Anderson’s Bar & Grill: no gnawing doubts

Yabba dabba doo. Iron me my bearskin tunic. Pass me my club. Empty the pet dinosaur’s litter tray.

I suddenly became Fred Flintstone when my starter was brought during my latest visit to the wonderful Anderson’s Bar & Grill in the Jewellery Quarter.
Long, split bones oozing with melting marrow? Yes, please!

The food

Let’s start with those bones. They came on wooden board – a style of serving that usually irritates me, but which worked here because of the dish’s almost primordial appeal.
They were calf shinbones that had been roasted so that the sticky, flavoursome bone marrow was almost liquid.
To counteract their richness, there was celeriac remoulade offering mouth-cleansing freshness, raisins bringing sweetness and caper for tang.
This was a brave, generous and well-balanced dish that will linger long in my memory…and probably my cholesterol count.
My wife, meanwhile, ate an altogether less challenging dish comprising tangy Greek cheese that had been crumbed and fried, with olives, basil, tomato and tzatziki.
Again, like my bones, this was a dish of generous proportions and bold flavours.
An extra starter of cubed marinated scallops and salmon pastrami with smoked mayonnaise and a silky, tangy red pepper and tomato veloute showed plenty of skill and flair.
Main courses lived up to the high standards of the starters.
The Aberdeen Angus ribeye that I ordered was a beautiful chunk of bovine protein.
It had been cooked perfectly medium-rare, wonderfully seasoned and had that slight charred edge that makes a good steak adorable.
Sides of chips, crushed new spuds and vegetables were good, but a blue cheese and port sauce was ever so slightly under-powered, I thought.
Lynn, meanwhile, tucked heartily into a shank of lamb that fell off the bone and had been spiked with Middle Eastern spices.
It came with a spiced apricot & tomato liqueur and was well received.
Alas, neither of us had room for dessert.

The decor

Located in an 18th century basement just off St Paul’s Square, this is a place with masses of character and atmosphere.
There’s plenty of bare brick, some amusing paintings of cows and unfussy wooden tables.
It’s a place in which I’d happily spend hours eating hearty, high-quality food and sipping wine.
Yeah….you’re right…knocking back, not sipping.

The drink

There’s a sensibly-priced and well-conceived wine list, beers, cocktails and mocktails. The malbec that I drank was a pleasant, fruity wine.

The service

Don’t expect silver service – it’s not that sort of place. But do expect charming, efficient and knowledgable waitresses who contribute to the sense of conviviality and generosity in a long-established restaurant that is among my favourites.

Need to know

Expect to pay around £40 a head.
Cut costs by eating from the tapas menu.
There are vegetarian and fish dishes.
There’s P&D parking nearby.

Anderson’s Bar & Grill
30 Mary Ann Street, St Paul’s Square, Birmingham B3 1RL. 0121 200 2515.