Open since the 1970s, Ad Lib is a cute, casual bar with a cosy dining area at the back, which specialises in burgers and American style food.
No one expects an American diner with high corniced ceilings, polished wood and Edwardian skylight, but that’s exactly what Ad Lib have been providing since the 1970s. And it works. The narrow bar in front, well stocked with Brooklyn lager and hoppy US IPAs, opens out to a cosy, if brightly lit, dining area adorned with New York skylines and portraits of beat writers, and the menu is an array of American classics and soul food. Buttermilk fried chicken served in a kitsch plastic basket is a satisfying starter, but choose the halloumi and mint fritters, deliciously fresh and crisp, rounded off with rich saltiness. Big flavours and a rare skill are brought to dishes such as bourbon and brown sugar brisket; deep, smoky gravy smothering the mash and topped with fresh sautéed greens, The burger is easily a match for any of the newbie city centre burger joints, handmade from dry-aged steak, tastily chargrilled and pleasingly pink in the middle – available with a huge range of extra toppings. To finish, homemade desserts include the gluten-free brownie, and a rough and ready cheesecake with a dollop of ice-cream.
- Provides: Halal options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: funk & soul
- Live entertainment: live DJs until 3am on Fr/Sat
- Capacity: 72
- Largest group: 60
- Open since: 1974
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 5
- House wine: £18.75 per bottle