With modern, sophisticated and clean décor, The Art School is in a great location, just situated by the Liverpool Philharmonic in the Georgian Quarter of the City. Greeted by Katie, our waitress – who was very attentive and knowledgeable about all dishes on the menu – and our sommelier Jitka, who likewise knew everything there is to know about wines… we were seated to our table in the beautifully appointed dining room.
A complimentary amuse bouche arrived to excite our palate. Consisting of crème fraiche, cress, chilled asparagus and pea velouté, and served in a teacup. Unexpected and genius. Homemade breads followed served with the creamiest of Jersey butters. Delicious.
To begin, we opted for; Warm salad of poached Cheshire duck egg and spring truffle, Twice baked soufflé of local pink tip spinach and Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire Cheese; and Cornish Red Mullet. The duck egg arrived with Hooton watercress, goats curd, spring truffle and a lightly pickled shallot. Presented beautifully, the duck egg was cooked to perfection and the combination of tastes were outstanding. The spinach dish was served with a Hooton wild garlic & Ormskirk Leek, garlic cress and Dijon cream sauce and a wonderfully light soufflé, sweet and with delicate flavours. Perfect. The Red Mullet with lemon, parsley & brown shrimp risotto, “Pastis” sauce & Morel mushrooms, was a piece of art – this was no ordinary risotto! Carefully constructed with beautiful saffron flavours and the best cooked Red Mullet we have tasted.
For mains, we ordered; A plate of Callum’s Heswall Galloway beef; Fresh Market Fish of the Day and a plate of Hebridean Hogget. The beef dish was superb. A trio of tongue, cheek & sirloin with turtle beans, oyster, cauliflower, spring vegetables and a natural jus and a horseradish snow – the beef was cooked perfectly, the presentation and depth of flavour was outstanding – first class. We paired this dish with a Domaine Boutinot, a Grenache with jamminess and red berry flavours which worked brilliantly with the rich beef flavours.
The fish of the day, which changes daily – was a beautiful John Dory, served with tender stemmed broccoli, new potatoes and a fish stock. Fresh, subtle yet hearty, overall a delight to the palate. The Hebridean Hogget (a dish that is sentimental to Paul) was served four ways: pan roast loin, confit shoulder, sweetbreads and hey roast rump. Accompanied with a natural jus served in a sheep’s horn. Again, oozing with creativity and flavours – this dish showed off Paul’s incredible talent to perfection. Superb!
At this point, we were feeling incredibly spoilt and euphoric from our fabulous fine dining experience. As is the norm for Wirral Life, we carried on with desserts… and chose: Crème Brulee of white chocolate; Passion fruit & white chocolate delice and a Yoghurt pannacotta with raspberry foam. A Pre-Dessert was served to refresh our palate. A combination of honeycomb, dehydrated raspberry, pineapple and mango sorbet – scrumptious! Desserts followed and were spectacularly presented – colourful and fun – and they tasted even better!
If you’ve not been to The Art School, then you must! Paul is an exemplary Chef and is truly individual – his menu’s are creative, dishes are exquisite, skilfully created and cooked to perfection. To round up… it’s a piece of art! Without any hesitation, we give it five stars… plus!
To book, call 0151 230 8600 or visit: theartschoolrestaurant.co.uk.