If you didn’t know already, ScouseVeg is a social group for vegetarians and vegans in Liverpool and Merseyside. The group is looked after by our very own Niki O’Leary, TV star (one episode of Come Dine With Me) and full time vegan.
A new place: Crust had just opened on Bold Street and they contacted the website to let us know about themselves. They told us that they cater for veggies & vegans and invited us to come along and try it out, so we sent our best person to investigate…
Crust has the edge…….
By Niki O’Leary, roving reporter for Scouseveg.
What better way to spend a damp Thursday evening than to explore the delights of Bold Street. Which in my opinion, has become one of the best places now to enjoy a wide variety of world cuisine. Crust is all about celebrating Italy’s best loved dishes, pizza and pasta. Crust delivers that in a very authentic way. As a vegan couple, it’s always very exciting trying a new place to eat, but at times this comes with some apprehension. Veganism is much better understood now but not always delivered well.
On entering Crust we noticed the friendly atmosphere with a kind of weekend buzz about the place, spacious but cosy with a modern twist. Ample seating for groups or those dining in pairs, all situated at the front of the restaurant with a lovely open kitchen towards the back, boasting a very special wood fired pizza oven. We were greeted by a host of friendly waiters and on asking which dishes were suitable for a vegan diet, we were informed that most dishes could easily be adapted to our delight.
For our starter we opted for a simple Bruschetta. A classic one topped with fresh tomatoes that were gently washed down with a beer. Crust has an impressive range of beers from around the world and locally sourced speciality beers. For the main course, it was a difficult choice. We are both big pizza fans and having eaten pizza in Italy, naturally our expectations were very high.
Crust boasts four types of pizza bases, from original, five grain, organic and black dough. Not one to go with the norm, Pete and I opted to share a black dough pizza alongside a pasta dish. The Pizza arrived and was scrumptious. It’s delicately chargrilled topping and the smoky flavoured freshly made dough complimented each other perfectly. It was soft, melted in the mouth and was contrasted by a rich charcoal taste. Crust offers a vast array of toppings, so we opted for the classic Marinara with extra vegetable toppings.
As well as the pizza we also decided to try a pasta dish from the menu. We liked the look of Kamut Organic Pasta. However this normally comes with prawns. We were informed this could be adapted to suit our dietary needs. This dish actually blew my socks off, which doesn’t happen often with other restaurant pasta dishes! The fresh flavours of the yellow cherry tomatoes alongside the balance of the crisp orange zest just tickled our taste buds. In place of prawns we had chopped asparagus which complimented the sharpness of the sauce nicely.
Barely leaving any room for our desserts we opted for the handmade Italian strawberry ice cream. This was light and fruity and resembled a sorbet which cleansed the palate perfectly. Finally, we washed this down with a shot of Limoncello liqueur, when in Rome, hey!
Towards the end of the meal we chatted to Paolo, the co-owner of Crust, who enthusiastically talked about the restaurant and how important it was to them to cater for everyone. We were most impressed to hear that they even have a completely separate kitchen downstairs for gluten free food, which is testament to how this restaurant stands out above the rest.
What we liked about Crust, well for me. It was the atmosphere, modern décor but with warm Italian feel. The impressive choice of four completely different hand prepared and cooked crusts, especially the uniquely flavoured black dough. I liked that fact that most dishes can be adapted to our diet so we are not limited to just a few special dishes and knowing that I can dine here with my gluten free friends is definitely a plus. Since our visit, I have heard they are now stocking vegan cheese, so it won’t be that long until we return again, not that I need an excuse for pizza!
Crust is a fabulous new restaurant, reasonably priced and has an excellent range of beers served by friendly smiley staff. So if pizza, pasta and a vast range of local and worldwide beers is your thing with a big taste of Italy thrown in for good measure, then head down to Crust. Veggie and vegans are more than welcome and thankfully catered for extremely well.