Steak of the Art stands out from the crowd for all the right reasons, says Emma Dance
I remember when I was younger ordering steak in a restaurant was seen as the height of luxury – something I was only allowed to do on very special occasions.
And eating steak at home – well that almost never happened.
But these days steak doesn’t seem to be regarded as quite the premium ingredient it once was – you can even regularly find it in the £10 meal deals of a well-known high street purveyor of food. And choosing steak off a menu often now seems like the boring choice. So while I still like a steak, I think it would be fair to say that I’d fallen out of love. That is, until I visited Steak of the Art on Cathedral Walk.
This restaurant-cum-art gallery is a long way from the traditional steakhouse, (visually at least) with ever-changing art displays and bespoke furniture creating a quirky and eclectic interior . Gastronomically however, it’s what you’d expect with steaks taking centre stage. And they really do deserve the limelight.
We started our meal with tempura squid (£4) and buffalo chicken wings (£4). The squid was perfectly cooked in a light and crispy batter, and the crunchy coating on the chicken wings was great, although lacking a little in seasoning.
But they really were the warm-up act. Steak is what this place is all about, and steak was why we had come.
We’d been recommended the chateaubriand for two (£45) which came with smoked tomatoes, mushrooms, Bearnaise sauce and a choice of two sides (we chose chips and salad) and in a move of unashamed gluttony we also added some extra mac & cheese (£3). It may have been the best advice I’ve had so far this year.
I thought I’d had some pretty good steaks recently but this was something else.
Chateaubriand is always a fantastic cut and the chef had absolutely done it justice. We’d ordered it medium rare and it had been cooked with precision, arriving at the table well-rested and perfectly pink. A slight char on the outside gave a lovely depth of flavour and added an ever-so-slightly smokey dimension. The meat was butter-soft and just melted in the mouth and was wonderfully more-ish. And while the meat was undoubtedly the star, the accompaniments were very good supporting acts, especially the smoked tomatoes, which were an flavoursome twist on a classic, and the unctuous mac and cheese.
I finished the meal with a chocolate mousse on a peanut biscuit base (£5.50). The mousse was smooth and rich, but fabulously light in texture, and the peanut base added a lovely salty element to offset the sweetness. My husband chose the Eton Mess Iced Parfait (£5.50) which was a sweet and creamy delight with the strawberries giving it a real taste of summer.
Before I arrived I did wonder if the art element might just be a gimmick to distract diners from fairly average food, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Yes, the art is fun and was a great talking point while we were waiting, but within one bite of our steak it paled into insignificance compared to the quality of the food.
It’s fair to say that my visit has rekindled my love affair with steak.
Steak of the Art
0117 929 7976