City of London,Westminster,
04/06/2020: Excellent - Yet AgainWe were back to the JW Steakhouse, in the JW Marriott Grosvenor House on Park Lane, in September. This time, we were staying at the JW Marriott, and this was our first evening of dining in London, having just flown in from the States that morning. This was our third time dining, having had a lovely lunch, and then a dinner, on a previous visit.First, we are not “steakhouse people,” and usually only dine at one, as business guests. This was one of the rare exceptions - no business, and just the two of us.Having flown for most of a day, we made early reservations, and were glad that we had, as it had been a tiring day. We were seated at one of the 4-tops, in the middle of the dining room, and I think that it was the same table, where we had our first meal - lunch - several years ago, then again for our one previous dinner. The JW Steakhouse has three areas, with the main dining room (though there are three sections of that), the intimate Bourbon Bar, with its seating in one corner, and then an al fresco dining area, right at the sidewalk on Park Lane, with a nice view across to Hyde Park. That does have a little glass wall, so it feels more like being close to the Park, rather than right on Park Lane. We have never dined outside at the JW Steakhouse, so other than the looks, I cannot comment on the dining experience.One thing, which impressed us greatly, on our earlier visits, was the nice wine list, and especially the wine service. We had experienced the excellent service of one Sommelier, on both previous visits. As we looked around the room, while being seated, I did not spot her, but then it had been a year, since we had dined here, so staff can change, and people can be off on certain evenings. We had just been seated, with the wine list in hand, when I heard a familiar voice, “Should I start you off with the Colin Montrachet again tonight?” The Sommelier, from our first two visits, had spotted us, and remembered that we loved the Montrachets by Marc Colin (actually, all of the Colin family). “Hello, and yes, the Marc Colin will be lovely to start, was my reply.” We chatted about our lives, since we last saw one another, and the service began. She basically took over as both our Sommelier and Service Captain, and we wanted for nothing the entire evening.We started off with a glass of the Lanson “Rose Label” Rosé Champagne NV, and the Bollinger “Special Cuvée” Brut NV, while pondering the menu, and waiting for the Marc Colin Le Trézin Puligny-Montrachet ‘16 to be served. Both of the Champagnes were served in Riedel Champagne Coupes, which I am seeing more of, after decades of absence. The Sommelier remembered that we like our big white wines a bit warmer, than most patrons, so had the bottle on the table, in a coaster, instead of the ice water bath. Also, she had Riedel Burgundy Balloons, for the big white.We had made our decision on the meal:Starter:Fried Calamari w/ Old Bay tartar sauce - Excellent! The calamari were perfectly coated, and fried, and though not a tartar sauce fan, I found this to be great with the squid, and glad that I tried it.First Course:Mushroom Risotto w/ shaved Parmesan cheese and truffle oil - this dish was shared, and was very, very good. Glad that we ordered it, and because of the size, glad that we shared it.Main Courses:Tuna Steak au Poivre - this was the lunch dish, that I had on my first visit, and what brought us back, two more times. This was my wife’s choice this time, and it was great. The tuna was fresh, and seared perfectly.Creekstone Kansas Black Angus 6oz Filet w/ Béarnaise/Bourbon Peppercorn Sauce (on the side) - the filet was perfectly cooked to medium-rare, and had a crispy bark, but was still quite pink on the inside. It was also very flavorful. I am not sure about the sauce, and was glad that I had it on the side - good, and I tried it with several bites of the steak, but not good enough to have on every bite.Shared Side:Apple & Celeriac Slaw w/ walnuts and grain mustard dressing - excellent, and the textures were a great counter-point to the filet and the tuna steak - a very good suggestion by our Sommelier.Dessert:We shared the Bettie’s Bread Pudding w/ Bourbon Hard Sauce, which we had experienced the year before - very good still. While not a “dessert person,” this dish was perfect, with good texture, just the right amount of sweetness, and a perfect size to share..For our red wine, I turned the Sommelier loose. She obviously knew our tastes, and our dishes, and I trusted her completely. She did not let me down. Her suggestion was a new Pinot Noir, that she had just gotten in: Father John Oehlman Vineyard Reserve Russian River Valley Sonoma Pinot Noir ‘13. She remembered, from our previous conversations, that we had a friend, who produced world-class PN from the Russian River Valley, and wanted us to try this one. She also thought that it would go great with the tuna (I almost always reach for a PN with tuna), and stand up to the filet - she was right, and on both counts. Now, I seldom look for, much less order, a USA wine, when in UK/Europe. However, this wine was new to me, and was being highly recommended, so I deviated from my norm, and am glad that I did. Before the evening was over, I even got a tour of the JW Steakhouse’s wine cellar - always a high point for me.Our service was flawless, with no long pauses, and nothing hurried - just perfect pacing. We wanted for nothing, and even had time for a bit of light conversation, especially as the Sommelier had just returned from Singapore, and we were heading there in December. She gave us several restaurant suggestions, plus the names of two Sommeliers, who she highly recommended.Though we do not dine at many steakhouses, even in the USA, we will make the exception for the JW Steakhouse in Mayfair - we have now had three excellent meals there.
07/05/2020: The steak, sides, deserts, wine, service and atmosphere was all fantastic!
We went for a birthday and they served us a complimentary drink and complimentary cheesecake.
The cheesecake is incredible.
Just loved it here.