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Occupying the old Bank of New York building – and formerly Prism – this grand, all-American restaurant and bar complex is the result of a hook-up between Nick House (best known for Mayfair’s Mahiki
bar) and model-cum-actress Kelly Brook. Staples include USDA Prime and Hereford steaks, sweet Canadian lobsters and fleshy BBQ ribs, which are a definite highlight. Rich mac ‘n’ cheese and
meat-heavy crab cakes also impress, while baked vanilla cheesecake is a standout dessert. With the exception of a sturdy Champagne selection, the wine list is disappointingly short, leaving
creative cocktails served in cups modelled on heads of American presidents to improve the drinks offer. From high-ceilings to portion sizes, everything here is on a massive scale, although what
should be a mightily impressive space is dimmed by rather shoddy decor, which suggests it was completed in a rush.
Because we desperately need it, London’s got a new American restaurant. It’s adopted the same kind of approach to over-elaboration as TGI Friday’s, but that’s the last time we’ll speak about that place as Steam and Rye, on Leadenhall Street, is about as far away from that lovely little chain as you can possibly get.Far away in the literal sense as well – there are no TGI’s in EC1 – the only red and white stripes around here are on Cityboys’ ties. A self-styled ‘late-night restaurant and party bar’ (whatever that is), Steam and Rye – somewhat aptly – sits within the grand old Bank of New York building, which brings me on to its first unique selling point – the room and decor. It’s distinct, but challenging to place the theme so I’ll cop out by saying that it’s kind of like stepping into a poshened-up Gangs of New York set, administered by a circus ringmaster. The real ringmasters though are co-owners Kelly Brook (say whaaat?) and bar-mental Nick House, who is responsible for the challengingly trendy Whisky Mist and Mahiki so maybe the ‘party bar’ branding might be justifiable. Brook was even there on opening night, giving it some tits and teeth...
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I first heard of Steam and Rye when Caroline from Cocktails and Caroline recommended it to me. It's only been open since November, but is already causing a storm in the City. A 1920s American bar and restaurant, it's open from midday-3am on weekdays, and 6pm-3am on Saturdays, so is the ideal place to take you from work to dining to partying. I'm currently in-between jobs at the moment, and don't start my new one until I get back from Australia (2 weeks til take-off and counting!) in six weeks time, so Sarah and I decided to check out the Steam and Rye lunch menu while they have a 50% discount offer on.A short walk from Bank station, it's easy to get to from the main areas of London. We decided to make the most of being ladies who lunch and started with cocktails!...
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