Restaurant review: East River

The Liverpool food scene is going from strength to strength and the new Manhattan-inspired menu at East River definitely ticked the boxes for Camille Allcroft

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ne of the new bars and restaurants creating a stir in Liverpool, East River opened recently with a theme inspired by the cocktail bars and delis of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The independent eatery and bar has already been attracting plenty of praise for its relaxed atmosphere and we went along to sample the new menu, which revolves around bagels, brunch and dishes to share.

This is the place to go for casual all-day dining and there is plenty of globally inspired street food and bowls on offer, alongside an impressive breakfast and brunch menu. The bottomless brunch is already popular – served daily it includes a bagel or brunch dish, accompanied by a side and unlimited cocktails or prosecco for £30 per person.

The restaurant is split over two levels and the interior design of the space hits a stylish note without trying too hard – pale pink hues, banquette seating and artworks of music icons adorning the walls creates a relaxed vibe. A round of cocktails set the evening off in style – there is a great selection on the menu with quirky names to make you smile, don’t miss the ‘Dude’s Breakfast’, an indulgent take on an espresso martini, topped with cream and chocolate.

We opted to share a variety of dishes for our starters – chorizo fries had plenty of smoky flavour while maple butter added sweetness, crispy halloumi bites with chipotle mayo and pickles was another winner and the stuffed sweet potato skins with salsa and avocado were irresistible.

On to mains and the bagels are something of a signature here, so it was only right to try the Dirty French, a toasted poppy seed bagel loaded with roast beef, red onion marmalade, horseradish, crème fraîche, cheese and watercress – served with the addition of dipping gravy, this would give any New York deli a run for its money.

You can’t think of New York without thinking burgers, and there are plenty on the menu here including the New York Stack, a towering creation with swiss cheese, bacon and chipotle mayo. We also tried the Vegan Stack, a vegan burger sure to impress loaded with two tender vegan burger patties, vegan cheese, spiced sweet potato and tangy relish.

We couldn’t leave without sampling the chicken & matzo ramen, heaped with crispy chicken, soft boiled egg and matzo balls in a hearty chicken broth and the potato latkes with crème fraîche and chives are also worth ordering.
There was no room for dessert, although it was a shame to pass on tempting options such as churros, homemade strawberry cheesecake and maple pecan pie.

The verdict
The satisfying dishes, hand crafted cocktails and laid-back ambience at East River makes it a welcome addition to the local dining scene – this is the perfect spot for a relaxed bite to eat and a few drinks, delivering Manhattan style charm and a food offering varied enough to appeal to everybody.

East River, Liverpool L18 2DD

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