Back in February, we celebrated one of my best friends birthdays the only way it was acceptable - with a huge, juicy steak. Barts Grill in Reading has a great word of mouth reputation as having incredible steaks - so we decided to go ahead and test it out.
Barts Grill is quite central in Reading, but it's not within the main shopping area so you do have to do a little bit of navigation to get there. When we arrived, the staff were very friendly and accommodating - which sets the scene for the evening. Atmosphere is intimate and cosy, without feeling too cramped - even though it got pretty busy towards the end of the evening.
For starters we ordered a mozzarella and tomato stack, and the grilled calamari - which were both extremely enjoyable. The stack was pretty big - with a juicy buffalo tomato and mozzarella drizzled in olive oil, balsamic glaze and pesto.
The grilled calamari were delicious and soft, served with chilli, salt and and a garlic dip. Sometimes calamari is so disappointing when it's all chewy and crispy - but this plate was full of heavenly delicate goodness.... YUM.
When it came to mains, the decision was unanimous - steak! We all had the fillet steak which comes with three sides that range from fries to rice, cauliflower to rocket salad and a selection of sauces. A knob of melting garlic butter is on top of the steak when it arrives, and it oozes down melting on the meat just before you cut your first slice.
The steaks were cooked to perfection - I can not tolerate a well done steak, and will only ever have medium if I'm in doubt of the quality of the meat; other than that it's always rare - and in very good places, it's blue. This was rare on the blue side and it was perfect - exactly how I wanted it done. There is nothing more disappointing than a rare steak that is actually in reality medium to well done.
When the deserts came out, they were really delicious but I think it was honestly a case of our eyes were way too big for our stomachs. The waiters have even clocked on to the fact that it was Mickey's birthday and brought her dessert out with a massive sparkler! It was so lovely of them - and their attitudes definitely added to the atmosphere. Deserts range from a trio of ice creams, to sticky toffee pudding and NY style cheesecake.
What I didn't mention is that Barts Grill actually have a steak challenge - a 20oz rump steak served with two starchy sides, two vegetable sides and a sauce. If you win the challenge, you get a winners t-shirt and a free drink! However tempting, we just couldn't do it on a three meal course - but I am willing to go back and take on the meat!