"Soho hotel bar meets New York steak lounge..."Review Rating: Reviewed by T.A.O
Like the vast majority of Londoners, we don’t get to stay in the city’s hotels too often. Which is possibly why we have such an attraction to their restaurants and bars. Contemporary cocktails, traditional afternoon tea, regal grandeur; whatever their rocking, we’re there. So imagine our surprise when we realised that the dramatic looking windows we had walked past so often in the heart of Soho, were those of The Dean Street Townhouse. This day, we walked past as usual but as we discovered what was behind this attractive facade we decided to head back that evening, wait for a table and see if the interior was a great as the exterior.
First off, it may look old and well worn but The Dean Street Townhouse is no such thing. It is refurbished to look like a retro, Madison Avenue style steak bar and pulls off the swindle with aplomb. Expect to find all the dark red leather, mahogany, chandeliers and picture frame clusters a person can handle. It is stylish, chic and achingly aspirational (we want to stay upstairs – bad).
After enjoying no fewer than two rye Old Fashioneds each at the bar – walk-ins mean a wait to be seated – we pull up our seats at one of the pristine, white clothed tables. The menu is a fashionably modern take on British classics, which means mince and potatoes, chicken and mushroom pie and fish and chips. We opt for the rib-eye steak with fat chips and béarnaise. And… it’s steak, what can we say? Okay, what we can say is that it is very good steak, cooked perfectly on the rare side of medium-rare with a salty crust. We knew it would be good and it was.
Along with the steak we taste the kale, Stilton and walnut salad. Dressed up on the plate it looks – and tastes – like more than the sum of its parts.
A meal for two with cocktails as a starter and a reasonable bottle of house Merlot comes to just over £100. And reclining on red leather stools with drinks at the bar, tucking up in a dim corner under atmospheric lighting and absorbing the palpable Soho buzz makes that a fair price to pay for the pleasurre.
T.A.O reviewed Dean Street Townhouse on Fri 28 Mar 2014