This is one we’ve been looking forward to for a while – ringed in the diary for Thursday just gone was a visit to Steam and Rye the City’s newest restuarant-come-bar-nightspot from Mahiki founder Nick House and the ever-beautiful Kelly Brook. It offers food from a Michelin starred chef, some of the most inspired Americana cocktails and entertainment to boot. This, trusty readers was a restaurant review that had all the right ingredients (sorry, we couldn’t resist) and here’s what we thought…
Upon arrival to the former home of the Bank of New York we were warmly welcomed by the meticulously dressed friendly staff and taken to our table. Large comfy leather chairs awaited us with a slightly raised viewpoint over the main area – Steam and Rye has 3 rooms, an upstairs for your private events and dining needs (and where ‘Beamish’ Steam and Rye’s very own (fictional) hunter showcases many of his trophies and artifact), basement the the 1st class cocktail cargae and the Grand Central Station the room we were in.
The theme of Steam and Rye is 1920s America and this is reflected well in the menu. It aren’t pages and pages but what is lacks in choice is more than made up in quality – and in our opinion the menu actually covers everything you’d want from this type of establishment.
To start we opted for the Jumbo BBQ Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Sauce. Yes. These bad boys hit the spot! Tender, fall-of-the-bone chicken with lashing of BBQ sauce meant these did not stay on the plate for long.
Next up the mains and this really was a no brainer for us: Josper Grill Fillet Steak, chips and peppercorn sauce. For regular readers you’ll know steak is one of our favourite dishes so its hard to impress us on this. This was medium-rare to perfection – pinky/red and succulently juicey on the inside with a perfect slight crispness on the outside. Chips were between skinny and chunky and cooked well in a light cover to give them a good bite to them. The peppercorn sauce was on the stronger side so we’d recommend going easy on that to start with still good though!
With just enough room, we moved onto dessert… absolute classic American choice – the Baked Vanilla Cheesecake. Yee-haw we’d hit the jackpot here! This cake was light and cream whilst at the same time having real substance. The flavour of deep vanilla was something that lasted for a wonderfully long time and complemented brilliant by vanilla ice cream on a bed of chocolate crumble.
Food Menu… (click image for a larger version)
No restaurant review would be complete without sampling a selection from the drinks menu and so that we did. Each of the cocktails we tried were totally unique and great examples of Andy Mil’s amazing cocktail-mind.
First up was the ‘Dead Man’s Boot’, served in a boot of course. It had all our favourite ingredients… Chilli-infused Don Julio tequila, vanilla, ginger beer and lemon. It was refreshingly sweet but with an edge from chilli and ginger. Next up was the ‘Mississippi Lullaby’ which was so cool it arrived on fire, literally. This was a rum based cocktail so a safe choice for us and one that proved to be a good choice too. Blending lejay lychee liqueur, Cinzano bianco peach, mint, cranberry and Wray & Nephew rum this cocktail has quite a kick to it but looks and tastes great! Last (gotta drink responsibly kids!) saw us going out with a bang… what better mixer than more alcohol… aptly named ‘Yippee Ki Yay’ contains, wait for it, Monkey Shoulder scotch (40%), Grand Marnier (40%), Buffalo Trace White Dog (62.5%), Genever (42%), Sebor Absinthe (55%), Port, Madeira bitters and a dash of lime juice! Wow! What. A. Drink.
Steam and Rye is a restaurant full of character, delighting all of your senses from start to finish. Food and drink aside for a second its worth talking about the main room that houses a fully stocked bar complete with a full-on stage for the dancers (yep professional extremely good looking dancers) as well as a DJ booth and live band. Add in Nick House’s trademark ‘celebration delivery’ of special group drinks (see picture below of a crocodile head full of shots) and you have something special.
We arrived at 7pm and it was lively but not too loud and as the night progressed the music went from live performances of current chart hits to DJ and by 10pm he was in full ‘classics’ mode with the volume up and Bon Jovi & Oasis getting everyone on their feet. Insidently 10pm is also when half the tables and chairs are cleared away to make way for the dance floor.
To summarize Steam and Rye we’d say great food, superb drinks and unique atmosphere. Don’t go it you’re looking for a quiet meal for 2, do go if you’re looking for fun times and top quality sustenance!