Bar + Block Steakhouse is situated on James Street West, just a stones through away from the city’s cinema and a short walk to the main highstreet. The restaurant is focused on serving great quality hand cut steaks accessible to all, giving customers the opportunity to customise their meal. With a large menu offering a wide range of dishes it is guaranteed to appeal both those “light-meal” customers and “hearty-meal” meat lovers.
We welcomed in by their super friendly waitress who walked us through the restaurant which is decked out with wood and leather, making it feel a warm and welcoming. We were seated on one of their sofa bench seating areas where we could glance across to their open fronted kitchen.
Starting with drinks we choose one alcoholic and one non-alcoholic drink (forgot to tell mum not to drive, damn it!) BUT it was great to try both sides of the drinks menu. I usually find that testing a mocktail is a good way to see if they’ve thought about the flavours of a mocktail or have just decided to take the spirit out and not given it much thought. I chose their NEW Rhubarb Gin Fizz cocktail (Warner Edwards Rhubarb Gin shaken with lemon juice and topped with prosecco) and my mum chose the Mitango (their take on a Virgin Mojito) …and I’m please to say both were DIVINE – yes both! I ended up asking my mum if I could keep “trying” her drink as it was so refreshing and full of flavour. (Hurray! They passed my mocktail test 😉)
Whilst sipping on our cocktails and choosing our courses we were given beef drippling popcorn. I know… doesn’t sound that appertising at first BUT don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! I couldn’t stop eating it – a warm pot of popcorn dusted with beef drippling powder. It was really nice to have something to tickle your taste buds while choosing your food and really gets you in the mood for some high quality beef.
The menu is large with options of steaks, salads, grilled meats, handmade burgers, fish and a selection of indulgent sharing plates and nibbles to choose from.
(I have my eye on the Mac & Cheese bites and Crispy Gnocchi Bites for next time)
Their main focus is on cooking classic cuts of steak from British breeds of cattle reared across the Pampas in South America. The meat is hand cut on site and customised to the customers tastes.
With a great selection of Grazing Plates to choose from we decided to try the Pulled Beef Croquettes and the Chargrilled Vegetables & Houmous – both new starters on the menu.
The croquettes were delicious, the rich slow cooked beef marinated in rich port, black treacle and bone marrow sauce and dipped into the lemon and garlic mayo was very indulgent for a starter. The only downside it that I could have eaten all the three croquettes to myself and not shared with my mum (Tip to remember for next time!). The chargrilled vegetables with houmous was a nice counter balance with the rich croquettes.
I chose the NEW Deconstructed Beef Wellington, not something I would usually eat in the summer however it didn’t look like the usual Autumn/Winter classic.
I really enjoyed this dish, loving the fact that there was a perfect amount of rich Malbec sauce on the side. I had my 10oz beef cooked medium however due to the size of the meat and the style of dish the meat was more medium to well done – maybe due to the meat being sliced after, however it still tasted good to me. Accompanied with vegetables and light layers of puff pastry filled with garlic spinach and creamy truffle flavoured mushrooms it was a great restyling of a traditional classic – making it lighter and easier to eat in the summer months.
My mum chose the NEW Sea Bass Fillets, cooked over charcoal with garlic, lemon and thyme, served with sprouting broccoli, baby capers, chilli and cherry tomatoes. Obviously, I had to try a bit and I was really happy to see that even though they specialise in more beef/meat dishes, this dish was deliciously cooked.
NOW THE FINALE
I didn’t think we could eat anymore but one of their desserts was calling my name since it was something I used to make A LOT when I was little – Lemon and Clementine Cheesecake, drizzled with summer berries.
Now maybe it’s because I have a major sweet tooth but the dessert was the course that stood out for me. I think if someone asked me what course would I have again straight away it would have to be this one!
(Can you tell how big my sweet tooth is?!)
Overall I was impressed by the welcoming and efficient the staff, the stylish décor which is spot on for a modern steakhouse, the price range and wide range of options on the menu. This place is great if you are visiting with a group of friends – there’s something for everyone.
Thank you very much to Bar + Block for inviting me to review their NEW summer menu, it was great to finally visit and enjoy a B+B feast!
Bar + Block
4 James St W, Bath BA1 2BX