A neighbourhood restaurant that should be the blueprint for every small bistro in the country
Gary Usher has become a household name in recent years thanks to his searingly honest and outspoken approach to Twitter and his barnstorming attempts at crowdfunding that have led to him overseeing a burgeoning group of bistros (Elite Bistros), but it is here at Sticky Walnut where it all began.
The Hoole-based restaurant’s ethos is a simple one – serve humble yet expertly thought out (and delightful) dishes using the best possible ingredients in convivial and unpretentious surroundings – and has become a benchmark for neighbourhood restaurants all over the country in the process.
Sticky’s enduring appeal lies in its simplicity but also Usher and team’s acute understanding of what makes a successful bistro tick in terms of the menu’s size, pricing and the featured dishes. In many cases, Usher has taken an ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it approach’ with many dishes, not least his now iconic chicken liver parfait and beef featherblade of beef, having stood the test of time since the restaurant opened in 2011.
The format is approachable and good value, with two courses for £35, three for £40 – sharing plates such as guinea fowl stuffed with sobrasada, dates and almonds – and portion sizes that you would expect from any self-respecting bistro.