11th July 2013
Last night I went for dinner at a new restaurant, and I left feeling absolutely certain that I would return.
The Lockhart serves upmarket US Southwestern food and has taken a calm, gentrified approach to the ambience and flavours. There’s no tacky tourist Tex-Mex here; the décor is a soothing palette of white walls, exposed brick and thoughtful, quirky features.
I made my way towards Marble Arch from Edgware Road, and with the weather still being lovely, I found H sitting at one of the tables outside.
We had lots to catch up on, and managed to successfully be those annoying customers who don’t read their menus. We did however quickly wolf down the scrumptious baked jalapeño and cheddar scones that were brought out.
The side plates are charming old fashioned china, each with different patterns.
Having lived for some years in Texas, I have a serious soft spot for this type of food and I was definitely a bit overexcited at what was on offer. Nachos, tortilla soup, enchiladas – the favourites are all there, but the plates coming out of the kitchen looked healthy, fresh and beautifully presented. Forget that bright orange cheese...
By the time we were ready to order and our very patient waiter had answered all our questions, it was getting a little chilly and we migrated inside (typical Brits!).
But not before the man at the next table had informed us that the chicken wings were ‘as good as crack’…now there’s a review!
The tables and floorboards are polished wood, the napkins are linen and there are tea lights dotted around.
Look at the ceiling…
I ordered a Strawberry Fields cocktail – vodka, fresh lime juice, strawberry, cucumber, basil and black pepper. There are some deadly sounding tequila cocktails on the list – if only it wasn’t mid week!
We started with some ‘crab hush puppies’ which came with cajun dipping sauce. These are breaded balls of brown and white crab (one of my greatest weaknesses) and they are actually miniature bites of crabby heaven. (Not sure if that reads right, but I’m gonna go with it).
For main course, I had one of the sharing boards – how could I resist the combination of lobster and nachos? Also, why have I never thought of the combination of lobster and nachos?
So here it is – Dunny’s lobster nachos: native poached lobster, crisp tortillas, piquant pepper salsa, house smoked mozzarella, dorset cheddar, and fresh guacamole.
I was a bit worried at first that I wouldn’t get full up, but these nachos are packing some serious stuff. Each one – lobster, cool sour cream, tangy salsa – I think I could live on these.
H had the seabass, which came with lobster, mexican chorizo, crayfish bouillabaisse and summer greens.
On the side (strongly ignoring the mac’n’cheese) I went for succotash, an ole Southern favourite.
It was a smoky, bacon-y mix of corn and beans and I was very pleasantly surprised.
After scraping our plates and talking a whole lot more, we popped downstairs to check out the bar.
It’s genteel take on a classic American bar, with a subtle nod to the saloon in the low lighting and wood details. There are more tables as well, which I have no doubt will be filling up fast over the weekend and coming weeks.
The Lockhart has been set up by two Texan couples who live in London. They have done a beautiful job and I would highly recommend putting it on your list to visit.
It’s my dream to help set up a restaurant like this one day…