Steam & Rye is big brash Americana in all of its red, white and blue glory. A collaboration between bar impresario Nick House and model Kelly Brook, this giant funhouse is built within the same walls as the old Bank of New York. It’s an expansive space with nooks and crannies galore: from the main bar styled in the vein of New York’s Grand Central Station, to a “haunted” cargo hold, to a narrow and darkened rail carriage where you can nab some wild looking and great tasting cocktails. This place has everything: taxidermy, cowboy boot cocktails, sequin-covered dancers, flags, fire, and well, a hell of a lot more.
The drinks are flashy (think sharing cocktails served out of a shark’s head), yet despite their ostentatious appearance, they never waiver on taste. Kudos to bar manager Andy Mil for such an achievement, and we have to say we were rather taken with a few of the cheekily named concoctions: ‘Maize Balls, which is served in a popcorn box and topped with a few kernels, is a mix of Mount Gay XO, lemon, coconut and popcorn syrup; or try the Kansas City Shuffle made from a blend of rums, absinthe, port and grenadine which is then topped with a handful of monkey nuts.
While this spot is like a pot of honey to buzzy City dwellers, anyone with a penchant for messy American food will be drawn to their saucy ribs, fleshy lobster brioche rolls and pulled pork sliders.
Best Bars tip: Don’t take yourself too seriously here and just get stuck into the kitschy fun. Try to visit on Mondays and Tuesdays when you can get unlimited BBQ ribs or shrimps, then hang out in the cargo hold where the dark, small and cosy space will always feel intimate even on quieter weeknights.
— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips