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45 Park Lane
Cut stands out from the steakhouse crowd thanks to its Park Lane pricing, glammed-up globe-trotting clientele and the clout of A-list chef Wolfgang Puck. Provided you’re financially prepared, you’ll find a surprisingly unpretentious vibe in the very attractive (if hotel-ish) dining room, where soaring drapes and wood panelling head northwards to a ceiling hung with starburst lights. Service could be slicker, but the kitchen pulls out all the stops to justify the prices. Cuts of USDA Prime, South Devon Angus, New York sirloin and dizzyingly expensive Wagyu are presented in all their raw marbled glory before being returned to the table charred and crusted from the grill. Sides include wickedly buttery potato purée and glistening nuggets of bone marrow, while top-notch starters range from maple-glazed pork belly to a very pretty crab and lobster cocktail with spicy tomato horseradish. Desserts, should you get that far, are all-American sweet treats. Upstairs, Bar 45 dispenses classy concoctions in large glasses.
Best North American restaurants
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From: 01 January 2019
To: 31 January 2019
From: 01 December 2018
To: 30 December 2018
From: 25 December 2018
To: 25 December 2018
From: 24 December 2018
To: 24 December 2018
From: 09 July 2018
To: 31 December 2020
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45 Park Lane
Green Park Tube Station 679m
Hyde Park Corner Tube Station 717m
The Dorchester Hotel 69m
Curzon Mayfair Cinema 289m
Mon-Sun 7-10.30am 12N-2.30pm (Sun 11am-3.15pm) 6-10.30pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
There is always something profoundly depressing about restaurants in hotels. Even if they have their own separate entrances, the atmosphere often seems to be one of transience and impersonality. Cut at 45 Park Lane (which one is forced to enter through the eponymous hotel) is little different. Admittedly they have a celebrity chef (Wolfgang Puck) and the largest selection of American wines outside the US, but there is simply no getting away from the fact that this is a place where one goes more for business than for pleasure. It was hard either to fault the food or the wine but the atmosphere was singularly lacking, the nearby conversations dominated by chatter of hedge funds and private equity deals and the prices set to cater for those recently in receipt of Mayfair-sized bonuses. The room itself offers sedate views of nearby Hyde Park, and despite its well-spaced tables, the place still feels somewhat claustrophobic, no doubt a function of the narrow space in which this dining area is squeezed within the overall dimensions of the hotel. Moreover, notwithstanding the size of the tables, the noise level became somewhat unpleasant, particularly as the place filled up. On the positive side, our dishes did please, as did the accompanying wines. My tuna tartare starter was among the best I had experienced, soft and juicy fish enhanced by delicate lime and chilli flavouring, matched perfectly with a glass of Prager’s Austrian Gruner Veltliner. For the mains, while my two dining comrades both opted for steak (the main event here), I chose a seafood pasta, which was also excellent, fairly light and with balanced flavours. My meat-eating comrades praised the attention to detail applied to their sirloin and fillet mignon respectively, both cooked exactly as requested. Even for such a high quality experience, the prices are eye-watering to say the least. Relative value is offered in the form of a two-course set menu for £40 (there are much cheaper set menus at better places, I would note…), but choosing a-la-carte as we did, and starters come in at £15-20, mains at £25-30 and one struggles to find many wines at below £100 a bottle. Fortunately someone else was paying, bit even if this were the case again in the future, I would not feel any major compulsion to return.
After the debacle of Kazan (see separate review) I decided to compensate for this by holding my own ‘Christmas’ lunch for me and a longstanding friend at Cut.
I’d not been before, but she loves it there, and rates it one of her two favourites in London (the other being Pollen Street Social).
It’s a lovely dining room – I know some people have likened it to a corridor, and yes it’s a funny, long and narrow shape, but it’s oh so sexy as well. Everything sparkles, but somehow it just stays on the right side of bling – I particularly loved the high ceilings and the sliver cloud lights. If it were a bit of clothing it’d definitely be a Louboutin stiletto.
On a Thursday lunchtime, in the week before Christmas, it was busy with a mixed group of people, from suits, to ladies that lunch, to hotel guests. There isn't music, but it’s also not somewhere that you feel the need to whisper, but neither is it overwhelmingly loud like, say, Berners Tavern.
Service is excellent; everyone is polite, friendly and efficient. Its ultimately less polished than, say, Petrus, but at the same time you’d struggle to find fault with it.
Food is not adventurous – think steaks, salads, sandwiches etc – but it’s done really well and delivered to an exceptional standard. After a fantastic selection of warm bread (Olive, sour dough, foccacia), with spreadable, salty butter, we both went for the set, Cut on the hour, menu. We both went for Angus Filet Mignon (no starters); it was a perfect, thick (if smallish), steak, done nicely pink and as good as any I’ve eaten; the only downside being what you get is a steak and everything else (sauce, side dishes etc) is extra and at a minimum of £7 a side, costs do mount up quickly. Dessert was cherry Baked Alaska with pistachio base and sauce – slightly chewy, rather than crisp, meringue, but overall excellent.
We managed to accompany lunch with 2 glasses each of LP champagne and a rather nice glass of Malbec each with our steaks. All really good, but again at a cost – we managed £100 worth of drinks, which when you’ve added service on top does make for a costly option.
And that’s the biggest issue with Cut, the sheer cost. Two set menus, water, 3 side dishes, sauce, drinks and service came to £250. And if you’d got into the main menu and a bottle of wine would have probably been closer to £400 – which is simply too much given Petrus, Pollen Street, Eric Chavot etc would all come in far cheaper than that.
But would I go again? Absolutely, though I’d prefer if someone else paid the bill.
Good quality steaks and very very good service. But it comes at a price.
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