Jun 11 2008 by Kathryn Carr, Midweek Visiter
STEPPING into Bistro Bar Med is like stepping into an instant holiday – the culinary equivalent of a sun-drenched stroll along stunning Mediterranean beaches.
Its relaxing surroundings, luxurious food, and vibrant atmosphere have singled it out as one of Southport’s finest eateries.
Formerly Cafe Bar Med, the stylish Coronation Walk bistro is a tapas and theme bar, whose owners describe it as “Southport’s best kept secret”.
It is little surprise that it was awarded top ratings in Scores On The Doors, a national public information service aimed at hygiene in food businesses.
Calling in one lunchtime, I was immediately impressed by the restaurant’s striking interior – hand-painted murals of Italy, Greece, Turkey, France and Spain adorned the walls, and the tables were set out in a spacious, yet sociable layout.
After a warm welcome from staff, we were treated to a platter of Greek dips, including hummus, priced at £2, olives, priced at £1.75, feta Mediterano, priced at £1.95, aubergine puree, priced at £2, Tzatziki, for £1.75 and, my personal favourite, taramasalata, at £1.75.
This was served with a basket of warm pitta bread.
For our main course, we opted for a selection of Spanish tapas dishes, including patatas bravas (spiced potatoes), quesco de cabra con miel (fried goat’s cheese with honey), chorizo and albondigas (meatballs in a tomato and red wine sauce) as well as tortilla Espanola (traditional Spanish omelette layered with potato and onion, peppers and tomato).
The meatballs were delicious – lightly spiced, and soaked in a rich, flavoursome sauce, and the chorizo was out of this world.
The meats were cooked to perfection, and complemented by warm, crusty bread.
My dining partner, Jo, is vegetarian, and described the options on offer for her, which included crisp, golden spiced potatoes, as “brilliant”.
To say we were spoilt for choice is an understatement; there was also a wide selection of light lunches, such as ciabatta and paninis, for around £3.99, evening meals including small and large pasta dishes for around £3.80 and around £6.95 respectively, and brunch specials, such as salmon and cream cheese toasted muffins, for £3.50, served daily until 2pm.
As well as its outstanding food, the bistro boasts a lively social calendar, with regular theme nights, ranging from Caribbean night to an Egyptian night, to an Elvis Presley and Beatles tribute evening.
For those who have tucked into the array of Mediterranean treats with gusto, there is also a chance to work it off at the bistro’s weekly Salsa night, which takes place every Thursday, from 8pm-11pm, and includes a dance lesson, tapas, nachos with dips and a complimentary glass of sangria, all for £12.50.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, the service at Bistro Bar Med is exceptional, with friendly, attentive staff who go out of their way to make sure you enjoy an evening to remember, whether you are filling up on glorious international cuisine or dancing your heart out in a salsa class.