Sophie’s Steakhouse, Chelsea

Meat and wine is fine

The Vibe

‘I like my men like I like my martinis’, said the thirtysomething blonde as she propped up the bar of Sophie’s Steakhouse with her financier date. The Chelsea branch of this steakhouse may be in danger of attracting slightly cringing types (so many suits, so many day-to-night wrap dresses) but it does a lot of things right. Firstly, it makes you put down your name on a list for a table, thus ushering you to the bar to wait and sip on wine till the table frees up, exchanging cheerful words with the post-work crowd either side of you. Secondly, the mood is pointedly jubilant- you get the sense that people have quite literally been released from the chains of the city and are stopping by for meat and spirits on the way home, prepared to stay a good few hours talking shop and women. For a date, it is pleasantly un-coupley, but strikes the right note with a noisy atmosphere, great lighting, a good drinks list and perfect meat.

The Order

Don Draper the hell out of this situation and stick to steaks and martinis. The Sparkling Pear Martini (with elderflower and champagne) comes recommended but purists should stick to a Gin Martini with three olives. The steaks come only with béarnaise, so no messing  around with the whole peppercorn sauce/mushroom/blue cheese conundrum. Again, purists smile in appreciation no American fields of choice here.  Crowd-pleasing chips accompany the meat and are fat fries that solve the whole ‘do you prefer chunky or skinny’ debate. Order a side of spinach to complete the iron deficiency take down and finish with a sticky toffee pudding to share.

The Game

Turn up in your sexiest corporate wear, loosen a few buttons, flash a bit of chest (both of you) and if you arrive first confidently order yourself a drink at the bar and engage in chat with those around. When your date saunters up, have their drink already ordered (how commanding), sip away and chat about your days (‘oh this is sooo needed’). Ask for one of their central round tables- this way you can sit closer and you’re also immersed in the din of the room. Don’t mess around with perusing the menu too long, order your steaks and spirits and just get on with the chat. This is all about faux-masculine bantering, affectionate punching, negging (ref. the Game) and genuine silliness. Finish up and part ways with some sarcastic but heavily loaded comments. Maybe grab an aggressive kiss on the lips, throw them off and tell them you’ll see them around. Smokin.

The Faults

Unless you feel like macho posturing, you may want to pick somewhere a little more romantic.

Sex Factor

2. It’s all about the sparring here; you need to leave this date with them wowed by your chat and sex appeal, and desperate to put in the next one.


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