Sometimes the simplest of meals is the hardest to get right.
Take steak as a good example. In theory season, grill and serve isn’t hard but the meat’s got to be right and, for me at least, it’s got be rare.
When it says Steak House over the door there’s an extra pressure to get things right – an expectation things are going to be a cut above.
A hidden gem, the Village Steak House in Knott End does dining the right way – no gimmicks, no fancy decor and no nonsense.
Booking a table for six, even on a Tuesday night, proved a grand plan as by 6.30pm the downstairs dining room was packed – always a good sign, particularly as there seemed to be plenty of repeat custom.
The best soundtrack to any meal is the buzz of fellow diners and, to my delight, at the Steak House there’s no pop music soundtrack to make conversation difficult.
The welcome was warm and the service spot on – not too fussy, not too clinical but there when needed.
With a drinks order swiftly delivered there was time to peruse the ample menu –a mixture of grills, family favourites and restaurant classics.
There’s plenty of home prepared choices and as a starter
I plumped for roasted pepper and tomato soup. It proved a most satisfying choice, packed with flavour and just the right amount of heat.
The battered garlic mushrooms and finger-licking sticky ribs being enjoyed opposite went down equally well.
While some in our party opted to order from the extensive early bird selection (£11.95 for three courses) I decided to go a la carte and there really was only one choice.
£15.95 for a 16oz Scottish ribeye seemed a real bargain, particularly as it came with a choice of potato and veg – sauces an extra couple of quid.
Rare I asked for and rare I got. The meat was cooked to perfection with no scorching and a good bit of tasty marbling to boot. It was, without doubt, the best steak I’ve had on the Fylde coast.
Plentiful chips (crisp and freshly cut) and a selection of fresh vegetables to share (there’s side salads if you prefer) were squeezed onto the table. It was more than enough to accompany our party’s choices of surf and turf (one of the range of specials) peppered chicken, a hearty mixed grill and sausages for the little one.
A very drinkable and equally affordable bottle of house red proved the ideal accompaniment to the mains. Those after something a little more special (and looking to shell out a little more) will be spoiled for choice by a wine list almost as extensive as the menu.
Even as the restaurant filled, with new arrivals being taken to the additional seating upstairs, service remained attentive and the desert menus were soon distributed.
Again, classic, no-nonsense choices, including a delicious Peach Melba and boozy Bailey’s ice cream.
That should really say Bailey’s and Ice Cream - a generous portion of the cold stuff drenched in liqueur - simple but oh so terribly indulgent.
There was no room left in any of us for coffee, The only appetite left in anyone is for a brief stroll down the Esplanade to enjoy the lakeland views.
Big portions, big flavours and big smiles are the order of the day at this village favourite. And with a bill for six coming in at just over £120, value is high on the menu too.
The Village Steak House proves simple food cooked well is a recipe for success. Take an evening drive out to Knott End and find out for yourself.