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Lexington Grill, Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah

Fine Dining New York Style

The brightly lit sight of the Waldorf Astoria is enough to wow anyone and flickers in the distance over the rolling sand dunes as you drive into the emerging gem of Ras Al Khaimah along the 311. The opulence of the Waldorf is plain to see as you pull up, with numerous of staff ready to assist you is more akin to a presidential entourage than a hotel reception. The Lexington Grill experience really starts as you walk in to the softly lit, leather and wood adorned bar that sharply contrasts the very bright and clinical feel of the Waldorf entrance.

The Lexington experience is like stepping back in time, to an era when opulence and indulgence were a little more subdued. The old adage of ‘money talks but wealth whispers’ says it all about the Lexington in comparison to many of the UAE’s eateries. The old world charm welcomes you as you walk into the extravagant American steakhouse but I am not talking about ‘American’ chain with diner style eating, this is a fusion of 30’s New York gentleman’s club and upscale restaurant but luckily with no sign of prohibition or an Al Capone shoot out. Leaving behind the bright Waldorf lobby area and into a softly lit bar which is deceptive in size, as it wraps around a full 180 degrees and leads on to a lovely terrace that takes in the views.

The New York style gentleman’s club is carried off with dark wood and soft leather lifted straight from a classic car. The bar seats cosset ones posterior with such affection that I could have forgotten to ever go and eat, although that could also be something to do with the signature cocktails…. Thankfully the chef sent through a plate of truly exceptional, melt in the mouth, 12 hour slow cooked ribs. If the Lexington only did cocktails and slow cooked ribs as its menu, I would still highly recommend you go, they really are that good! The signature ‘Monroe’ cocktail was recommended and worked perfectly with the tender ribs, it’s soft, smoky applewood notes added via the rather natty use of a smoke gun and decanter certainly enhance the ribs. My only suggestion would be to order the second as the first one arrives as they are extremely easy to drink… and the whole process of making the cocktail is entertainment in itself.

The attention to detail is excellent with a clear identity that ruins like a vein through the restaurant, the menu is relatively short but well balanced and covers all tastes and budgets. Even the fact that it is a steakhouse there is still a great option for vegetarians.

Once seated in our booth the attentive waiter served us with Fois Grais and Raspberry Coolis as we browsed the menu, not always on my ‘must haves’ on a restaurant menu but a nod from the chef of his intentions and the direction the Lexingon is going. We opted for the New England Clam Chowder and the Tomato & Burrata. The Chowder was hearty but not heavy and was certainly a match for the Chowders I’ve eaten in San Francisco. The soft unusual texture of the burrata teamed together with the freshest tomato salad made for a great combination.

Once our meals had been selected the experienced in-house sommelier introduced himself to give his expertise on wines we should choose to partner our meals. The Lexington houses over 350 different wines from all four corners of the globe in its temperature controlled cellar.

For main course we chose the Line Caught Sea Bass with a side of steamed vegetables and the U.S Dry Aged ‘Great Plains’ Certified Black Angus Beef aged 4 weeks Rib Eye Steak with the hand cut fries as a side. The Sea Bass was beautifully cooked and tasted extremely fresh, the portion size was very generous but far too good to resist. The Rib Eye Steak was cooked to perfection and extremely succulent, the hollandaise sauce was recommended to enhance the steak, there is a great choice of sauces however the steaks natural flavour is also great on its own. As enjoyable as it is to choose your cut of steak, its age and how it will be cooked it is even more special to be given the option of how you will cut your steak… The waiter came out with a tray of steak knives that any knife enthusiast would get rather excited about, the options were American, Italian and Japanese steel to name but a few. Needless to say the meat was so tender such a knife was hardly required.

The dessert options covered all the bases from indulgent to the sensible and as such we went for both ends of the spectrum with the Cheesecake and seasoned fruit with sorbet. The Cheesecake was beautifully soft and full of flavour that only comes from the very best and rich ingredients, I could almost feel my waist line expanding with my every mouthful but it didn’t stop me finishing it! The sorbet was beautifully refreshing and takes away the full feeling that is inevitable from eating at the Lexington, the food is really that good.

This place is a must!

Special Mention:

Chef Lij Heron is the Chef de Cuisine of the Lexington. Chef Lij has recently received the Pro Chef Award for “Best Meat Chef” in Dubai and is currently a finalist in another award, the BBC GoodFood Middle East Award.

Details

For Reservations, call: +971 (0)7 203 5555 or Email:                     rasalkhaimah.info@waldorfastoria.com