By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor
If I’m honest I have never seen an episode of Sex and City, but the idea of the glamour and glitz of dining and drinking in Manhattan does appeal, but I guess it does for almost everyone.
Well, The Avenue restaurant on St James’s Street, just off of Piccadilly offers just that. The building looks the part, to be fair it already did, as it was originally designed by American architect Rick Mather in 1996. It has now been transformed by Russell Sage to give the fully blown New York look, modern art, chandeliers and mirrored walls. A feast for the eyes, well for all the senses, as it is so loud.
We arrived on an empty Tuesday evening, after a bank holiday, so re-creating the buzz of Greenwich Village was always going to be a struggle. However, the bar manager did his best and offered us a great cocktail to start and chatting through the interesting drinks menu.
We were then taken to our table and our sommelier brought us a selection of American Wines to complement our meals. He was insanely knowledgeable of Wine and even the personality of the owners of the vineyard. I assume it was all true, even if it wasn’t they were great stories to listen to.
We drank Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, a Pinot Noir from the same place, a Zinfandel from the Appalachian’s and others I was too inebriated to remember.
I started with the Yellow Fin Tuna, Avocado with Citrus-Soy dressing and Mrs TLE went for the pulled smoked Chicken Tacos with chargrilled Orange and Avocado Salsa. My starter was light and zingy and the Tacos were devoured with ease.
For mains I went for a 300g Rib-Eye Steak and Lamb Cutlets for my partner. Our sides were French Fries and spring Greens, Chilli and Garlic and Macaroni Cheese. It was as expected, high-end city cuisine with large portions, which left us both stuffed. The Steak was cooked medium-rare and arrived as I requested, which happens a lot less than you would expect in high-end eateries. Mrs TLE’s Cutlets were numerous and succulent, and I helped myself to quite of lot of her meal as well.
Even through the on-coming food coma, we managed to share a Chocolate Brownie with Salted Caramel Popcorn and washed down with an exquisite Dessert Wine, from let’s just say somewhere in America.
The meal wasn’t cheap, but I never saw Carrie and Mr Big worry about money, ok maybe I did watch the show a few times.
Avenue can be found at 7-9 St James’s Street London SW1A 1EE