Found at the rather drab looking Metropolitan hotel on Mayfair’s Park lane (which also houses Nobu), Gridiron is a grill joint brought to you by a true restaurant dream team – think Hawksmoor’s Richard Turner as the consultant chef, Fat Duck alumnus Colin McSherry heading up the kitchen and the Guardian’s Fiona Beckett overseeing the wine. Of course, such big names mean high expectations and ours were mostly met.
Gridiron has done what it can to shake off its hotel setting, including adding an open kitchen complete with counter seating, a trendy roulette wheel colour scheme and causally cool (yet impressively efficient) staff. The food menu reads like a pyromaniac’s wet dream, with plenty of grilling, roasting and braising present here. At lunchtime, you can enjoy a fairly priced set menu of three courses, including the likes of a sweet-tasting crab cake topped with brown crab aioli, and a thick helping of rice pudding, served in a cast iron pot and given added edge via sherry-soaked prunes.
From the à la carte, two dishes stand out among an impressive offering. The first is a dish which is given the uninspiring name of ‘burnt leek’, but arrives with a nicely crisp, charred shell which soon gives way to soft and sweet innards and is complemented by a heavy dusting of summer truffle. The second (unsurprisingly) comes from the chops and steaks section of the menu: Middle White pork chop is a plump, fleshy triumph which reflects the skill of the kitchen and is completed by crackling with just the right amount of crunch, and a side of deep-fried beef dripping potatoes, thinly sliced and pressed together into a block. Much like the mains, Gridiron’s desserts also revel in comfort. We were enamoured with a best-in-class sticky toffee pudding topped with clotted cream, which resulted in us trying to resist licking the plate.
Gridiron doesn’t quite manage to escape its hotel setting and the punchy pricing may be a turn-off for some (much of the wine list is priced above the £40 mark), but this is Mayfair after all – and there’s always that set lunch to take advantage of if you’re on a budget.