With Zoe off at pre-reunion activities, I was more than enthused to get an invitation for dinner from Matt & Cat. Based on Matt's tweet to me, he seemed to know my weakness:
I have promise of awesome steak early eve tomorrow if yr interested -come on what more can we offer?
Nothing Matt, not a thing. I was in!
Earlier this month, Matt & Cat gave a rave view to The Bay Grill, a new restaurant in Ryde. The dynamic restaurant review duo are not ones to throw accolades around easily. They recognized The Bay Grill as an up and coming dining destination and placed its hopeful long term success on the hard work and leadership of Chef Ryan Burr.
It is from Chef Ryan the steak invitation stemmed. Per Matt & Cat, Chef Ryan claimed to have the most excellent steak for us to try and even wagered our satisfaction versus the bill. The hook had been set.
The Bay Grill has about 15 tables and sits atop a cafe which overlooks Appley Park, the beach, and the Solent. The view is incredible and the weather was absolutely perfect. We sat outside on the terrace taking it all in.
First up, the beer. The Bay Grill serves Estella Dramm in frozen goblets. Having been on a huge ale kick the last couple weeks, on a warm day, this cold Spanish lager hit the spot.
Next, the menu. Although Matt and I knew we were having steak, there were several things on the menu that caught my eye. I like to eat local. Especially on the island. The menu provided ample opportunities to do just that. Sausage, chicken, steak...it ran the gamut.
Before I get into the meal, I first offer a slight confessional: I'm a meat snob. As even the casual reader of this blog knows, I kneel at the shrine of red meat. I have also experienced, that on the whole, most English do not enjoy their meat like I do...meaning mooing several seconds before landing on my plate. At home, I have mastered the crazy task of grilling two pieces of meat, medium-rare & well done, so they come off the grill at the same time. It truly is ying/yang grilling.
I have eaten out a lot the last two weeks, and although steak has always been on the menu, I have not ordered one thus far. Instead, it took the invitation of Matt & Cat to help me chance fate. Can I find a steak I like in England? Well gang, the answer is yes.
My first clue was when Chef Ryan suggested the steak be served medium-rare. I'm fairly certain, but I believe, somewhere, I heard angels singing.
The steak was topped with garlic butter and served with mixed greens and frites. It.was.awesome.
Chef Ryan told us the steak comes from a local Isle of White farmer and was butchered in the kitchen. He explained further how most steaks arrive in cryovac. He believes, and I agree, that there is something different about getting a whole side of beef and cutting it on premise.
The steak, the frites, the greens, the beer, the view, the company...It was all great.
Chef Ryan confess his efforts with The Bay Grill is all teamwork. There are only three people on staff. As an outsider, I think he is really on to something. The Appley Grill has location, it has great food, and it has great people. I really hope it does well so I can make a return trip on our way back to the island. My thanks to Matt & Cat and Chef Ryan for the invite. I had a great time and hope to be back soon.