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Hope Street restaurant dishes up the taste of France

The phrase ‘bread and butter’ is often used to describe something ordinary or everyday but this fabulous French restaurant at 23 Hope Street is anything but. 

Tucked away in the heart of Liverpool’s premier dining district in the Cultural Quarter, Bread & Butter is a true hidden gem and a little oasis in the hustle and bustle. Nestled inside a beautiful Georgian terrace, the restaurant has bags of rustic charm with the warm welcome of a French village bistro. There are three oak-floored dining rooms with original brick features, traditional furniture and a bright conservatory overlooking a charming beer garden. There’s also a casual bar area inside where you can sit and chat or play board games with a craft beer, glass of wine, mocktail or coffee. Something for all seasons. 

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Head chef and co-owner Stephan Sundermeier opened Bread & Butter in 2017 in the former Clove Hitch. Stephan has worked in the food industry all his life and with his extensive experience you can be guaranteed culinary excellence. His menu is inspired by cherished dishes with the Moorish influences from Marseille, the dairy riches of Normandy and Brittany, and those such as chicken fricassee, which dates back to the 1300s. Whether it’s the lunch menu, plat du jour, à la carte or pre-theatre selection, the focus is on classic provincial cuisine and seasonal comfort food that’s locally sourced. 

Start with galettes de Sarrasin (buckwheat pancakes with a creamy leek and cheese filling), grilled figs with Gorgonzola and honey, or homemade liver pâté with springy Wildloaf sourdough from the neighbours up the road. Make your way to steak frites, grilled aubergines in a rich tomato sauce, pan-fried chicken livers with Morello cherries and mascarpone mash, or a hearty boeuf Bourguignon in red wine. Make sure you leave room for the signature Bread & Butter pudding served with ice cream or a classic crème brulée.   

There are plenty of plant-based choices too, including vegan black pudding potato fritters served with a vegan hollandaise; pan-fried tofu with sweet soy, red pepper salsa, cashews and spring onions, and a vegan chocolate mousse. The plat du jour menu, focusing on fish dishes, veggie hits and plant-based plates, is perfect for flexitarian eaters. Think lots of fabulous, fresh flavours with a reduced reliance on meat. 

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Bread & Butter is in a great spot by the Knowledge Quarter and in the heart of theatreland, which makes it ideal for a relaxed catch-up, cosy evening for two, family celebration or group night out. I popped in midweek for a solo lunch date thinking of soup and a sandwich but ended up ordering a big bowl of moules marinières with frites and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. I couldn’t help but let the sunshine in. Cooked in white wine with cream, garlic and parsley, the mussels were dripping with flavour and made for a decadent dish for a winter’s day. I was tempted to stick around for Tuesday Steak Night – steak, chips and salad, plus either a large glass of wine or pint of draught lager for just £15. Next time.

The basement bar Craft is currently undergoing a refurb and will be back in March under the name ‘23’, a cosmic number to send conspiracy theorists, Illuminati fans and discordians wild. I had a sneak peek and I reckon it will soon become the essential weekend hideout.

Bread & Butter

23 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BQ. Tel: 0151 709 7612

Opening hours: 

Tues to Sat - 12:00 – 23:00

Sun 13.00 – 19.00

Mon - Closed