General manager of Miller and Carter’s newest steakhouse is Steve Payne, left, pictured with head chef, Lukasz Ciszek, and the Miller and Carter Stratford team, Holly Thompson-Vincent, Mariola Cieciurz, Rafal Walczak and Chris Brindle. Photo: Mark Williamson (M26/11/17/9822)

THE debate continues over whether the consumer offer in Stratford-upon-Avon town centre has tipped in favour of restaurants and coffee shops.

The company that’s revamping Bell Court made no secret of the fact that it wanted to turn it into a leisure destination, with many of the tenants that have moved in so far… yes, you’ve guessed it, foodie places, all centred around the Everyman cinema.

But even the sceptics must admit they’ve done a pretty good job to get some of the biggest names going. We’ve got a Miller and Carter Steakhouse, Nando’s, All Bar One, ASK Italian, and Veeno with Byron Burger on the way.

They’re all the same, but still rather different, and their target markets do vary.

For this review, my family and I went to Miller and Carter Steakhouse. And it’s exactly what is says on the tin!

This is an upmarket restaurant that bills itself as ‘the home of the steak geek’.

Miller and Carter claims to sell over one million steaks a year, and that all the beef they serve is traceable from field to fork, being premium-graded and sourced from carefully selected cattle reared on sustainable British farms, hand cut by master butchers, and aged on the bone for a minimum of seven days, then matured for a further 21.

Most importantly, and put simply as I’m not one of those ‘geeks’, it tastes great!

Pricey, you might think. But no, not really, bearing in mind the quality customers are promised.

I went for the entry level 8oz rump steak, which was £15.50, and my wife had the prime steak burger, which was around £13.

The children both had a two-course children’s meal, each was very reasonably-priced at around £8. They’re fussy eaters, but the food got their ringing endorsement – literally! (Go there, and you’ll know what I mean by that).

The desserts were around a fiver each, and what I really liked was the mini dessert and coffee option on the menu – just right if, like me, you like to make the most of an afternoon of fine dining, while keeping an eye on the waistline.

Our visit was just a few days after it opened, the staff were a mix of the incredibly enthusiastic and the inexperienced. There was even a visit to our table, mid-meal, from the chef. It felt a little contrived, but was a nice, personal touch, nonetheless.

The restaurant itself was very contemporary. Open plan kitchens are fairly customary these days, but added to the atmosphere, and you might be forgiven for thinking the front-of-house staff were encouraged to offer to take photos of diners – a clever marketing tool in this age of ‘checking in’ on social media.

The final bill was £65, so not somewhere we’d frequent, but this is a place for special occasions or those with a sizeable disposable income, so it should do OK!

Miller and Carter Steakhouse is in Unit 20 of Bell Court in Stratford-upon-Avon, book a table at www.millerandcarter.co.uk or call 01789 338331.

Review by Chris Smith.