Liverpool has an array of different cultures and the vast selection of restaurants on the ever so popular Bold Street backs this up. Seriously, if you’re ever looking for a place to eat in the city but are as bad at making decisions as I am, take one walk down this street and you’ll be sure to find something that takes your fancy (or just make the decision making even harder). Having tried a solid 80% of the restaurants here, it’s exciting to see a new one open and it seems there’s always a new spot being unravelled every month.
So when I found out there was a new pizza, pasta & craft beer hub opening up I was dying to try it out. Crust is the creation from the minds behind Manzo and Il Forno, and as the name suggests it specialises in pizza (who doesn’t love pizza, winner), pasta and local craft beers. There’s around 30 pizza choices and 15 pasta dishes so plenty of choice to pick from but if you’re cutting the carbs then you’re in trouble. What makes this place different to other Italian cuisines is their choice of crust, including their black dough (yes you heard that right), which cleans your insides apparently, there’s 4 to pick from and makes it great for vegans and vegetarians.
My date and I were greeted by friendly staff as soon as we entered the door and given our menus to ponder over. Everyone seemed pretty knowledgable on the origins of each dish and talked us through the crust choices, local beers and open kitchen Marana wood fired oven. We picked our drinks and I went for Liverpool Craft Beer Co‘s Rye IPA which is a solid favourite of mine, whilst my date picked from the large selection of cocktails. Whilst we’re on drinks I also went for the Manchester Squawk Brewing Co pale ale hopped with Cascade and Amarillo. I preferred the first Rye IPA, which was an easier drink, refreshing choice perfect for washing down a lot of food.
For starters I went for the classic bruschetta with cherry tomatoes, garlic, oregano and a sprinkle of olive oil. Knowing a big pizza was on the way, this was the perfect size, the tomatoes were very fresh and the combination of ingredients were perfect as we all know when picking a classic. My date went for the calamari which she said was nice and light, not too overpowering and the dips went down well. Now, the spicy salsa dip was so nice I actually kept it behind for the pizza crust, this is something which would have made the meal even better, the option of dips for the crusts with your main.
The main event, the pizzas were amazing! You only get the option of one size but this size is exactly what you want, not too big so you don’t overdo it and plenty of toppings with a thin base. One thing we both noticed was the pizzas aren’t too overpowering and the crust/base was light and fresh meaning you don’t get bloated like usual with pizza. I went for the “‘nduja pizza” with spicy salami, nduja sausage and fresh chili on five grain base (a mix of flax, wheat germ, oat, spelt and rice flour). It felt like there wasn’t any chili on the pizza and this is something I usually look for when picking, I enjoy spicy food and felt this didn’t bring the heat (good job I had that spicy dip). The meat however was full of flavour and went perfectly washed down with the pale ale. My date picked the “Fiorentina” pizza on organic base with asparagus, egg and pancetta, which she said was delicious, the flavours complemented each other perfectly.
Dessert I wanted to try something different. They have some great sweet pizzas which looked appetising to say the least, however, the ravioli chocolate caught my eye, sweet pasta? Unfortunately they didn’t have this and the waitress said it was the most popular choice. They did however swap it for a chocolate pasta ravioli with a cheese cake filling instead and to be honest I was glad for the swap, it was delicious and tasted like donuts! My date went for the chocolate cake with vanilla gelato which looked and tasted delicious but you can’t go wrong with a chocolate cake can you?
New favourite pizza place? Possibly! And remember…