West One’s new restaurant Anchorage introduces the flavour of East coast America
It’s all the rage in London, is the glamorous new take on surf and turf. Restaurants focusing only on lobster and steak, or crustacean and posh burger, are thriving.
Sheffield’s latest venue, Anchorage Bar and East Coast Kitchen, launched last month with a broader take on the theme. Lobster, fancy burgers and New York steak cuts are the highlights of a menu which also includes American meatballs, New England chowder, Maryland crab cakes and pork ribs.
It’s at what was Fitzwilliam & West, which was Bar 23, in West One Plaza. We’re giddy as I love lobster and he loves meat.
We arrive early on a Saturday night to find a laid-back vibe in the bar, where folk are sipping cocktails and sharing New York-style platters.
But upstairs in the 65-seater restaurant, the much-lauded feature crustacean tank is devoid of water, let alone lobsters. The water pump broke in the first week and they are waiting for a replacement. But, fear not, lobster lovers – wee beasties come fresh from the North East.
Anchorage is the latest venue from Sheffield’s Rootstock Trading Company, who run The Harley, The Wick at Both Ends and the Tramlines Festival. Wick head chef Tom Aronica is also at Anchorage. He trained under renowned chef Mark Hix in London and has been on a charcuterie course at Welbeck School of Food near Worksop to learn how to cure his own deli meats.
I like the look of the restaurant – it’s urban cool meets pretty. The concrete floor has been buffed to a leathery finish, one glass wall gives a view over the plaza and there’s a bar bristling with American bourbons and bottled craft beers. Peach leather circular booths add glamour while natural wood fittings ooze industrial chic.
Starters were very good. A £4.50 chowder was swimming with clams and thankfully less thick than the New England style, though accompanying bread was not the promised rye. The £6 hand-cured pork shoulder with fennel-infused shavings of beetroot, watercress and devilled eggs was a clever mix of texture and flavour, but presentation was lacking.
Not so the succulent 1lb lobster, £25. Split in two and with a bowl of hot, herb and garlic-laced butter, a tin bucket of skinny fries plus slaw, it looked stunning. A few minutes with claw crackers and pick turned it – and me – into a buttery mess. Bliss. The Husband’s £12 Flat Iron steak, an 8oz triangle of shoulder marinated to tender in garlic and rosemary, served rare with the same accompaniments as me, was superb value. But again, the plate could have looked better.
Homely desserts include a fabulously nutty, sticky pecan pie and a lattice-topped blueberry tart, £5.50 each. Both were like me – just sweet enough. With a beer, two glasses of wine and a £5.50 prosecco, the bill was £78.
Address: West One Plaza, Fitzwilliam Street, S1 4JB. Tel: 0114 327 7143
My star ratings out of six