A taste of Manhattan in a stylish setting

The sweeping splendour of the former Royal Insurance Building in Liverpool is the elegant setting of NYL Restaurant and Bar, which draws its menu inspiration from New York inspired cuisine as well as modern European dishes.

The stucco work, wood panelling and feature lighting in the restaurant immediately create an impression of grandeur which adds to the pleasing aesthetic of the open-plan space which boasts a long bar where an array of bespoke cocktails are served alongside an impressive wine list. There is a timeless appeal to NYL which successfully brings old and new together to create a contemporary restaurant which retains the best of its original features.

After a warm welcome, we perused the menu at our comfortable booth and I was impressed by the choice on offer with a selection of delicious options available such as burgers, steaks and seafood.  We sipped an excellent Merlot and enjoyed fresh artisan bread with olive oil and balsamic as we decided what to order.

I chose leek and potato soup for my starter, served with a mini tin loaf and a tangy and sweet pickled onion butter which was just divine spread upon the warm loaf. The soup itself was a real winter warmer, hearty and thick with a superb flavour profile and a peppery kick.

My dining companion chose a Mediterranean style starter of mozzarella salad with marinated heirloom tomatoes, frisse lettuce, popcorn shoots and watercress pesto. This was drizzled with a balsamic reduction and olive oil which further enhanced the sharp and sweet flavour profiles of this simple classic.

For the main course, my choice of risotto with Mediterranean chicken, chorizo, piquante peppers and Manchego cheese was simply wonderful. The perfectly cooked Arborio rice and tender chicken was elevated by the piquante peppers which added a sweet and spicy flavour to the dish. The exquisite presentation of this risotto was a work of art, with a finesse which suggested a fine dining style and a beautiful eye for detail. The Manchego cheese added a creaminess which complemented the succulent chicken and the whole dish was a superb marriage of well-matched flavours.

My dining companion savoured his perfectly cooked 16oz rump steak, served with braised shallots, confit tomato and a dressed salad. The steak was tender and juicy with a slightly smoky flavour to the meat, which was elevated by the sweetness of the braised shallots and the freshness of the crisp salad.

A side order of irresistible triple cooked chips made the ideal companion to our main courses. This generous portion of chips needed no adornment other than a little coarse ground sea salt and the crispy texture was indicative of really good homemade chips. There was no argument about what to choose as our second side order, because we both settled on macaroni cheese as soon as we saw it on the menu and this was a good choice because it was rich and creamy with a delectable crispy cheese topping.

I always see dessert as the most indulgent part of a meal and there were many tempting dessert options on offer at NYL. Anything which features the classic combination of cookies and cream can only be a good thing in my experience, and we found this rule to be proven when we ordered the cookies and cream dessert at NYL. This consisted of a deconstructed cheesecake with a creamy white chocolate and vanilla mousse pot served alongside two Oreo cookies, fresh strawberries and a nut brittle crumb.

The combination of chocolate, strawberries and cream was a delight to the palate and the variety of textures added even more enjoyment to this dessert which tasted as good as it looked.

The second dessert we chose to share was equally inventive, and it was the first time I had ever tried a chilled fondant. The chilled chocolate fondant with pineapple and Sambuca sorbet and strawberry gel was a revelation, the slight aniseed of the Sambuca contrasted perfectly with the sweetness of the pineapple and strawberry and the richness of the chocolate fondant, which had a divine texture similar to a mousse. I love to try new things and I found this dessert to be an exciting reimagining of a traditional warm chocolate fondant.

The glamourous and stylish surroundings at NYL Restaurant makes it the ideal place to for a dinner date or an enjoyable lunch. The service was excellent and the food was exquisite in both flavours and presentation. After such a lovely evening, I was left wondering why I had waited so long to try NYL and I would not hesitate to recommend it as an exceptional restaurant in Liverpool, with a diverse menu which offers something for everyone.

NYL Restaurant and Bar
1 North John Street
L2 5QW

0151 294 4069