Gridiron is firing up London's Mayfair with its seasonal menu
Famed for its live fire grill, Gridiron's theatrical kitchen delivers outstanding results
Gridiron by COMO is an oasis of warmth beneath Park Lane hotel COMO Metropolitan London. Combining the skills of chefs Richard Turner and Stephen Englefield, this luxurious restaurant is known for its dramatic live fire grill, peerless produce and delicious seasonal fare.
When we visited the spacious restaurant to discover a seasonal winter menu rich with rare cuts and fresh game, I was struck by the warmth and ambience of the location. Deep woods accented with gold and copper, clean dark lines and simple but elegant furnishings welcomed us to a slick, contemporary dining room with a perfect view of the kitchen's famed grill, leaving no doubt as to the absolute freshness of its ingredients.
The modern menu, naturally, offers plenty of meat dishes, such as choice cuts of steak. But it is its rarer selection of cuts and meats that truly delight. Pairing our dishes with wine chosen from the venue's excellent sommelier, we took our host's recommendation of selecting a range of starters, tapas style, to start.
It was the perfect way to establish the restaurant's approach to its food: perfectly cooked, mouth-wateringly fresh ingredients, always with an unexpected accompaniment to complement the daring diners among us. From the a la carte menu, we shared succulent buttermilk chicken, a tangy side salad, N'duja stuffed mussels (a divine twist on traditional moules) and roast butternut squash paired with burnt shallow and spiced yoghurt. Our first course was completed with a Devon crab with angel hair pasta in a shellfish butter sauce – a dish so perfectly balanced it will leave you hard pressed to avoid licking the plate. >>
After taking a little time for this first indulgent course to settle – as well as sample a very fine glass of Remhoogte ‘Honeybunch’ Chenin and a Château Tourans Bordeaux from the wine list – we are presented with our mains: an ethically-sourced Brixham turbot on the bone with chicken butter sauce and a hogget Barnsley served with anchovy and lamb jus. The hogget – a rarely used cut of sheep aged between lamb and mutton – is remarkable for burst of flavour, but usually served up in curries and stews. Here, Gridiron's chefs show their absolute skill in how the hogget is grilled to tender perfection.
Our final main course is Gridiron's roast whole grouse, served with Pâté en croute, game chips, wild berries, bread sauce and game jus. The carefully sourced grouse is delicious, a true winter warmer that barely leaves us room for the restaurant's famous (and much-Instagrammed) beef dripping gallette potatoes.
To round off our meal, Gridiron's dessert menu comes with a range of sweets and wine pairings – such as white chocolate tart paired with a 2011 Ch.Guiraud Sauternes 1er Grand Cru Classé, or Millefeuille with a 2016 Furnace Barn, The Robin Rosé from Hereford – yet take care if your sweet tooth is less developed than your savoury. The range of dessert wines on offer is impressive, but the combinations left me craving something dry to cut through, rather than compliment, the sugar.
With an intimate but convivial atmosphere, there is no occasion – from business celebration to friendly reunion – that Gridiron cannot cater for and, with its excellent menu of fine winter warmers, is the restaurant of the season.