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Wednesday 30 May 2018

The Colony Grill - Art Deco Glam, Champagne Cocktails and Tomahawk Steak (Plus the Best Mac n' Cheese This Side of the Pond!)

Name: The Colony Grill

Where: The Beaumont Hotel, 8 Brown Hart Gardens, London, W1K 6TF

Cost: The all day menu is served from 7am until 11pm. Starters cost from £8.95 to £25, main courses from £12 to £49 (for a 14 oz rib-eye steak). Sides are £4.50 to £6.25, with desserts from £6.75 to £9.50.  

About: Opened in 2014, The Colony Grill at The Beaumont Hotel is a haven of tranquility and Art Deco glam, and surprisingly, just a stone's throw south from manic Oxford Street and west of Bond Street.

Owned by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King (who also brought to London the restaurants Le Caprice, The Ivy, The Wolseley and The Delaunay), the American Bar and Grill Room is an elegant spot, and its hard to believe that its Art Deco murals and red leather banquets and linen-clad tables have only existed for 4 years.

On the mid-week evening we were there, the restaurant was packed with a well-healed crowd.

This is my second visit to The Colony Grill, my first time there was only a few months ago during the kitchen takeover by the New Orleans restaurant Galatoire’s, this was a superb meal which you can read more about here - http://www.thelondonfoodie.co.uk/2017/10/do-you-know-your-cajun-from-your-creole.html.

What We Ate: We started with the dressed Weymouth crab (£18.75). This was fresh and fragrant, with roughly chopped chives and a half lemon in a muslin sleeve daintily designed to keep lemon pips out of the food.

The steak tartare with toast and salad (£12.25) was assembled at the table (I loved watching the waiter doing this) with a mixture of hand-chopped fillet of beef, ketchup, mustard, shallots, capers, cornichons, anchovy, parsley, Worcester sauce, Tabasco and a raw quail egg yolk.

This was excellent - a bracing combination of chilli and spice, with succulent raw beef still retaining great texture.

For main course, we shared a Tomahawk steak (£35 per person). An Ayrshire 30-day dry-aged Aberdeen Angus, this was served with French fries and a choice of beurre maitre d'hotel, pepper or Béarnaise sauce.

The steak was brought with a section of rib to the table, and carved with some theatricality. It was then transferred to a tin-lined copper pan, and served with tomatoes roasted on the vine.

The aroma of roasted bone marrow was sensational, and with a combination of Béarnaise sauce, pepper sauce and fries, this was absolutely stunning.

As accompaniment, we had a small macaroni cheese (£8). The signature dish of the restaurant, this was rich, creamy and beautifully seasoned with nutmeg and pepper, enriched by double cream and Gruyere cheese.

For dessert, we chose the Knickerbocker Glory (£9.25). This was an authentic version of an all-American classic, a very sweet but refreshing dessert. The small ruby plum and sherry trifle (£5.50) had sponge cake and a splash of sherry, but lacked the unctuous custard I was hoping for. The raspberry jelly used was too sweet for my palate, it tasted a tad naïve.

What We Drank: We kicked off with a couple of pre-dinner cocktails in the American Bar.  The Classic Champagne Cocktail (£15.75) with Cognac, Angostura bitters, sugar and Champagne, was a fine example of the genre. The Boulevardier (£14.50) blended Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey, sweet vermouth and Campari, and was strong and invigorating.

In the main restaurant, the wine list is well thought out, and has a good range of European and New World wines. The entry level wines, both red and white, are from Chapoutier priced at £27.50. They are a Luberon Blanc and a Marius Rouge from the Languedoc. 

We chose a bottle of Montes Alpha Carmenere 2015 from Colchagua Valley, Chile (£43.50). A fruit-driven wine, this had plenty of blackberry fruit, and was more than a match for the rich steak in our dinner.

Likes: The steak tartare and tomahawk steak were excellent, as were the cocktails. The Mac n’ Cheese is probably one of the best I have had this side of the pond.

Dislikes: The desserts were the weakest link, a tad naïve, overly sweet and lacking in sophistication.

Verdict: The Colony Grill is home to one of the most elegant American Bars and Grill Rooms in London. With well-made cocktails, fantastic food and Art Décor glamour plus very friendly service, it is one of the few restaurants in London that I cannot wait to return to. Very highly recommended.

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