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The Bountiful Cow (London)

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51 Eagle Street, London, WC1R 4AP, Tel. 020 7404 0200

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      13.03.2009 18:51
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      Come worship at the alter of Beef!!

      The Bountiful Cow is a bit of an odd restaurant and one I would never have come across had it not been on the Toptable list of places to redeem your points for a free meal. Situated somewhat off the beaten track on Eagle Street, just off Red Lion Square in Holborn, it looks like a pretty average pub from the outside, not to mention a little bit on the tacky side with it's neon lighting. However, once you step inside it has a cosy, quirky, American diner/gastropub type atmosphere and is something of a hidden gem.

      The owners of the restaurant are Roxy Beaujolais (fabulous name!) and her architect husband Nathan Silver, and they have created a funky gastro pub devoted entirely to the celebration of all things beef. Serving up huge portions of steak, including ribeye, sirloin, filet and t-bone, or massive hamburgers, it's a haven for anyone who loves their meat.

      There are two levels to the restaurant and you enter on the ground floor (the upper floor). The upstairs is quite small and is done out in lots of wood and leather banquettes with the bar at the back, giving a laid back, buzzy, casual dining type feel with jazz playing in the background. We went to the bar to locate our booking and were shown downstairs to our table. The downstairs tends to be a bit quieter but does have a live jazz band which plays on Saturday nights and is also home to the open kitchen. The walls are covered in retro posters, all of which have some kind of link to beef - lots of quirky looking cartoon cows, cowboys, film posters featuring cows. It all gives a nice cosy feel and not at all pretentious as so many gastro pubs can be.

      The menu is simple but there is plenty to choose from (although unsurprisingly if you don't like beef you may be a bit more limited!) Starters include rillettes of duck with toast, lemony greek salad, tomato mozzarella and basil salad, smoked salmon with bread, or pate with toast. For your main, as well as the various cuts of steak, you can have a 14oz Bounty Burger (with no extra charge for an extra topping, choosing from cheddar, an egg, or bacon, or Rump of Lamb Steak, Orzotto (barely risotto), a Club Sandwich with chicken and pancetta, a Steak Sandwhich, Sausage and Mash, Herring and Potato salad, or Welsh Rarebit, so there is choice for non-meat eaters, but why you would come to a place like this and not opt for the beef is beyond me! They serve a good range of imported beers, and a reasonable wine list.

      When dining with the toptable rewards menu your choices are limited but not too badly - there's still plenty to choose from. I chose the duck rillettes with toast to start and the Bounty Burger to follow, boyfriend went for greek salad and the steak sandwhich. One thing The Bountiful Cow certainly don't skimp on is portion size - even the starters are huge! The duck rillettes were delicious and really filling and the greek salad was lovely and light (I am one of those annoying people who always want to sample everyone else's meal!). The burger is quite simply enormous and a thing of beauty! Arriving on a massive plate, the thing itself is huge, topped with a gherkin, onion and tomato and my chosen topping of cheddar, and comes with a portion of chips which fill the rest of the plate. All main courses at The Bountiful Cow seem to present a challenge - are you man enough to finish this meal? Well, I like my food and am always up for that challenge! The burgers really are enormous and present something of a challenge as to exactly how to eat it! Being a delicate flower, I used the cocktail stick to hold the thing together and then ate around it using my knife and fork. I'd asked for my burger to be cooked medium and it was done exactly the way I like it. Chips were lovely - thinly cut and not overcooked - it's just a shame I couldn't finish them!

      I've only ever made it to dessert once at The Bountiful Cow and this was on our most recent visit and was something of a triumph! You can choose from Crème Brulee, Crème Anglais with Biscotti, Ice Cream with Coulis, or a selection of cheeses. The ice cream was the perfect finish to the meal - I always find ice cream often leaves me feeling less uncomfortably full than if I'd not had a dessert!

      Service at The Bountiful Cow has been generally good - we have visited 4 times and not had anything to complain about. It's not overly attentive, but orders are taken in good time, you're never made to feel rushed, and most importantly, you're never made to feel like a second class citizen just because you're redeeming toptable points!

      The toilets are located downstairs and have been recently refurbished (lots of swish marble) and are small but clean. No complaints from me!

      Prices are not cheap but are certainly reasonable - the bounty burger will set you back £12.50, a steak sandwich £10.50, and the sirloin steak coming in at a whopping £20.50. I've seen places in London charge far more for far smaller portions and poorer quality of meat, so in my opinion this is good value. With the toptable free meal offer though it represents fantastic value - this is my preferred place to redeem my points as it's great to feel that you're getting such huge portions for free! If you are a fan of beef, come worship at the temple of The Bountiful Cow!

      51 Eagle Street, Holborn , London,WC1R 4AP

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