If STK was a person it would be that high maintenance girl from uni who, although grating after an hour, you would happily empty your NatWest account for, just for the chance to take her to dinner. She’s polished, slick and surprisingly easy after a tipple, persuading you to forget every meaty characteristic you looked for in a girl and just settle on plain fit.
Well, STK, I don’t care what you’re like deep down, I fancy the heck out of you. Get over the ‘Not your Daddy’s steakhouse’ tagline and time in your company is glitzy and megafun.
Buried in Holborn’s shiny ME Hotel, you’ll enter a room with fuck me lighting, hot as hell hostesses and music better suited to an Ibiza uber-lounge. The restaurant clientele are spruced up couples , city slicker crews and wealthy groups of friends who enjoy good food but are secretly relieved that the music drowns out the company. The entrance bar is propped up with horny bankers and airbrushed girls. And before you can catch the clichés from falling, you’ll hear yourself flirtily ordering “bubbles” or “a Dirty Martini straight up”. Lose the tie, lose the bra, get lost in the glam or get out.
The hook here is that the steaks come in petite lady portions, as well as the standard heffalumps. Unless you’re dining on the corporate card (in which case go nuts), the smaller steaks are a much better date option for both genders, price and logistics wise. If you go small, you can easily take down the insane Wagyu beef sliders and some fancypants tuna tartare to start. It also means that a side of lobster mac with your main will only look a tiny bit gluttonous. Accompany the steak with a peppercorn sauce and maybe even top with some foie gras. N-n-nasty. Drink Martinis to start, switch to red and finish with a bourbon.
Pick a hot date, warn them about the dress code and make a game of how fancy you’re gonna go. That way you can dress as shameless as you like without inciting judgements about your sense of propriety – too tight, too low, too Euro. Meet at one of the small tables near the bar – if you perch at the bar itself you’ll court the wrong sort of attention.
Begin with cocktails and polite question-heavy chatter, easing in relatively quickly and idly people watching. Once at the table, ask for recommendations and order another round. Dispel all awkwardness by making your date giggle in the first ten minutes with a observation about the hostess’s disdain towards you. It’s not true, but it’s nevertheless charming.
When booking make sure you’re in a booth and not opposite each other. This way you can artfully slide closer during the meal, play punch, accidentally brush, even make a dive for it. It also allows you to oogle the theater of the restaurant and marvel at the shamelessness of men with fat wallets. Nibble at the starters, finishing nothing. Enjoy the steaks and take the meal slow. Granted you can flirt ‘n’ sparkle but if you can also give some good chat then this will stretch out for 3-4 hours. Be the last people to leave, split the check and wander out onto the street to debate options. It would be easy to get carried away here and head on to Good Godfrey’s at The Waldorf or Radio Rooftop upstairs but buck the sexual implications (if you must) and share a cab home. Gents, give the lady some cab money and text her when you’re home. Ladies, peel yourselves out of that atrocity and wash your face right off.
Pricey and very Kardashian. A con for some, a bonus for others.
5. Oh dear God 5.