Friday, 13 May 2016

Crust, Liverpool

Crust, Liverpool
Crust... I've been meaning to visit you for a while. I'd heard tales of fancy dough, chocolate ravioli, an excellent selection of craft beers, and delicious cocktails. This sounded very much like my natural habitat.

I love Liverpool's Bold Street. Home of many a cute independent restaurant, it has to be one of the best places to wander to when you have no idea what you want. It has everything; there are pretty tea shops, somewhere for a hearty breakfast, and places where you can happily stuff your face. Whatever your preferred cuisine, there's something for you. There's Italian, Lebanese, Indian, fish 'n' chips, burgers, tapas, Caribbean and Chinese, to names the ones I know of!

I went last week with some of my faves, to finally suss out the elusive Crust. We saw some sunshine for what felt like the first time in 17 years, so on arrival Lee and I decided to sample some of the home made lemonade rather than cane the cocktails. I like interesting drinks like this, shows a bit of effort. The boys on the other hand went straight for the local brew, Love Lane Pale.

Red Lemonade - fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup, fresh strawberries, soda and ice
Peach Lemonade - fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup, fresh peach, thyme, soda and ice
Love Lane Pale 4.5%
Crust, Liverpool
10/10 for presentation guys!
It wasn't long before a cocktail called my name (they do that...). I can highly recommend the fruity and refreshing signature Crustyberry. Perfect for a sunny day, but I have to admit I was a bit awkward with that silver bucket. I'm awkward at the best of times, but I was particularly so with these odd receptacles. 
Renagade West Coast Pale Ale 5.1%
Rye Pale Ale 5.6%
Sauvignon IGT, Anno Domini: intense spiced nuances of peppers, sage, elderflower & tomato leaf, typical characteristics of this grape variety
Crustyberry - brown sugar, fresh raspberry, Chambord, Malibu, coconut syrup & raspberry juice
Crust, Liverpool
And so to the food. Brace... The menu looks like any other pizza gaff; I will forgive you for thinking this if you have never visited. Read on...

Bresaola - cured beef fillet, rocket and parmesan: Wafer thin slices of cured beef with cheese and a sharp balsamic glaze. Absolute carnivorous heaven.
Crust, Liverpool
Burrata - creamy burrata mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and pesto: One for those who are not as keen on meat, but you still get a whole ball of burrata, all to yourself. One suggestion, perhaps a little more bread is needed.
Crust, Liverpool
Prosciutti Di Parma - parma ham and buffalo mozzarella: Another meat lover's dream. A big old pile of parma ham and that huge mozzarella. I could eat this stuff every day of my life.
Crust, Liverpool
Smokey Ham - woodfired, Tuscan bread topped with Mortadella ham, smoked provola cheese, cherry tomatoes, balsamic glaze: I won. I didn't realise we were playing a game, but everyone agreed this ham smashes all other starters out of the ball park. I know I'm coming across as an eager beaver, but if you listen to me once in your life, order this!
Crust, Liverpool
Porchetta Pizza - tomato, fior di latte mozzarella, porchetta roast pork, caramelised onions. 
Base - five grain - the wholesome one. A unique blend of flax wheat germ, oat, spelt and rice flour, this dough is packed with health benefits to nourish you from within: I thought the five grain base might be a bit tough, but no such tooth troubling stuff came to fruition. Warrior-like behaviour displayed here, with this entire pizza being polished with relative ease. 
Crust, Liverpool
'Nduja Pizza - Tomato, fior di latte mozzarella, spicy salami, spicy 'nduja sausage, fresh chilli.
Base - Organic - handmade from the finest flour imported directly from Italy, this is a truly special ‘Crust’: An upgrade from the traditional base, this organic choice was beautifully soft with a crispy edge. Nicely spicy, this lad.
Crust, Liverpool
Bella Napoli Pizza - Buffalo mozzarella, smoked provola, friarielli broccoli, Italian sausage.
Base - Organic: This was my choice. I always prefer a blanco pizza (no tomato base), and Crust have four to choose from. I adored this! All the cheese.
Crust, Liverpool
Quattro Fromaggi Pizza - Fior di latte mozzarella, gorgonzola, smoked provola, parmesan.
Base - black dough - this unique and healthy black dough uses a natural vegetable charcoal, recommended to improve your insides and assist in detoxifying the body: Black dough... we were unsure how this would go down. Looks a bit odd, and they're saying it cleans your pipes up a treat. I'm not sure how Lee found the Mr Muscle effect, but I tried a bit, and can confirm it's actually very similar to a normal pizza base. It's definitely one to try!
French fries and sweet potato wedges: Because obviously we didn't have enough carbs...
Crust, Liverpool
We were stuffed beyond belief. Two of us were nursing pizza overload, and the others were putting on a brave face. Then the lovely Stefan returns with dessert giddiness and that infectious enthusiasm he has... before we know it, we're ordering this little lot! I don't know how we didn't just die on first glimpse of it all.

Pizza Dolce - handmade pizza, topped with custard cream, pistachio nuts and chocolate: Yes, that's right, pizza base topped with custard. Sweet pizza. It sounds so wrong, but it's just so so right.
Crust, Liverpool
Pizza Nutella - handmade pizza, smeared with soft Nutella, fresh cream and sliced strawberries: This was the one I ordered, although I now realise that it appeared minus the cream. This may have been linked to an ice cream incident explained earlier (awful occurrence where someone had let it all melt - manager was fuming bless him). I think I'd have preferred more strawberries too, as psychologically it's more balanced.
Crust, Liverpool
Ravioli al Cioccolato - handcrafted sweet ravioli filled with a decadent chocolate sauce: You'd think these would be really dense, but they were nothing of the sort. Beautifully light chocolate pasta pumped with chocolate sauce.
Crust, Liverpool
Once again, we were coerced by that Stefan one... Apparently a meal is not complete without a shot of Limoncello! It did actually help with the carb-coma.
Crust, Liverpool
So we didn't actually eat it all. We felt terrible. But never fear! It was boxed up tout suite.
Crust, Liverpool
We had such a great time at Crust. I really think the pictures in this post say more than I can with words. Their concept is pretty simple; great pizza, pasta and beer. We saw that this was correct, and the staff were just lovely too. We did have a bit of a mix up regarding the reservation when we first arrived, but this was quickly forgotten when we realised just how fantastic the food is.

Crust is suitable for a whole plethora of scenarios. Their pizza wraps are perfect for lunch or if you're pushed for time, but if you have a little longer, enjoy their full range with a lovely cocktail or local beer.


Disclaimer: I was under no obligation to provide Crust with such gushing praise, but when someone presents you with so much delicious meat and cheese, it's very hard not to!

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