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“Lovely Cafe” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Fonsecas

Fonsecas
12 Stanley Street, Liverpool L1 6AF, England (Formerly Deli Fonseca)
+44 151 255 0808
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Ranked #108 of 1,157 Restaurants in Liverpool
Price range: $12 - $25
Cuisines: European, British, Bistro
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Bar scene, Doing business, Local cuisine, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Takeout, Delivery, Late Night, Dessert
Middlesbrough
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Lovely Cafe”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

Popped in here while waiting for my boyfriend to finish an exam next door. Lovely little place with quirky furniture like cinema chairs to sit on. Friendly staff and lovely hot chocolate and coffee to take out.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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237 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    143
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    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Kenilworth, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Saturday Lunch”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

Spent 4+ hours getting to Liverpool on a packed Motorway ( Should have taken 2). So when we arrived we were all hungry - 3 adults.
I had heard of this venue and decided to try it - It is situated slightly off the main shopping streets but not too far away.
We were seated extremely fast by some good staff.
Food was very good - The Blackboard Specials are excellent and there was a good variety. For a Sat afternoon it was quite busy but certainly not overbearing.
Service was good and again the food was certainly better than many placed we have eaten. ( Both size of portion and also quality)
I would recommend.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DelifonsecaStanleySt, General Manager at Fonsecas, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Glad to hear you enjoyed your visit. If you're in town again perhaps try us in the evening? Our new wine bar is going down really well, great before and after an evening meal.
Thanks for the post. Regards Danielle Youds
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
387 reviews 387 reviews
261 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 93 cities Reviews in 93 cities
185 helpful votes 185 helpful votes
“Great service in an average bistro”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

There's a gastropub feel about Fonseca with a bar downstairs and restaurant upstairs. It has a nice informal, friendly atmosphere and pleasant lighting. Service was excellent - the team couldn't do enough for us and were really helpful & friendly.

Personally we found the menu a bit limited but picked a couple of things from the blackboard. The starters were well presented and tasted quite good but my main course of steak & triple cooked chips was disappointing - individual items were well cooked but everything was just thrown on the plate with no thought of presentation. It was far too big and unattractive - just the sort of plate you would get in a pub.

We went to Fonseca's based on the good food guide recommendation so were expecting something special but in reality it's a fairly average bistro with above average service. We enjoyed it but won't be rushing back.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DelifonsecaStanleySt, General Manager at Fonsecas, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Thank you for taking time to provide feedback regarding your recent visit to Fonsecas. I’m glad you enjoyed the atmosphere and I’m absolutely delighted that you found the service to be excellent. It’s certainly what we always strive for and it’s great to hear when we get it right.

I’m sorry that you found our menu to be limited. We actually have three menus available. A printed menu of all of our sandwiches, platters and salads, a three course set menu with wine for £19.95 (there are always four choices for each course) and an ever changing blackboard menu which always has 10-12 a la carte main course options. Without knowing what night you dined, it’s difficult to say with certainty whether some dishes may have sold out but I’m confident that all three menus would have been available to you.

I’m glad you enjoyed the way your meals tasted and apologise if you were disappointed by the presentation. We have always put greater emphasis on quality and taste and whilst we have always served generous portions, I have never had anyone complain that they were too big. The onglet steak and triple cooked chips uses the best ingredients, cooked with skill but there is only so much you can do with it in terms of presentation. We do have a number of dishes that are presented in a more elegant and restaurant like fashion and the staff would have advised which dishes would have been more appropriate had they been asked.

Our numerous awards and recommendations are testament to the emphasis we put on our food offering and we always endeavour to make experiences special. I’m sorry that you appear to think we fell short of this on this occasion and if you would care to contact me directly on danielle@delifonseca.co.uk or on 01512550808, I would be happy to discuss how we can resolve this matter to your satisfaction.

Kind Regards

Danielle Youds
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Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
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16 reviews 16 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Charming Restaurant & Tasty Food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

My boyfriend and I had a lovely meal here last Friday night. I had lamb with dauphinoise potatoes, savoy cabbage and bacon with the most delicious 'jus' ever! My boyfriend had the onglet steak and triple cooked chips. For dessert I had creme brulee and my boyfriend had a chocolate ice cream dessert. The service was good - could have been better - the waitress forgot our wine order so it didn't have much time to breathe before we drank it. Also had to ask for a steak knife as the ones given with our meals were next to useless! All in all the food was very tasty and the atmosphere was great. We had a drink in the wine bar downstairs before our meal, that was lovely too.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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England
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
“Fallen from grace”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

Thought I had posted a review of this place a few weeks ago but mysteriously seems to have disappeared. I used to recommend the former Delifonseca (now Fonsecas) as one of the best and sure-fire places to eat in Liverpool. Unfortunately could not say the same after recent experiences.
Two things have changed.
1) you used to buy wine from the Deli and then drink with your meal. This made the wine great value and I basically used to spend a lot on wine but end up drinking much better quality wine than I would normally shell out for in a restaurant. Personally I don't think the wine I drank last visit was ver good.
2) the food seems to have diminished in quality over the years. We ate off the set menu which was frankly very poor indeed although saved for me by the excellent cheese platter for dessert
So what used to be one of the best kept secrets in town has sadly fallen from grace. Not on my short list any more I'm sad to say

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DelifonsecaStanleySt, General Manager at Fonsecas, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Dear JJOH

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. As indicated in your review, we have undergone a luxurious refurbishment which includes converting our old deli into a new cafe/ wine bar which has proven to be a much more complimentary use of the space for our restaurant. As the deli no longer exists, we no longer have the facility to purchase wine at retail prices and pay a nominal corkage fee to drink it in the restaurant. We have however, replaced this with a wine list that is over 100 wines strong including a selection of over 20 by the glass. As much as we always felt our corkage deal represented great value, less than 5% of our customers ever utilised this and we took the decision that a comprehensive wine list was the appropriate way to go and it has thus far proved very popular.
You haven’t mentioned in your review whether you had any wine in addition to the house wine that is included in our 3 course £19.95 set menu but I stand by this wine representing excellent value for its price point. As aforementioned, we have over 20 wines by the glass and the staff would have been on hand to make recommendations had you wished to purchase something more premium. We have numerous award winning wines on the list and whilst these would have been charged at standard / restaurant bar prices, I am confident that they are competitively priced and having personally tasted everything on the list, I would refute any of them being described as ‘not very good’. I hope it would reassure you to know that the option to purchase retail wine is still in operation at our sister site, Delifonseca Dockside.
I’m sorry that you feel that, on this occasion, the food did not meet your expectations. We recognise the need for a dining option that represents both speed and great value and we have responded to our loyal customers who were essentially looking for a pre theatre / speed dining menu. The menu comprises of 3 courses and a glass of wine for £19.95 and whilst I am confident that we use exceptional ingredients across all of our menus and cook them with skill, at that price point, I assume that you understand it would be extremely difficult to show the same level of skill and finesse as we do in the main courses you allude to having on previous occasions. As these are generally priced at between £12-£16 I’m sure you appreciate that it is difficult if not odd to draw the comparisons you have made. I’m confident that had you chosen to dine from our blackboard menu as you appear to have done so on previous occasions, you would have found the quality to be as good (if not much improved) as on those earlier visits.
I am concerned that you have referred to the food as ‘very poor’ as we endeavour to serve excellent food by skilled staff and had you indicated your displeasure at any time, that staff would have done everything they could to have rectified your experience. Without knowing when you dined or what you ate, I’m sure you can appreciate the difficulty in providing a comprehensive response to your complaint. If you would care to contact me directly at danielle@delifonseca.co.uk or on 01512550808, I would be delighted to discuss the matter at length and ascertain how we could have met your expectations on this occasion. I look forward to hearing from you. Danielle Youds (General Manager)
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