It’s nearly that time of year again where men across the globe dig out the firelighters and don an apron to provide burnt cuts of meat to family and friends.
But there may now be a competitor to everyone’s favourite primal culinary experience, and without the burnt food.
The Stone Grill caught my attention on social media shortly after opening last year, mainly due to it’s unusual angle - you cook your own steak, at the table, on a stone!
This was clearly not child friendly with the restaurant itself warning on its website that under 14s are not allowed, so we had to wait until this year before a child free evening presented itself.
Attached to the North Ocean Hotel along Blackpool promenade you could easily miss the Stone Grill, fortunately our friends had visited before and knew there was some limited parking at the front which was still available.
We had booked a table for 5.30pm and were one of the first diners to arrive, but the restaurant quickly filled during our time there which was slightly unexpected on a week night.
The friendly staff greeted our group at the door and before we had chance to take in the feel of the place we were seated with a drink and serenaded by an eclectic choice of songs playing in the background, including Simon & Garfunkel’s Scarborough Fair and Michael Jackson’s Beat it which were a source of much conversation and amusement for my group of friends.
Nervously we browsed the menu trying to figure out what would arrive cooked and what we would be cooking ourselves, which fortunately was marked on the menu along with a good selection of other pre-cooked dishes much to our relief.
I ordered the pate (£4.25) to start with my wife choosing the breaded mushrooms (£3.95), for main the special 8oz wild boar steak (£16.95) was for me too good to resist, while my wife went for one of her favourite cuts, the 14oz ribeye (£17.95).
My wife enjoyed the breaded mushrooms which were really crisp.
My wife enjoyed her mushroom starter, however, the pate to toast ratio wasn’t right for mine, with two huge chunks of pate arriving and only one piece of bread.
Starters done it was time to get nervous again as our raw steaks arrived on huge wooden platters, with a basket of chips, a small plate of salad, three small dishes containing salt, pepper and garlic butter, and of course the meat sizzling away on the stone.
Having never cooked a steak on a stone before we needed a little instruction from the efficient staff who helpfully advised that we cut the steak into small slices and cook them individually.
As awkward as this proved to be, it was still quite entertaining, although we were told that those who preferred a well done steak would have no problem cooking on the stone, which wasn’t the case.
The steaks themselves were clearly great cuts of meat, the wild boar was beautifully tender and the rib eye was a generous size if a little too fatty for my wife’s taste.
A shared Banoffee Pie (£3.95) completed what was a very pleasant and unusual meal.
The total bill came to £61.95.
The Stone Grill certainly seems popular and is novel enough that I would go again with friends, I’m just not sure I would visit all that regularly when I can have my steak cooked for me at half the price down my local pub.
My star ratings out of five: