Forget Brunch — Your Next Sunday Tradition Should Be a Roast
An indulgent British meal makes its debut at Flatiron’s steakhouse Hawksmoor — and the bone marrow gravy is worth the price alone
Football season is over. Now, put your Sundays to better, albeit more gluttonous use: Enjoy a Sunday roast.
An English tradition dating back to the 15th century, the Sunday roast is enjoying a resurgence stateside. The most recent purveyors: Hawksmoor, a lively British steakhouse in Flatiron, which debuted its variation on the Sunday tradition late in January.
“It’s a celebration of indulgence,” as the Hawksmoor website suggests, and we couldn’t agree more. We enjoyed a preview of the restaurant’s Sunday Roast a few weeks back — starting with a few drinks (Bloody Mary, Sour Cherry Negroni, Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew), which prepared us for a dry-aged slow roasted rump with beef dripping roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, thyme-roasted carrots, buttered cabbage, cauliflower cheese (like a veggie-based mac’n’cheese) and roasted garlic and shallots, all made better with a bone marrow and onion gravy. And because that wasn’t enough food, sticky toffee pudding with milk ice cream for dessert. (Yes, there is a vegetarian option, and the regular Hawksmoor menu is available.)
(Hawksmoor isn’t the only place that offers a Sunday roast — Eater has a good roundup of other restaurants offering something similar and the FiDi cocktail den The Dead Rabbit also features an all-day Sunday roast “until it runs out.”)
Overall, it’s a fitting weekend-ending meal that far outclasses brunch. But don’t take our word for it — we spoke with Huw Gott (Hawksmoor’s Co-Founder and Creative Director) and Paddy Coker (Hawksmoor Executive Grill Chef) about recreating a storied British tradition stateside.
InsideHook: What inspired you to start a Sunday roast at Hawksmoor?
Huw Gott: Sunday Roast is part of our DNA, both in terms of Hawksmoor and as people. We all have fond memories of this Sunday ritual that’s woven into the fabric of British life. A weekly coming together of friends and family, when all the noise and distractions of the week quiet down to be replaced by the thrum of happy chatter and contented murmurings. It’s such a cheerful tradition; we had to bring it to New York.
Will the menu stay the same every week?
HG: The key pillars will remain the same: roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and plenty of bone-marrow gravy. Seasonal vegetable accompaniments will change throughout the year. A key difference is that there will be alternative cuts of beef available; as well as the plated roast dry-aged rump with all the trimmings we had at the media preview, there will be larger cuts available for groups to share, including Bone-in Rib Chop or ultra-lux Chateaubriand. All from our farms, where cattle graze grass as nature intended and don’t use any hormones, antibiotics, steroids and other new-fangled growth promoters.
What drink pairs best with the meal?
Paddy Coker: Everyone in the UK has a preferred go-to with Sunday Roast. For some, a Bloody Mary is a must, and we add a dash of Madeira gravy to ours which makes it the perfect match. At Hawksmoor in the UK though we serve more Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brews on Sundays – our most popular cocktail over there, a deeply refreshing mix of gin, fresh ginger and lemon, topped with a dash of London Pride beer. For some, it’s all about hefty red wine. But for me, Sunday Roast means pubs, which means beer. An English bitter or New England-style IPA.
Is the Sunday roast you’re serving a very traditional take or is there something unique about the meal that would intrigue (or confuse) purists?
HG: It’s as purist as can be! Right down to the fact that we sear our beef over charcoal before finishing in the oven. This is very unusual, even in the UK, but harks back to the fact that joints of beef used to be cooked on a spit over fire (the words “roast” and “rotate” having shared roots) and adds an unmatchable hint of smoke and live-fire char.
Hawksmoor’s Sunday Roast is available every Sunday from 12-3 p.m. Hawksmoor is at 109 E 22nd St at Park Ave. Reserve online. Phone: (212) 777-1840
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