The latest venue for my monthly girls' brunch club was the newest location of meat-centric modern American restaurant Dirty Bones. As soon as I saw the extensive and varied brunch menu, with everything from avocado on crumpets (yes!) to chicken and waffles, I knew it was our kind of place. We were only able to get a reservation for our group for 10:30 am in the new Denman Street restaurant (NB: don't confuse this branch with their 'Carnaby' location, which is also technically in Soho), but I quite enjoyed walking from the Tube through the near-deserted streets of Soho.
The restaurant's exterior is so low-key that it's easy to walk right past — two of our party did — but I rather like the minimalist design and typography. The interiors are also dark and rather sexy with exposed-brick walls, velour banquettes and low lighting.
Most of my friend ordered the Dirty Mary cocktail (£9) to start, which came with lemon and pickle juices, hot sauce and a sour cream Pringle rim. They looked great and I almost regretted my choice until my lavender martini (£9) showed up. I'm a sucker for lavender, but the lemon juice and Tanqueray gin prevented it from being too cloying. It also arrived with a dried lavender stem, which the waitress promptly set alight — my second smoking cocktail in a month. Needless to say, I was impressed. Note: if you're feeling boozier than we were, you can order a 'Boozy Brunch Flight', which allows you to order up to four drinks from a set list.
Deciding which food to order was much trickier because there were so many dishes that sounded fantastic. Crumpets are one of the Soho Dirty Bones' signature dishes and I really liked the sound of the crumpets with beef short rib. But then there were the fish tacos and the egg-dishes...and that's before I even get started on the sweet options. In the end, though, I went for the burger (£11). Not just any burger, though: the Mac Daddy is a regular steak burger topped with both pulled beef short rib and mac and cheese. A little excessive, perhaps (and reminiscent of my recent OTT burger experience in Boston), but it was an excellent choice. The burger was perfectly medium rare and the 'toppings' were also delicious. I shared some fries with one of my friends but honestly, they were somewhat surplus to the requirements (especially given that it was barely 11:00 am). My friends' dishes — which included the chicken and waffles, crumpets, spicy chicken burger and short rib hash — all got the thumbs-up too.
The dessert menu arrived and it included a peanut butter cookie cup (£6.50), which sounded amazing. My usual rule is that if a pudding involves chocolate, peanut butter and caramel, I will order it no matter how full I am, but alas, this was one time I had to break it. That just means I'll have to find an excuse to return a little later in the day when I'm more likely to manage a second course.
Dirty Bones Soho. 14 Denman Street, London, W1D 7HJ (Tube: Piccadilly Circus). Website. Twitter. Instagram.