The return of restaurant dining outdoors

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Justino's

I was going to write: hail the return of outdoors eating, but hail is the last thing we should be encouraging.

WORDS: Jean Hill

At His & Hers we wanted to wave the flag for some of those lovely independents out there that make life seem so much sunnier. It is definitely getting warmer: restaurants can provide heating when it starts to get cooler in the evenings. It is definitely a goodly plan to re-acquaint yourselves with the joys of sharing brunch with a friend. Or you could be meeting another household for dinner and loving the opportunity to properly chat and enjoy each other’s company.

Justino’s Italian Restaurant

Summer menus are available from 12th April. Justino’s nestles in the leafy suburbs in Aigburth, but a short drive from Liverpool city centre. It is a family run restaurant, that creates fine dining; traditional Italian cuisine with a slightly modern twist. Their pizzas are awesome: their fish is tasty, flaky and dazzlingly fresh. There is a new brunch menu to peruse. To be honest they had me at the mention of Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise sauce. There are avocados and smoked salmon options, and on a sunny morning, it would be hard to beat. Open from 10 am for brunch.

Justino’s has opted to improve its delivery and collection service, so that the quality is equal to eating in or outside the restaurant.

Matta’s International Foods, Bold Street, Liverpool

With working from home a reality for millions in the UK at the moment, Matta’s have launched a delivery box scheme containing some of their favourite recipes by well-known foodies in vegan circles.

Co-owner and brainchild behind the idea Dalip Matta explained. “We do get asked a lot about recipes for a variety of diverse cuisines especially healthy ones and we’re currently testing the market to see how popular they are by putting together delivery boxes containing some of our favourites….”

Matta’s grocery store now offers a broader range of stock focused on organic and vegan products. This is all whilst maintaining an impressive variety of non-organic and non-vegan food, drink, cosmetic and household products.

“We’ve become a go-to store in the city for a new generation of foodies and lifestyle shoppers yet we’ve managed to retain our more traditional customers because much of what we offer remains unique to Liverpool.”

I loved the idea of the recipe boxes. I think my favourite is aubergine and new potato curry, though chickpea, spinach and tomato curry is a close second.

Delifonseca (restaurant and food hall)

Delifonseca are taking booking for both outdoor eating from April 12th and indoor eating from mid-May.

The food hall remains open and boasts many fine quality store cupboard must-haves. I discovered delicious take-home desserts that I thought was a definite bonanza. You can order on-line: click and collect or go for local on-line delivery. You can find Edge & Son, award winning butcher, in the food hall, which stocks naturally fed and farmed produce.

I would describe the ‘deli’ as a modern version of a traditional European delicatessen. One of the cherished memories of my youth was shopping at a German deli in Toronto. It was a treat for the senses including taste buds, and the meats and bread were legendary. The restaurant is also award winning. Dining becomes a cultural experience to be savoured, the memory of which makes me smile. Here is to getting back there sometime soon.

So bon appétit. I was going to use the term: al fresco. Turns out this means in the chill, or worse still in prison (in a cold place)! So all’ aria aperta is literally in the open air. Safer option!

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