On a steamy summer afternoon in the city, the only place you want to be is outside, a chilled glass in hand and a plate of something delicious in front of you.
In Sheffield, most head for Ecclesall Road’s cafe society. Leopold Square or the Peace Gardens have also caught on for a late lunch or after work.
But I know a far better place. Somewhere much cooler; the riverside in the city’s old industrial backwater, Kelham Island.
We’re outside the Brooklyn Steakhouse Bar and Grill, by the bridge on Ball Street, musing about all of this while drinking a light and fruity Pinot Grigio rosé (cheap at £3.60 a medium glass) and nibbling smoked cheddar risotto balls.
The Brooklyn opened exactly a year ago and is named after the nearby listed Brooklyn Works. It’s owned by boxing promoter Dennis Hobson and partner Sarah Thompson and is managed by boxer Clinton Woods’ nephew Kurt.
Inside, images of the real Brooklyn Bridge line the walls, there’s a snazzy black tiled floor, exposed brickwork and a central bar - plus some of the swishest ladies’ loos I’ve seen. But we head for a table outside.
As the name says, this is predominantly a steak bar. I’m told the meat is top-quality, locally-reared organic and cooked with reverence, but we don’t want a pricey meat feast (ribeye £17.95, sirloin £19.95 and fillet £24.95) in this weather. There are plenty of cheaper dishes- hand-made ‘gourmet’ burgers, sharing platters and pastas around £10.
Our starter (£4.50) is delicious. A perfectly crisped outside gave way to smokily-infused, salty and soft density. The sweet pepper sauce is the perfect marriage.
The Husband’s flame-grilled burger with chorizo, £10.50, is a thick unctuously soft hunk of moist beefiness so good I don’t even get offered a bite. It comes in a seeded bun with hand-made coleslaw and a wire basket of hunky, chunky man-chips.
My daintier dish, a £12.95 fillet of seabass, is perfectly pan-fried, the creamy white flesh topped with a wonderfully acidic salsa verde.
The fish floundered on a cliff of mashed potato; usually I don’t like the combo, but the Brooklyn had perked up the spuds with pesto.
The New York-style cheesecake dessert (£4) was immensely scoffable, sweetened with pureed mango and kiwi.
This weekend the Brooklyn opens a cafe bar. It’s the VIP opening tonight and the public opening is Tuesday lunchtime.
My star ratings:
Where and when:
Brooklyn Steak House, Ball Street Bridge, Kelham Island, S3 8BR
Tel. 0114 218 9300
Open: Tues-Thurs 11am to 11pm, Fri-Sat 11am to 11.30pm, Sun till late. Closed Monday