Restaurant Review – Veeno, the taste of Italy in the heart of Liverpool

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A brief glance at the top Italian eateries in Liverpool according to Tripadvisor users serves up several recommendations on Castle Street including the current number one: Veeno.

We went last Sunday for an early evening meal to see whether the TripAdvisor crowd had got this one right.

Veeno definitely looks the part when you enter; a few small tables at the front before the bar on the left where much of the food is prepared and served. The main seating area then extends back with unexpected depth, revealing space for at least 30 guests.

We took a seat in the rear around a barrel-shaped table with a glass top and a fine display of bottle corks underneath. There are also several low sofas for relaxed diners, long tables for larger groups, and a couple of sheltered spots set for two next to the wine cellar at the far wall.

It didn’t take us long to find what we were after: the Italia sharing platter, complete with a selection of Veeno’s ‘favourite’ meats and cheeses (£24.50). We added an additional helping of pane e olio (£3.60) – breads with olive oil and balsamic glaze – just to be safe.

We agreed on the cheese highlights – creamy Gorgonzola and Tuscan Pecorino – the meats were also outstanding, particularly the fennel flavoured finocchiona and the delicious black truffle salami.

After a short interim we checked out the pudding selection. They had run out of sorbetto al limone (£4), so a homemade tiramisu (£5.50) and a panna cotta (£4.50) were shared.

The panna cotta was agreeably strong in its caramel flavour but the open handedly apportioned and deceivingly light tiramisu – “”freshly made with grandma’s recipe”” – would get our final recommendation.

For drinks, I had a Collesi Rossa red ale (£6) which arrived in a sleek black bottle and was a lovely beer with suggestions of caramel, malt and berry that went down much easier than its 8{4fdb5acd4891bace33ada2338e55dfcfb4968d3d0c3ddd4319d06b6e16894e20} would recommend.

All Veeno’s wines are produced at the family vineyard in Sicily apart from a few guest bottles. My other half had the ‘mid-dry’ Grecanico (£6 for 250ml) and the ‘driest’ Grillo (£8.5 for 250ml) whites and I very much enjoyed their plummy, herby ‘classic’ Nero d’Avola red (£6 for 250ml).

Veeno also opens for lunch, and between 12-4pm in the week has a deal where you can have a panini (£5/6 depending filling) or salads (£6.50) with a free beverage.

There are numerous wine tasting selections starting from about £20 for which you have five wines each paired with a specific Spuntini.

Our total bill for the sharing platter with extra bread, three wines, one beer and two deserts totalled £64.60.

Castle Street is clearly one of the best places in Liverpool to head to if you fancy some Italian food and on this basis, Veeno is as authentic and tasty an experience as anywhere else – and is well worth a visit.

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