Proving that you don’t have to go for tiny, Michelin-sized portions to enjoy an upmarket meal out, Christopher’s Grill subscribes to the American rule of bigger is better.
Christopher’s Grill is a stunning venue. It’s located within a huge old building in the heart of Covent Garden, a stone’s throw from the Lyceum Theatre. Stepping up the large marble steps you’ll find a reception area with an adjoining Martini bar – popular with diners for a pre- or post-dinner tipple. Up a fancy flight of stairs you arrive at the impressive dining room, where the focus is firmly on the large tables, resplendent with crisp white tablecloths, gleaming glassware and comfortable high-backed pale grey chairs. It’s elegantly done and in keeping with the period features that really set this space apart from most of the other ‘fancy’ restaurants in and around the area.
Christopher’s Grill may be all about large plates of American grub and messy lobster dinners but the diners here are, on the whole, refined and elegant. The staff are friendly but professionally so, with restaurant etiquette observed and an almost aloof delivery of the dishes, albeit with a charming flair. This is the sort of place you get dressed up to visit at the weekend, sitting with good posture in your chair. Slouching would just seem, well, crass. Then the food comes – and you soon forget your manners…
The menu at Christopher’s is mainly American, though French and Italian influences sneak in with foie gras, burrata and risotto all appearing on the starters menu. You needn’t think about it too much – ordering a starter here is a rookie mistake as the portions are huge.
Skip it instead and head straight for the strongly American-influenced mains. USDA steaks dominate the meat selection (although Scottish beef and Wagyu are also available) but where this restaurant really excels is with the lobster selection. Lobster has become quite the thing in London in recent months but this is one of the few places where you can get genuine Maine lobsters – widely regarded as the best available. And they are amazing. A whole grilled Maine lobster with garlic butter is hardly cheap at £39 but it is incredible. Be careful with the side dishes as the lobster is huge and filling on its own – a side of chips and a salad is more than enough. Plump, sweet and gloriously messy, you’ll soon forget your table manners as you get cracking with the lobster pliers. If you have a very big appetite then you can try and cram in the surf ‘n’ turf (half lobster with a 6oz USDA steak), but it resembles something out of Man Vs Food and is not for the faint-hearted. And for £40 it’s an expensive mistake to make when you realise that very few people could manage that much food.
There’s a fantastic wine menu available, catering for those just after something cheap, all the way through to the connoisseur. However, it’s crazy to ignore the fact that this place has an adjoining Martini bar and not opt for a cocktail. If you want to forego the dessert but enjoy sweetness at the end of a filling dinner then choose the Nutella Martini. Made with Nutella, vanilla vodka, crème de cacao, cream and shaved chocolate, it’s not cheap at £10 but it’s wonderfully decadent, sickeningly sweet and luxuriously creamy. It will make you want to die afterwards but it’s oh-so-worth it. Just get ready to roll yourself home afterward.
The Last Word
Christopher’s Grill is a fantastic restaurant that gets the balance right between big portions, quality ingredients and an upmarket ambience. Take people who like the finer things in life but are fed up of piddling Michelin faff.