We've been coming to The Byre in Bootle since it opened several years ago. It's always a family visit and as such they cater well for the quirks and vagaries of individual choice within their intentionally limited but interesting menu.
Service is always friendly, portions are never penny pinching - no cuisine minceur here so three courses if you dare!
Until fairly recently they have only offered lunches and afternoon teas and Friday night dinner is a departure so this was a first for us.
We were delighted to be presented with a variety of homemade breads and the now ubiquitous oil / balsamic dip and olives to keep us going until the starters arrived.
The French onion soup was almost a meal in itself and with two large slices of toasted cheese completely covering the top of the bowl it knocks spots off other places I have eaten recently (Doll's House St Andrews eat your heart out....)
Saving themselves for puds, I was the only one on a first course - could have happily chosen any from the confit duck, Thai fish cakes or liver pate for example.
Mains chosen were two of the pork belly and one of the beer battered 'catch of the day'. Presentation was now familiar 'stack' arrangement with roasted parsnips forming a pyramid around the ring of pork topped off with a piece of genuinely crackly crackling.
If anything, the fish itself lacked taste today but hey, what can a chef do after the fishmonger has gone and he or she's started battering up? If it happened again a quiet word wouldn't go amiss. The (beer) batter is the best I've ever had outside a tempura restaurant.
Now when it came to the puddings, bearing in mind I was still trying to finish of the breads, I declined until the very, very last moment when I asked for a bowl of custard on its own. My companions has the cheesecake and the blackberry fruit crumble and proclaimed their respective excellences.
Likewise with my custard, nothing was over sweat and cloying.
All round an excellent dinner for the area and better still that it's in the village where we stay when in this part of Cumbria.
One bottle of red wine came in at £15 and total bill for three around £70.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.