Wine makes way for a beef stampede
Moving from one specialty to another is risky -- like, it hasn't helped Jonny Wilkinson's career at all to go from precision kicking to precision being-kicked. Going from grape to steak: The Steak Exchange, just opened. Liverpool Street's Davy's Wine Bar has officially converted its drinking den into a feasting parlor, in the process giving the liberally windowed space a more modern look with a slate floor, studded banquette seating, and, evoking its former focus, decorative vintage Chateau Margaux magnums -- open one, and you'll be on the business end of a different kind of '44. Alright fine, a cricket bat. The meat, from HM-appointed butcher Donald Russell, is inspected twice-daily during aging until it reaches "optimum tenderness", then displayed on a large wooden board before cooking, from solo ribeyes, rumps, and T-bones, to gigantic, double-serving hunks of Chateaubriand and "club sirloin" -- also a place you go to guarantee your night ends bone-in. If you already had steak for lunch, you can also sate yourself with the likes of herb-crusted roast rack of lamb, pan-fried skate wing, and whole-roast spatchcock chicken with pan juices, far more delicious than the ones that dribble out of Gheorghe Zamfir's flute.
Of course, there is still grape (a dramatically shortened, meat-friendly list designed by the company's Master of Wine), while those who worship grain get to drain nine different varieties of Greenwich's unpasteurized Meantime, including porter, stout, wheat, IPA, and chocolate -- all of which will treat you like Jonny Wilkinson, and go straight for your kidneys.