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Merseyside

El Gato Negro Liverpool

Restaurant - Spanish

‘The black cat’ is an upmarket tapas restaurant overlooking the Town Hall and iconic Nelson monument, with heated patio outside and open plan dining and central bar area in. Sister venue to Manchester and originally from Yorkshire, it’s the brainchild of Simon Shaw.

Inspired by the best in Spanish dining and culture discovered by the chef patron from years spent travelling around Madrid, Barcelona and San Sebastian, this tapas nonetheless goes the extra mile, combining lots of ingredients and different methods. It’s “a bit Salvador Dali”, says Simon. Expect everything from quince-glazed pork ribs to Josper-chargrilled chicken with a sauce made from Sobrassada, a cured pork sausage from the Balearic Islands. There are salt cod fritters and authentic crunchy croquetas, including the popular jamon Iberico from the meat selection or the vegetarian version filled with leek and cheese. Tempura cauliflower with romesco sauce is one of the vegan options, while the veggie rice dish with courgette, pea and Manchego sounds suitably summery – and as seasons change, so too do some of the dishes. Classics carry on, including traditional tortilla, patatas bravas and crispy fried squid, all served with aioli. There are a la plancha grilled fish dishes with salsa verde, while chorizo puts in an appearance – and there is a charcuterie board if you prefer to stick to the simple things in life.

Desserts might include baked cheesecake or almond tart with orange Chantilly cream, and there’s a suitable spread of wines, gins and sherries – amontillado, fino, manzanilla… you name it, they’ve probably got it.

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