Smith & Wollensky, London

As promised [not strictly pizza-related] here’s what happened when we trapsed through the festival-esque aftermath of Pride to get to Smith & Wollensky.

Located on John Adam St which is just a six minute walk from Embankment Station, a seven minute walk from Trafalgar Square or a three minute walk from the Embassy of Zimbabwe [random fact], Smith & Wollensky is easy to get to from pretty much anywhere.

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Originating in 1977 in New York, Smith & Wollensky came to London two years ago bringing its great American Service and extensive knowledge of steaks with them.

N.B. This is not an American-style restaurant – this is an American Restaurant that’s been de-routed and plonked in London so you’ll find no trace of cocktail sticks with flags around here.

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Turns out all of my photos were very, very dark so they’ve been filtered [a bit too much] so you can actually see everything other than just the lightbulbs.
Here are three things I like about this restaurant:

ONE] The decor. This place is super smart but with a distinct casualness about it. It’s the perfect balance of a ‘posh night out’ Vs ‘a place where you don’t have to whisper’ and definitely seeps old school New York cool from every orifice.

TWO] The music. Unfortunately I can’t even remember what the music was, but trust me, it was GREAT. I think there was some Rhythm & Blues in there somewhere but [if I’m honest] it was only really audible downstairs as you walked to the toilet. Boo.

THREE] The food. Obviously.

I am so glad there were four of us because there were so many things on the menu I wanted to try! My favourite dish hands down was the Seared Chilli & Garlic Shrimp – ridiculously moreish and in a cute little pot so…yeah. Everything had mounds of flavour and the protion sizes were definitely American.

I mean, if you’re serious about steak, this place is for you.

TOP TIP: Do not be afraid to ask your waiter questions about anything on the menu, but particularly the steaks. They are SO knowledgeable and give advice on how each cut of steak should really be cooked.

Not a steak fan [like me]? The fish is just as delicious. It’s fresh, packed with flavour and again comes in massive portions so you won’t feel left out.

One thing I forgot to take photos of [I blame the wine] : the side dishes. My favourite was definitely the Truffled Mac ‘n’ Cheese. We tried one very similar in Orlando on our honeymoon at Highball & Harvest a few weeks before and honestly, this one was just as good. As side dishes go, the portions are a little on the small side but that’s definitely on purpose due to the sheer size of all the other dishes. Order in moderation – there is such a thing as too much steak.

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If by some freak of nature you have space left for dessert, DEFINITELY go for the Gigantic Chocolate Cake but definitely share. This thing really is gigantic and comes skewered with a steak knife. It’s spongy and chocolatey and the opposite of dry. Enough said.

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Finally, the drinks [especially the wine] selection is huge, like most other things in this restaurant. We tried a Californian 2012 ANDROMEDA Pinot Noir. This tasted like it had been smoked over hickory wood, I mean it was seriously good and weird in equal measure.

TOP TIP: As i’ve said before, don’t hold back if you’re celebrating but try and let the restaurant know at booking stage to avoid awkwardness. My parents received this lovely edible surprise and an equally lovely handwritten note from the team:

The verdict?
Smith & Wollensky ticks pretty much all the boxes. A meatlover’s paradise, this restaurant knows how to do everything well. It’s pricy so save this one for a special occasion, but like all things, what you pay is what you get!

STANLEY

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