The team behind renowned bars Hyde & Co and The Milk Thistle have set their sights on steak, bringing their cocktail bar philosophy to Bristol’s dining scene. Occupying what was once the famed Markwick’s restaurant, this hidden basement has been exclusively done out with a marble staircase, assorted antique mirrors, rich colours and even a stuffed wolf.
Menus here evolve with the seasons, with the team championing local produce whenever they can. British beef from a local butcher rules on the menu, and the steaks are spot-on – cooked in the charcoal oven and served with triple-cooked chips. There is a range of cuts to choose from; with sirloin, fillet and rump all on offer, as well as rib-eye, an 8oz bavette and chunkier sharing cuts. The steaks for two are a real splurge at £70, but the meat is top quality and your meal comes complete with fries, leeks and greens, as well as a choice of peppercorn, bearnaise or chimichurri sauce. Otherwise treat yourself to glazed pork cheeks with potato gratin and braised peas, lettuce and bacon, an Ox burger or a pan-fried skate wing with brown shrimp butter, before signing off with bitter chocolate cremeux or vanilla and chocolate bread and butter pudding with boozy custard.
If you happen past The Ox on the weekend, then you might be pleased to know that they do a good Sunday lunch. Your choice of Somerset lamb or Buxton’s dry aged beef, for instance, is served up with perfectly crisped roasties, crushed veg loaded with butter, braised red cabbage and a homemade gravy.
Service is slick and cool, with low lights, loud music, craft beers and impeccable cocktails adding to the clubby vibe. Outside of the usual food offering there is an after-dinner cocktails menu as well as a good selection of dessert wines, ports and sherries, so it’s the perfect place to take your time and make an evening of your meal.