Just a handful of years after dumping all of their tea, our relationship with the British is a bit less strained. We’ve significantly warmed to our British imports since then. Perhaps to the point of treason. Daniel Kaluuya? Absolutely. The Great British Bake Off? Haven’t picked up our Xanax prescription since.
Hawksmoor is another British import we’re fully embracing, and not just because we like its accent. This steakhouse has been a London institution for long enough (with enough locations) to have lost some of its intrigue on the other side of the Atlantic, but we say keep the sticky toffee pudding coming. Choose Hawksmoor when you’re in the mood to eat rich British food somewhere that isn’t a Disneyland recreation of an English pub with soggy fish and chips.
photo credit: Emily Schindler
The steaks here are unique in that they’re grilled over charcoal—and they're solid, but a bit inconsistent. We’ve had tough or barely seasoned cuts, as well as perfect filets neatly sliced in cast iron pans. But you're at a steakhouse, so get a steak. They do their best work with the filet mignon, and the rump steak is another reliable option if you don't want to spend too much.
Choose a steak to share with one other person, then find whatever sounds the most like it came out of Downton Abbey, and order that too. Potted beef might not seem like the pinnacle of fine dining, but the version at Hawksmoor gets its mojo from sitting with a healthy amount of fatty bacon. Slather it onto the Yorkshire puddings, perfectly crispy on the outside, then top everything off with onion gravy and try to coax the recipe out of the kitchen. The slab of Old Spot pork belly you can cut like butter is also one of the best dishes here—smartly paired with a vinegary slaw to cut through the richness—and the lamb T-bones that come as an appetizer are lovely, fabulously seasoned hunks of meat. We wish they came with a real mint sauce, a British staple, but there's enough raw mint on top to suffice.
Filling up on potted beef and pork belly might feel silly at a steakhouse, but you aren’t going to find those dishes at the same quality anywhere else in the city. You’re also not going to find a sexier environment to eat them in. Hawksmoor is all high ceilings, dark wood, and chic green leather. The ceilings say “You made partner,”’ but the lax dress code and lively bar ask “What’s this celebration really going to look like once you ditch your co-workers?” It’s a casual, playful room fitting for when you order the Atlas carrots and receive comically large and otherworldly orange beasts that look plucked out of an old fairytale.
New York will never fully be able to claim Hawksmoor as its own steak institution. Which is fine, because steak-wise, the British aren’t going to get the best of New York. (Can’t say the same about all those British actors stealing our roles.) But it’s worth being a turncoat for the night for a seat at the bar and that sticky toffee pudding.
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The filet is our favorite cut of steak here. It's tender and buttery with a nice char from the grill.
Elysian Fields Lamb T-bones
These lamb T-bones melt in your mouth, and the seasoning is just right (herby and mild with added salt from the capers and jus). We’re pleased that Hawksmoor incorporated some sharp mint even without the classic sauce.
Potted Beef & Bacon
The potted beef has a gelatinous layer of butter on top and comes with two egg-y Yorkshire puddings and an amazing onion gravy. Order it.
Old Spot Pork Belly
It's hard to find fault with any piece of fatty pork, but this one has an especially good sweet and savory glaze that goes great with the slaw.
Beef Fat Fries
Shiny, salty, and fried in beef fat like the ones at McDonald's used to be back in the day, these fries have all of the impressive crispiness the ones at the fake pubs in Midtown are missing.
The creamed spinach is basically as dense as an egg custard, but it somehow manages to bring a lot flavor out of the spinach instead of relying solely on the richness of cream (although there is plenty of cream).
Hawksmoor is an excellent spot for a surf and turf dinner. The half lobster is a good deal, but it's pretty standard, so get these scallops as well. They’re one of the best dishes on the menu.
Roasted Bone Marrow
This restaurant is big on bone marrow. It’s in the peppercorn gravy steak sauce and on the charcoal-roasted oysters, and you can order huge chunks of it as a side. But the amount you get as a side is just unnecessary, and the jammy onions on top take away from the marrow flavor.
These carrots are comically large and have a distinctly English vinegar-mustard dressing. We’d choose them over the charcoal-roasted carrots on the menu every time.
photo credit: Emily Schindler
Every steakhouse needs a good martini. The lemon oil in this one gives it some style the Monopoly men at a classic New York steakhouse could never pull off.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Hawksmoor is the rare restaurant we’d go to just for dessert and a drink at the bar. All of the desserts are very good, but we're here for their signature one, the sticky toffee pudding.