If you like your meat juicy and your lighting moody then you’ll love The Grill on The Market In Farringdon, which is brought to you by the owners of Gusto. When TWOP visited the venue one chilly Thursday night we were welcomed off the street (just by an underpass – the location leaving a little to desire) into a swanky bar area, Gentlemen in dinner jackets coiffing champagne setting the tone for the evening.
Offered a choice of ‘being taken straight to your table’ or ‘sitting at the bar for some cocktails first’ by the charming front of house lady, we did what any self-respecting gaggle of girls would do and plonked ourselves squarely in front of the bar staff, making ourselves appear as thirsty as possible. A cocktail menu that read like a novel quickly presented itself: a mix of classics and new concoctions. Several far-too-easy-to-drink Porn Star Martinis and Honey Daquiris later we decided it was time to put steaks in our faces, and were led past the aquarium into the depths of the restaurant. A comedian dressed in a waiter’s uniform greeted us as we settled into our booth, his lilting Irish accent introducing himself as Breff and reading us the specials. As he departed to bring us what we’d later deem a rather fine bottle of Malbec we browsed the menu, the low hanging steel light above our heads providing just enough reading light.
After battling through the paradox of choice like warriors (so many dishes, you big saliva gland tease) we settled on a first round of mussels, foie gras and baked camembert, followed by 3 medium-rare fillet steaks please (one surf & turf, two ‘posh’ surf & turf: scallops and shrimps accompanied by an ‘ooh, dahhhling’) and some sizzling fajitas. As we clinked glasses and relaxed into soft leather seats the sultry, slow-pulsing music changed to a quite wonderful bluesy piano rendition of Don’t Let Go by En Vogue. We later realised the owner of the voice and master of the ivories sat just by the aquarium under a mass of red ringlets, that evening’s live music offering (apparently there is such an offering every evening).
Dinner passed in a similarly delightful manner, each dish being cooked to perfection, the wine free-flowing, the service infallible. The Grill very quickly proved itself to be worth its salt, a faultless equation of atmosphere + good food + bags of personality. This place is a ‘must visit’ for a whole host of occasions: date night, catch-up with friends, client dinner or birthday treat. And if you bag the booth by the stairs, you may even be lucky enough to watch waiters trip down them, try to style it out, and fail quite spectacularly.
> Client Friendly: Client-wooing
> Affordability: A little treat
> Nearest station: Farringdon
> Dress code: Glad-rags required
> Best for: Schmoozing
Visit The Grill On The Market here
Words by Jo Birch