Where is it? In the historic Adelphi building, just off the Strand.
Opened: June 2015.
Concept: As the New York-based boutique steakhouse’s first opening outside of the US, we Londoners can expect a menu of signature Prime dry-aged steaks, premium seafood, carefully selected wines and Mad Men-esque cocktails.
The setting: Set against a handsome backdrop of dark timber panelling, buttery green leathers and adorned with Art Deco tiling, pick between two destination bars along with the choice of two main dining areas: we decided to descend into the beautiful basement for a sultry-lit supper.
What makes it different? Smith & Wollensky take no shortcuts when it comes to beef. With a dry ageing room and butchery on-site, their steaks are selected from the top 2% of beef in the US and are dry-aged for no less than 28 days to intensify flavour and increase tenderness, providing one of the best steaks we’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting.
What did we eat? What didn’t we eat… The signature shellfish platter sure made the most of the coast, with the likes of lobster, crab, oysters and clams served perfectly presented over crushed ice. Tip: The ‘smaller’ platter is enough to feed four and, paired with a neat vodka martini, started our meal off very nicely.
For mains, steak lovers be prepared to rejoice. The 24oz Cajun marinated bone-in rib steak was as much delicious as it was a true feat to finish. The 8oz premium fillet mignon served gorgonzola-crusted, meanwhile, was a much less daunting dish and served rare (as it should be!) was a truly melt-in-the-mouth experience.
We drank: Martini, cocktail shaker and olives included. Don Draper’s tipple of choice, an Old Fashioned, plus a bottle of red handpicked by the waiting staff. They know their stuff.
Save room for: The biggest slice of chocolate mousse cake we’ve ever come across. Enough to feed a small family, this was a delicious, if more than slightly indulgent way to end the meal. However, we weren’t frowned upon when asking if we could take a doggy bag home with the ample leftovers…
Anything else: Smith & Wollensky has weekends covered, too, with an American steakhouse twist on brunch including a choice of two or three courses with unlimited red and white wine. A super Sunday by both British and American standards.
Small print: This is a reservation to make for a seriously, blow-out occasion. Although the menu is varied, with salmon fillet and the butcher’s burger on offer, the only way to do Smith & Wollensky is the all-American way – you won’t need to eat for the rest of the week!