Madre, Liverpool: ‘It made me feel at home’ – restaurant review | Food
WWith the lockdown eased, I figured I would start my adventures all over again by dining out in Liverpool. It might not be the obvious choice for most people, but my dad is a Scouser, and since he can’t speak anymore, there’s something about landing in Merseyside, the way the people are there quite simply and the rhythms of their dialect that suddenly make me feel at home. Even the receptionist at the Pullman who spoke to me through the hotel’s breakfast hours was like a hug.
An hour later, across the Albert Dock at Taqueria Madre, I see a man in his 70s celebrating his daughter’s birthday with his family and looking in puzzlement at a table laden with tuna tostadas and of baja cod tacos. His sputters sounded so familiar – it sounded like my father’s when we tried to get him past the Toby Carvery. Of course, as I get older, too, I can’t decide what words were heard in my living room in the 1980s and what Bobby Grant was actually pestering Damian and Barry in Brookside, because those characters for a while felt like a close family. , too much.
Billions have been spent on redeveloping and rebuilding the city, and the restaurant scene is growing more and more vibrant. In fact, a day that includes lunch at Pilgrim on Duke Street, dinner at Belzan on Smithdown Road, with a scooter around Harvey Nichols in the Liverpool One shopping center is quite possibly my favorite leisure day. But I never force foodies to hurry to visit the city, because it has a mysterious and unexplored quality that makes foreigners squint and say, “Is it nice out there?” Is that so? And are there restaurants? then pass the gastronomic pubs of the Ribble Valley or the more widely publicized Michelin seals from Ancoats in Manchester.
And that’s fine with me, because that means I’ll be the first in line for a table at Luke French and Stacey Sherwood-French’s latest company, Nama, in the new GPO dining room in the new Metquarter development. It also means that I can have a table all summer long in Madre’s sunny courtyard and drink their potent âgreen waspâ margaritas made with Tapatio tequila, cucumber, coriander, habanero and agave. While Liverpool, like the rest of the country, has recently reopened, initially for outdoor drinking only, I have heard that Madre is booming, albeit more like a bar than a restaurant. In the months to come, however, they may need to attract diners, as on the Wednesday I went, now that we can finally eat inside, the tables in this Grade I listed building were relatively empty.
Right now Madre is more like a loud bar with a nod to bottles of Valentina hot sauce on every table, but the food menu is ambitious nonetheless, just as you’d expect from the side. people behind Belzan and the now closed Volpi. in a collaboration with the folks at Breddos Tacos in London.
Tuna tostada, for example, is a fearsome black plate of sashimi-grade tuna loin marinated midnight in soy, mirin, agave, and habanero, then garnished with mashed avocado. and coarsely chopped large slices of green pepper. On the menu it sounds intriguing, but on the table you need a more delicate balance, because they are fine fish bombarded with noise. The Baja fish tacos are certainly prettier, with tempura Atlantic cod perched on a subtle jalapeÃ±o and salsa aioli; after a good sip of this hot sauce, they are most definitely decent.
A large sharing plate of barbecue roasted sweet potatoes and cauliflower arrives in matcha salsa butter with scallion and feta. The cauliflower is semi-hard, which makes me think the kitchen might have a day off, but we move, without being discouraged, to a large sharing bowl of peeled shrimp on a bed of mango and sweet and swimming radish in emerald jalapeÃ±o and roasted garlic butter. That buttered sheet of goodness at the bottom of the plate is the most delicious thing we ate all night; the refried bean side, meanwhile, is finely pulped and a bit forgettable.
At this point, I abandon all plans for dinner and order two amazing CafÃ© Madre cocktails, made with popcorn flavored vodka, Patron XO coffee, Nixta coffee liqueur, and espresso. I have a strict rule of thumb with any espresso based martinis, as one is always delicious and transforms in the evening, two always seem like a good idea to me but it’s really one too many, so what after? three, there is a risk that at the end of the night you will prepare a coup d’etat in a distant land.
As we leave, the yard is in full swing with people laughing, drinking and being together. Right now, Madre is a go-to cocktail bar where food has taken precedence. But it’s fun, it’s really open and it makes a lot of, a lot of Liverpudlians happy. And, right now, it’s about as good as it gets.
Madre 6 Atlantic Pavilion Albert Dock, Liverpool L3, 0151-709 4152. Open weekdays, 12 noon to 10:30 p.m. From Â£ 25 to Â£ 30 per person for three courses, plus drinks and service.