Smith & Wollensky
Smith & Wollensky is renowned for being a first-rate American steakhouse, similar, some might say, to an aircraft carrier: infinitely mighty and full of self-confidence. The original Smith & Wollensky has been that kind of place since its inception in Manhattan (1977). However, since then it has managed to travel many miles across the great pond that divides our two great nations and finally docked, off Strand, in the Adelphi Terrace.
As we were escorted into the restaurant by a very pleasant and animated member of staff, our hearts sank as we were taken past the crowds of young couples and families tucking into their mouthwateringly juicy veal chops. The smell of greasy food and delicious BBQ sauce was enough to make even the most uncompromising of vegans go weak at the knees, but we knew tonight, we wouldn’t be setting off on a meat-lovers pilgrimage, but rather (a cocktail crusade?)
With the taste of delicious Iowa beef still lingering on our tongues, we were ushered downstairs to a second room which had a warm and friendly ambience to it, full of thirsty food and drink bloggers awaiting their first taste of Thursday night. After much anticipation, we were finally greeted by Ernest, our “Chief Cocktail Engineer” and host for the evening. Much to my surprise and possibly disappointment, there was no sign of a “screwdriver” or “rusty nail” on the menu, but nonetheless I felt that our jovial mixologist was capable of designing some wonderful cocktail constructions, (even without his toolkit.?)
We then made our way through the best part of the cocktail menu. Some of the highlights were detailed below:
Cocktails on menu:
Origins of this cocktail is as cloud as the cocktail itesel, most likely coming from the colour and the use of the American spirit Applejack which is very similar to Calvados a brandy made mainly from apples. We use in-house made grenadine so it’s not too sweet, lemon juice, a lick of sugar and a dash of egg white for a silky smooth texture.
The brown derby:
The classic bourbon brown derby coktal is named after the eponymouse hat-shaped Los Angeles diner. It’s both sweet and sour with a hefty dose of grapefruit juice and a touch of honey syrup. Thrown between the two shakers to give it aeration and help release aromatics, it gives a textual element in a way that stirring or shaking can’t,.
As the story goes it was submitted as an entry to a New York cocktail contest wchih was held, amazingly enough, in 1928 just before the prohibition was repealed. Creamy, chocolate and minty! A grown up after eight or a viscount if you remember those!
In short, Smith and Wollensky cocktail bar does not disappoint. I would recommend any day of the week: it’s fun, informative and a really nice crowd. We left happy, full and more than a little merry.