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Monday, 30 April 2012

Steak at Mickey Lavins (now closed)

Since the demise of Cattlemans on the Triangle, the boys in our group have not found a suitable place to eat ridiculous amounts of steak. Jamie suggested going to Mickey Lavins, on Denmark Street, on Friday evening to try out their steak. Mickey Lavins is run by some of the people involved with Cattlemans, if you go to the old Cattlemans website they point you straight to the Irish pub and give it their seal of approval as the only steak house in Bristol. I pass this pub almost every evening on my walk home and the fleeting glances I have given it have not given me much hope of it being a provider of delicious steak. Mickey Lavins' website claims you can order whatever size steak you want so Jamie booked a table for 6 and we were required to state our upcoming steak size desires. Our group's ranged from a 14oz rib eye to 24oz t-bones.

This evening definitely goes down in history as my strangest dining experience yet. Upon arrival on the allotted day we hovered in the doorway noticing that there was a cheesy disco experience in full swing and a busy bar. With trepidation we headed on in to the party atmosphere and into the back room where the restaurant area was. We were the only diners and with Studio 54 in view 5 metres away it was understandable why. Once we had fetched drinks from the bar, the boys labelled the beer as seemingly watered down, the staff took the particulars of our steaks and sauces. Medium rare 14oz rib eye for me, obviously a lady like amount of steak. Depending on the quality of the meat I will sometimes go for rare if I know the meat to be exceptionally good but as I wasn't sure what we would be getting I stuck to my default cooking time.
Rib Eye Steak House Bristol
14oz Rib Eye Steak
16oz Rib Eye Steak Bristol
Rich's16oz Rib Eye Steak
On the plus side we weren't waiting too long for our meals What was brought to us looked, the steak in particular, fairly appetising.The steak itself actually surprised me in flavour. The meat was cooked how I ordered and tasted very fresh. The boys who ordered the 24oz t-bones were less lucky as they were unevenly cooked one half being rare the other being practically blue. However nearly everyone found a patch of tough fatty meat, I was lucky that I didn't. The chips were a disappointment as well they were very soft and almost stale tasting. Even though we all got very generous portions on our plates the staff also brought a huge bowl of extra chips on the house. We were also told that they had run out of barbecue sauce and then rather unfeasibly, ketchup. Who runs out of ketchup? It is the most popular marriage with chips, although I am normally a mayonnaise or salad cream type of girl myself.

The steaks all came with a sauce of your choice either creamy peppercorn, mixed peppercorn, barbecue, now off the menu, sweet chilli and stilton. There was no point to having two peppercorn choices, the creamy peppercorn you could barely taste any pepper. The mixed peppercorn was more like the tradition traditional peppercorn sauce that accompanies steak. The stilton sauce was very bland, if there was any blue cheese in it, I would have been surprised.
Mickey Lavins Steak Bristol
16oz Steak
Although I was pleasantly surprised by my meal in parts the main problem was the atmosphere. 8pm on a Friday night and it was like eating at a club. Either they start the DJ at the decks later or close the restaurant early on Friday and Saturday nights, no one wants to have to talk over a certain level over dinner. The staff disappeared once our food was brought so getting the bill meant going on a hunt for someone out of the restaurant. The pricing also seems slightly out of alignment the main menu offers a 12oz rib eye for £14.95, I added an extra 2oz and that rocketed the price up by £6, especially when they offer a 18oz t-bone for £18.95, where is the logic in that?

We probably would not return to Mickey Lavins but it might be better visited during the day or a week night when the atmosphere is less night life ish. For a choice in such big cuts of steak there isn't anywhere else in Bristol that I can think of you could visit, however for quality and better atmosphere there are at least 3-4 places I've had a much better steak. Nothing has yet to beat Hudson's Bar and Grill in Bath for my steak perfection but I am willing to keep looking. Check the menu for Mickey Lavins here but for a perfect and more sophisticated steak experience at Hudson's go here.


  1. RIP Cattlemans :(

    Been quite enjoying the steak platter at the Cowshed recently, but a few good alternative steak suggestions here - will have to try that one in Bath!

  2. Yeah the Cowshed is decent, definitely go to Hudson's best tasting steak we've ever had! Gotta love steak!