The Falcon Steakhouse in Wotton-under-Edge opened doors in 2012, growing reputation, esteem and awards ever since. They went on to receive the most votes from you in our Top 10 Places 2018 - so of course we had to find out why!
Owner Andy invited us along to try out the food and we couldn’t say no. Except, I left my vegetarian wife behind and took my carnivorous Dad (Q) with me instead, because everyone needs to treat their Dad to steak every once in a while.
That’s not to say they don’t do vegetarian options, because they do Cashew Nut Paella and a few others which sound good, but we all know the beef is the star of the show at a steakhouse.
They source their beef from their own family farm, only 1 mile away from the restaurant. Their stock bull comes from one of the best Aberdeen Angus breeders in the country and their herd is kept in a low-stress environment. All of this suggests that the cows have lived a good life, but also the meat is going to be great too. Both of these are ideal, especially when a place does large-scale portions/eating challenges like The Falcon does, because I want to know that the indulgence is based on good welfare.
The Falcon has a classic Cotswolds pub style, with rustic elements and some added themed extras. There's a meat counter to purchase the steaks, as well as a bar stocked with plenty of local beers on tap. Sadly we both drove, so we couldn't take advantage of the beer, so it's definitely worth brining a designated driver if you visit!
Before we get to the steak, let's talk starters. We got a quick run though from chef Steve, before the lovely wait staff took our orders. We shared a baked camembert with rosemary and garlic, accompanied by warm bread, caramelised onions and panfried chorizo. We added extra chorizo. A delicious winter classic, taken up a notch with the smokey flavour from the chunks of sausage.
Now let's talk steak.
They stock a range of cuts in a range of sizes. Sirloin, flatiron, fillet, ribeye, rump and T-bone, ranging from 7oz to 20oz. Some of these are already big, but then they really step it up with their speciality sizes.
Their speciality steaks usually must be ordered ahead, as they don’t hold many in-stock. They include 24oz fillet, 32oz tomahawk ribeye, 32oz T-bone and on Wednesdays only…. 50oz rump! You read that right, fifty ounces of rump steak.
We both have sizeable appetites, but there was no way either of us were going to take on anything close to the 50oz rump. So we played it safe and went for something a little smaller, but still larger than from your average restaurant. I opted for a 14oz sirloin and Q went with a 10oz ribeye.
The Falcon has a system for your steak where you get 1 side included from each ‘box’ on the menu, with sauces available too. Q selected garden peas, grilled mushroom and steak-cut chips, adding the ‘famous falcon beef sauce’ on the side. I went with grilled tomato, homemade onion rings and steak-cut chips, with the addition of peppercorn sauce.
I won't lie, I think steak is one of the hardest things to photograph, especially in a way that gets across how good it tastes. So let me tell you in a few words instead: the steak was great!
The sides and sauces hit the spot too, particularly the mushrooms and the homemade onion rings, which had us respectively refusing to share.
We both just managed to crawl over the finish line, with maybe a few chips left over.
My 14oz sirloin put up a big fight, and we both tapped out before dessert. If you still have room to spare, they do a great selection of puddings, including cheesecake of the day.
Even better yet, they have a mini-trio which includes smaller versions of their cheesecake, brownie and banoffee pie - perfect if you're unsure on what to go for. Just like with the large format steaks, you can go large with a dessert sharing platter, which includes one of each full sized pudding off the menu!
Or maybe go for a cheeseboard with the cheeses supplied by local Wotton deli Good Food on the Edge.
Great steak, great service and plenty of sizes - it's safe to say we left The Falcon feeling suitably full.
If you've got an appetite, this is definitely the place for you.