Back in London last week we headed west to The Palm in Belgravia for a low-key evening meal.
With restaurants in more than 25 cities in the States, The Palm is a top-end neighbourhood joint and a big deal over the pond. In fact, The Palm is a genuine (or more accurately, genu-wine) all-American institution; think USDA Prime steaks, shrimp cocktail, creamed spinach, white tablecloths and waiting staff who actually remember your name. Established in New York in 1926 by Italian immigrants, the menu is also studded with some Italian classics such as Veal Parmigiana and Chicken Piccata.
We started at the bar and, bourbon and soda in hand, were soon fully in character, y’all. Appetizers on our side of the table were jumbo crab cakes with chipotle tartar sauce, and sesame seared tuna with seaweed salad and pickled ginger. We followed with a monstrous surf ‘n turf that matched a 9oz filet mignon (fill-ay min-yone) with half a Nova Scotia lobster, plus parmesan fries and a trio of steak sauces.
The quality of the ingredients was generally pretty good, the portions huge, and nothing went to waste. So retro, so good. The wine list tells you something about The Palm: a carefully balanced marriage of the best of Italy and the US. Much like those intrepid restaurateurs back in the twenties, we opted for the new world and our choice – a west coast Zinfandel – was just the ticket.
Afterwards, sitting at the bar, we got chatting to a couple of the staff. Hours later we embraced like old friends and promised to come back very soon. We meant it.
Cost of meal (with 2 bottles of wine):
£100 per person
7 out of 10 – Simple US fare, perfectly executed
7 out of 10 – Cosy and relaxed. A place you could loosen your belt
8 out of 10 – The kind of service that you only get in the States (until now)
7 out of 10
Summary in seven:
One for old friends, not first dates
The Palm London
1 Pont St, London, Greater London SW1X 9EJ
Tel: 020 7201 0710
The Palm London has since closed. GT recommends visiting their flagship restaurant on 837 Second Avenue, New York to experience the Palm’s renowned hospitality.