Christopher’s Grill in Covent Garden
Christopher’s Grill is something of an icon in Covent Garden, having been around for over 20 years. After a recent four-month refurbishment (an age to the restaurant’s regulars), they finally unveiled their new look. Moody greens and dark wood refreshed their impressive bar area contrasting with the dining room, which was decorated in hues of grey and touches of yellow: truly understated elegance.
As we perused the updated brunch menu, the subtle mix of classic dishes with a cheeky twist was striking: Beef Hash with béarnaise, Blackened Salmon with jambalaya risotto – all a rather tongue-in-cheek take on high-end eating.
We started by sharing the Maryland Crab Cake with Red Pepper Mayonnaise and Tomato Jam. The crab cake itself was meaty, packed with lots of crab leg. It worked wonderfully with the earthy, sweet red pepper mayonnaise and the contrasting tangy tomato jam. Simply plated, with a light rocket salad, it was inhaled by the pair of us and left us questioning our arrangement to share.
Mains did not disappoint. I opted for the grill’s famed Rib-eye with Béarnaise and Parmesan Truffle Fries on the side. The piece of meat was so tender it barely needed coercing from my steak knife. It was expertly cooked to medium rare, bringing out the marbling to make it even juicier, and was perfectly seasoned. The béarnaise was light and flecked with ribbons of tarragon; the fries arrived as a mound of skinny frites decked out with shavings of Parmesan and slices of fresh black truffle. As expected, they were outstanding and with the steak, this was a great dish. The modest “steak-and-chips” bar has officially been raised forever.
My guest ordered the auspicious sounding Lobster Club: grilled lobster, layers of iceberg lettuce, bacon, tomato and fried egg, drizzled with chilli mayo sandwiched between toasted brioche. The sandwich was everything you love about a club, but more sophisticated. The combination of salty bacon, sweet shellfish, egg and spicy mayonnaise worked perfectly, and the lettuce and tomato gave it that necessary crunch. On the side, my guest ordered the Tobacco Onions which were light, crispy with an interesting, subtle smokiness.
For dessert, we relied on expert advice. Our waiter suggested the Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Compote and Maple Syrup, and we happily obliged. There are few greater pleasures in life than fluffy, plump pancakes speckled with blueberries, drizzled with sticky syrup and compote. I ordered the Beignets with Chocolate Sauce, which were gloriously piled, dredged with cinnamon and sugar alongside glossy sauce.
What was particularly likeable about Christopher’s was the thought that was put into the menu. You can have lobster in your sandwich and the best grade rump in your steak-eggs-and-chips like it’s nobody’s business, and at reasonable prices too. The food is beautifully put together and delicious; service was smooth and attentive. The team at Christopher’s can expect a warm re-welcome into the Covent Garden food scene they helped establish.
To book a table at Christopher’s, 18 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7DD, call 020 7240 4222 or visit here.