For a slice of Americana – a USDA prime dry-aged steak and a dry Ultimat vodka martini – foodies will want to book a table at Smith & Wollensky, the US temple of beef that opens in London’s Covent Garden on Wednesday June 17, with bookings being taken from Monday June 1. The first UK outpost of this beloved boutique steakhouse will occupy a soaring space in the Adelphi Building off the Strand and promises a vibrant mix of art-deco architecture and classic, clubby interiors courtesy of designer Martin Brudnizki.
Smith & Wollensky is something of a carnivorous institution stateside, famous for signature dishes including bone-in rib steak, filets au poivre, colossal crab cakes and robust sides of creamed spinach, crispy buttermilk onion rings and truffled macaroni and cheese – and in London, executive chef Stephen Collins – formerly of Quaglino’s and Holborn Dining Room – will oversee the kitchen, butchery quarters and dry-ageing room.
The two-storey space includes multiple bar areas, two dining rooms and three private rooms, each of which draws on the white and hunter-green scheme of the iconic New York restaurant.
Since its establishment in New York in 1977, Smith & Wollensky has built a strong reputation for its extensive wine lists – expect big reds to pair with hearty cuts, with California Cabernets taking centre stage in a list that also includes verticals of Mouton Rothschild and Pétrus, and a wide selection of Italian vintages such as Frescobaldi’s 2001 Brunello Riserva.
In the face of enormous portions and potent drinks, be sure to save room for Smith & Wollensky’s decadent desserts – from huge slabs of chocolate or coconut cake to rich cheesecake. This is not dining for the faint of heart: check any low-cal diets at the door and indulge in a full-on dining experience.