Yup, it's a New York style steakhouse, alright. It has the requisite dark interior, booth seating and racks of wine and whisky on the way in. The walls seem to have been covered in a deconstructed shed, which looked a little odd at first but I soon got used to it. The tables are a hint close packed and two of the booths are situated like theatre boxes with an enfilade view of two of the larger tables. While I'm not averse to eavesdropping on others' conversations (sorry...), a foot more space between tables would reduce the feeling of over familiarity with other diners. The booths are definitely the option to go for if you can get them and there aren't too many of you; what you lose in table space you gain in gen-yoo-wine New York steakhouse experience.
The menu is fairly self-explanatory, so it's curious that you get a guided tour through it when you arrive. The useful feature is the recommendations, I suppose. We skipped the starters, correctly guessing that doing anything else would leave insufficient room for macaroni cheese and pudding.
Two of us had the substantial pepper steak, which was cooked just right, although like Contrarian, I prefer ribeye or t-bone myself. The fries were pretty much perfect, being crispy and light and staying that way until we finished them. The tar-like pepper sauce, which I didn't use in the end, was the pepperiest thing in the universe. I was literally gasping after dipping my fork in to try it. Happily, it comes on the side so I wasn't obliged to tangle with it further. The other diner liked the pepper sauce, though, so hooray for individual choice.
The missus has the twice cooked duck; it was okay - the skin was quite crispy - but the texture and flavour of the duck itself wasn't overwhelming. Probably best to stick with the steak.
On the side we had the macaroni cheese, which was excellent thanks in large part to the oodles of truffle oil that had evidently gone into it. (Edit: the wife says I underplayed how good the M&C is, apparently it's "effing amazing and everyone must order it or face my wrath"). We also had creamed spinach, which was good, and mushrooms in garlic. Sadly, I forget what the other two thought of the mushrooms and I hate mushrooms so I shall have to create an air of mystery as to their quality: there are mushrooms and you may order them; it will be a journey of discovery...
Drinks: a Russian something-or-other and a mojito met with approval and relatively swift inebriation from my dining chums - they obviously don't skimp on the measures. We picked up a very good 2001 Barolo for 120 dollars from the decent wine list.
Puddings: I had the apple crumble and was no less happy - it comes with super-crunchy walnut and crumble topping (although I'd prefer something other than walnut as I've never been a fan) rather reminiscent of what Cedele puts on top of its blueberry muffins. As always, I wanted more ice cream but I think largely because I'm a gluttonous wretch. The salted caramel and macadamia nut biscuit sandwich was also good - especially the macadamia biscuit, apparently.
Service throughout was friendly and attentive - and if I'm to be super-critical too attentive at times: we were asked several times whether we were enjoying our meal. That might be because as a confirmed early-diner, especially at weekends, we had the place to ourselves when we started and it was still only half full when we left, but they seemed sincere so I'm assuming they are generally going to be good. They even pointed out - without being asked - that there's a 10% discount on food if you pay by Citi card (sadly half of our bill was drinks so we only got 18 bucks back...)
The other two - I've never been - said Bedrock is "a high-end Jack's Place" but told me not to say so because Bedrock would go out of business within a week if it ever got out. I have no idea if that's a fair comparison but I'm almost minded to try Jack's Place as a result.