Given the overall 3 star review on this place I was thinking to myself should I give it a miss.
I'm glad I didn't because the food was lovely.
I had the rib eye which was cooked exactly how I asked rare. My girlfriend had the sirloin and again she was happy.
Peppercorn sauce was good. But as the steak was so tasty on its own I just used this for my fries. Complimentary salad was OK, it's a salad tasted leafy.
The wine I had was a nice merlot which complimented the red meat well.
Desert didn't blow me away but was decent enough. I had the cheese cake, misses had the brownie.
Would I go again? For sure but I'd like to try a few more steak houses on the way.
This review is for their downstairs bar only. A friend had rented out the whole cellar bar space for her birthday party.
The atmosphere, layout and furniture is pretty cool and makes for lots of spots to have more intimate conversations as well as large group gatherings. That's unfortunately the only aspect I like about the evening we spent here.
*The cellar bar closes at 11pm sharp - even when you rent the space out. So we had to start the party at 7pm, which is waaaaay too early to start any nightlife in London...
*We had 1 (ONE!!!!) bartender assigned to us the whole entire evening (we were about 40-50 guests throughout the night).
*Top that with the fact that she was the slowest moving person on the entire planet and we only ordered bottled beers, glasses of wine, and easy mixers (read: vodka soda, gin & tonic, etc.). I was at the party from 8.45 to 11pm and managed to order one vodka tonic and one beer. WTF?!?!
*I went up to the bar at 10.50pm to order one last drink to chug to try to at least get a little buzz going and she responded with "the bar is closed". Uhm...say what? I've never left a birthday party this sober and angry (drunk angry is a way funner state to be in...just saying).
One extra bartender and this would probably have been a 4-star experience. Too bad.
Went here for my birthday last week, and it was pretty good. I started with the tiger prawns which were very tasty. For my main course I had the filet which was a perfect medium rare. My friend also had a steak that tasted incredible.
The staff was friendly and the atmosphere was good. They have a decent wine selection, as well as a few spirits.
The price was a little high, but considering the neighborhood it was in, it was in the expected range.
Although my friend and I were off to shaky start by first being ignored by staff as we waited for an eternity at the entrance before we were greeted. When finally we were acknowledged we were led to one of four empty tables, the waitress seemed unsure that any of these tables were available, at which point, we were abandoned, and left to hover (unintentionally) intimidatingly over other diners.
After a little more of a wait, we were seated at the original table. When finally seated and relaxed I took the time to savour my surroundings - Wigmore Street has some of my favorite restaurants there. The buildings are all amazing in their own right along Wigmore (just North of Oxford Street) and this trickled down impressively to the interior of Black and Blue. High ceilings always float my boat and the tasteful, solid interior gave confidence back after the shambolic start of our experience there.
The only thing worse than general food envy is steak envy. When your dining pals have all got what appears to be piece of cow that was delicately removed from the moo creature after an extended stay at the Sanctuary and all you have is a tiny gristle laden (my mind returns to Red's steak at Savoir Faire Yelp evening) steak that even your dog would take a look at and return happily to his rubber chew toy. So, as ever, I oscillated between choices...
Mmmmm Rib Eye is gooood, mmmmm, mmmmm, but Filet is better, mmmmm, but ooooh looook, T-Bone, oh, but I'm not hungry enough for all of that meat, mmmm, oh look, Rump on the specials board, it is always really tasty, mmmmmm, but Filet is going to be brilliant, but if I get a T-Bone it is more for my money, mmmmm, but.... ENOUGH! Mark and I both went for Rib Eye. He said it was great last time.
After an impressively short time, my medium as opposed to medium-rare steak surfaced. I chose mine to be topped with fois gras which proved to be a tasty addition. Chips accompanied the steak on the plate and a side salad was divided between us.
Where. To. Begin...
The steak was average at best - one side was nice enough, but the other side was decidedly chewy for both of our meals.
The chips were pretty useless. They were reminiscent of the chips that Wetherspoons serve, only with less taste and overcooked to harsh crunchiness.
The salad arrived with what appeared to be Tesco value cheese grated over it. Great. Especially if you don't eat cheese like myself.
The Argentinean red however, was impressive and was pretty good value.
Our bill was £75. Pretty steep for average steak frite and a bottle of plonk.
The best part of the evening was that one of the adjacent tables seemed to have the ability to teleport the cast from American Psycho there. The three of them (I really hope they were called Bateman, Price and McDermott) obviously thought that the meal would have been too cheap and would have gotten an eight o'clock res at Dorsia next time. Good idea.
It would make sense that on the last night before my flight home, I would have the best meal during the week I visited. My fillet steak was excellent, though I had to send it back to cook a few more minutes to kill off the moo still coming from the plate. The tortilla chips with warm artichoke & spinach dip was a pleasant start. I also had the cheese board which was a splurge but equally enjoyable.
The service was adequate; the decor and ambiance were cool and borderline sophisticated with contemporary photography placed around the walls. I received the impression that Black & Blue is a dress up or dress down kind of restaurant, yet the bill does not signify casual.
Steakhouses in London's West End have a mixed reputation, to put it mildly, with the prominent and well known "Angus Steak House" / "Aberdeen Steak House" chain catering mainly for tourists :-(
Black and Blue is a newer, small chain and I've generally found the food and service to be reliable, albeit prices are on par with those one has to expect for Central London.
This has an average of four stars? That might be because British people do not know how to make a steak. Of all of the steak I've had in London, this might be one of the better places ... behind Gaucho ...
That said, it doesn't deserve anything more than three stars, I don't think. I've been to two. This one, I went to last Father's Day. I am not a father and I don't believe this day is celebrated in the UK, so it wasn't that awkward ... to be dining alone. I had filet, and yeah, it was good. But that's because it was filet. How do you mess that up? (It is possible; I had a filet at Norm's in North Hollywood, once. Fuck)
The time before I went to the one on Margaret Street. It had a better vibe and if I could find that one on Yelp, I'd have reviewed that one instead.
Go to Gaucho and be prepared to spend a lot more, but enjoy your steak more. Or, eat here and understand that the people in this country never learned how to cook beef properly. It's OK. We're not all great at everything. For example, in the US we can't make a good pudding. Jello makes it for us!
Visited - January 30, 2011
A very pleasant place to have steaks! The staff is pleasant and attentive. The food was good. Must be the only restaurant in London that doesn't look at your strangely when you ask for water/still WITH ice - they bring a jug to your table to help yourself and no trouble getting it refilled!
Portions seemed adequate for what we were eating.
The ambiance was great - low lighting, great music blend of artists.
They definitely earned their 'discretionary 12.5% service fee' - what we'd call a tip here in the US ;)
Would I visit again? Yes.
Good American restaurant, the kind of menu you'd get in any correct NYC restaurant. Nothing surprising, but very good meat.
The place is pleasant even if the music was loud, but there was a Xmas party downstairs, so I don't know if they always push the volume that high or if it was just for the event.
The service was OK, although the waitress thought at first that we were in just for a drink, and became a lot friendlier when we ordered food. At the end, I didn't like them adding directly a service charge to the bill. I always leave a good tip, but I'd rather decide by myself how much they deserve.
Brilliantly located behind Selfridges, this would be my favourite steak house....
Sadly, the steak wasn't anything to write home about (I'm comparing to real american steak houses and to Gaucho in London) as the quality was definitely above TGI Friday's, but not by much.
And what sealed this place's fate for me?
The chips tasted very distinctly of fish. They were god-awful.
If I ever go again, I will try the chips again to see if this was a fluke. But based on my visit there in late December, the verdict is "eat if you must, but stay well away from anything deep-fried". Or, you know, take a cab to Gaucho a few blocks over. It'll cost about the same and you'll have better meat with better service. :)
I've had pretty good success with the Black & Blue restaurants and was looking forward to a juicy steak. However, the evening was a total bust.
The place itself is nice with big ceilings and nice decor. However, our waitress was rude and abrupt. Not to mention it took ages to get her to come around our table.
Now to the food. I can't fault them for quantity (huge salad to go with steak and chips). The price is a bit much for a steak and the t-bone comes on a chopping board (which makes it pretty difficult to eat the salad) but the worst part was the steak itself. My partner and I both asked for medium rare. Her steak was so blue that it could have got up and walked away. My steak was definitely on the done side of well done. Anyway, we didn't stick around for the dessert.
Pretty disappointed especially since I have had good experiences at their other restaurants.
An excellent steak house - with all the trimmings. The fillet steak for two is recommended - my friend always has the butterfly prawns.
Not cheap but top quality meat.
Wines aren't bad.
Expensive but nice!
I've been to this location of Black and Blue twice now. On my recent visit, I stopped for a late lunch, alone. I was greeted and seated very quickly (which I especially appreciate when alone, so I'm not hanging around at the door). Service was good throughout my meal. I like the decor and the ambiance in the restaurant: it's upscale and contemporary. I especially liked the art on the walls.
For lunch I had a burger and chips, which were both good. The burger was cooked perfectly medium rare, and the chips were delicious. I know another reviewer thought the chips were bad: the kitchen must have been on their game when I was there, because my chips were the best I've had in months--crispy but not overdone. I had the Wyld Wood cider, which I enjoyed. The star of the meal, though, was the warm apple and almond tart, served with ice cream and a lovely light caramel sauce. I'm still thinking about it, a week later!
I haven't had the steak at Black and Blue (I'll admit to being a bit of a steak snob, since every third restaurant in Chicago is a wonderful steakhouse), but it's a great place for a burger at lunch. It's spendy, though---my tab was just under 30 GBP. A splurge, but appropriate at times!
I have been to Black and Blue 5 times over a period of 3 years. The foods OK but its always the same.
You always get Waldorf salad with your steak.
Time for a new menu I think.
Steak and chips, glass of red wine and a bottled beer for one - £37.
the restaurant has got a quite modern feel to it, with dim lighting and marble table tops. there were 8 of us in our party and elbow space was very limited in our cramped booth.
Can have no complaints about the service which was nice and friendly but the food just didnt hit the spot.
i ordered a 7oz sirolin which was tiny + the chef is well tight when it comes to handing out french fries!
the cheesecake for desert however, was de-lish, but after paying £32 for the above, i shouldnt find myself going to tescos for a packet of Haribo on the way home to fill me up,
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