Early reservations is something I do so regularly that there is a good proposition I’m going to have a smooth transition into my older years. Normally it is to secure a booking or have time to go out later. This time I’m second guessing myself as we walk through a pumping bar area and front dining room to an almost completely empty room at the back.
The four of us sit down and by the time we’ve ordered some drinks and are having a chat reading the menu, the back dining room at Saxon + Parole is pretty much full and the second guessing is gone. It seems the airconditioning is either on (freezing) or off (okay) rather than temperature controlled, but that will be my one and only criticism of the entire evening. Food, wine, service, and company, could not have been better for our catch up and celebration with friends.
The menu is focussed on meat options for entrée and several modern starters that can be easily shared, including an impressive list of oysters. That is what takes my fancy and I try two sets of three from different places on the East Coast that produce smaller, more flavoursome, and less creamy varieties. They are so good I forget to even once try the vinegar, lemon or chilli accompaniments. The others try tuna tartare and grilled octopus which is definitely enjoyed.
There is an option for a 40 ounce rib eye that we all immediately want to try, so entrée is sorted. While the rib eye is $140, it comes with several sides of potatoes, salad, mushrooms and a rich bone marrow béarnaise. The rib eye, cooked medium rare, and chargrilled perfectly, just tasted incredible. Add some of the béarnaise and the flavour was turned up a further notch. It was serious steak heaven. Even greater a match was a ripper of a Chianti by Pacina, which had the earthy nose I love, leading to savoury, tobacco notes and a fine but rich berry, lingering on the palate.
Carrot cake is something I’ve rarely had for dessert outside of family get togethers at relatives houses as a child. Just like me, the carrot cake at S+P is all grown up! Absolutely divine is the best way I can think to describe it. Even Alana who doesn’t really eat dessert, thought it was amazing. Georg ordered the deconstructed cheese cake, which was tasty, but we expected something completely different.
It was one of those meals that had highlights that you do not forget quickly. When I hear ribeye and carrot cake I’m sure I’ll think of Saxon + Parole in years to come.