liked.

Chicken liver parfait, sourdough toasts, mango puree, chilli jam, sea salt: This was Lee's choice. A good ratio of parfait to bread which was snaffled with ease.
NYL Restaurant and Bar - Parfait
Slow braised BBQ ribs, house salad, homemade slaw: I know what you're thinking; 'I can't order ribs because they make a mess'. Yes, they usually do. These were great. The meat just fell off the bone so eating them was a breeze. The accompanying coleslaw was just brilliant. 
NYL Restaurant and Bar - Ribs
Brooklyn ale battered haddock, triple cooked chips, minted pea puree, homemade tartar, lemon gel: It was a contest between the fish 'n' chips and the sea bream, but Lee had been coveting this dish on a nearby table, so it won hands down. Nothing like a bit of food envy to cement a decision.
NYL Restaurant and Bar - Fish n Chips
NYL Burger - hand formed 8oz beef patty, smoked streaky bacon, brioche bun, baby gem, beef tomato, onion rings, pickle, applewood smoked cheese, triple cooked chips, NYL relish: It's not the prettiest burger I've ever eaten, but it really doesn't matter when it tastes this good. I'm sorry to say that I managed less than half because I got overly involved in those mammoth chips. I was floored.
NYL Restaurant and Bar - Burger
Ginger crème brûlée, orange sable biscuit, chilli ice cream: This portion was huge! The custard was delicately flavoured with ginger, which was complimented by the sweet orange biscuit. We felt the chilli in the ice cream was a little overpowering, but that may just be our preference.
NYL Restaurant and Bar - Creme Brulee
Lemon tart, raspberry sorbet, golden crumb, raspberry gel, lemon cream, basil coulis: I need to learn how to make basil coulis, for I declared it my new favourite thing ever. I was very fond of this concoction of flavours, but would have preferred it in traditional tart format, as that beautiful filling was lost a little in the smaller pastry shells. That's greed talking.
NYL Restaurant and Bar - Lemon Tart
After cocktails, several glasses of Pinot Grigio, lots of delectable food and a lovely chat with Hannah, we realised we had been there for pushing three hours. Neither of us could remember the last time we had experienced such a relaxed and leisurely lunch. The food was all great, but the surroundings and service really made it for us. If you're visiting Liverpool city centre any time soon, I suggest you make time to visit this beautiful restaurant.

Disclaimer: Lee and I were invited to sample the new menu at NYL. We were under no obligation to get quite so giddy, and I'm sure they did not foresee us striking up such a wonderful lunchtime friendship with Hannah - that was a happy accident.

 NYL Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm fascinated to read this ... I used to work in this building about 25 years ago and I have been meaning to visit since it reopened. It certainly looks great!! Trivial fact ... I believe that the ground floor where the restaurant is is situated may have the largest suspended ceiling in the world


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