Thursday, December 20, 2012

Arlington Club: Where cougars meet cows

Arlington Club (Dec 2012)
72nd st & Lexington Ave
New York, NY

Jeff: [cows] - Rib-eye (medium rare), Porterhouse for Two (rare), Sirloin (rare) - 

Sameer - share - This is a borderline rating for me.  I could have gone zero cow if memory serves, but the rib-eye was redeeming.  I think this rating, and steak, basically reflect my feelings on the upper east side as well.  Total ambivalence.  I would eat this steak if I had to, in the same way I would go to the UES if I had to, but I'd prefer neither.  I erred on the 1 cow vs 0 cow maybe because my senses were overloaded by the elderly women on the prowl and the prowling women with the elderly, wink wink.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Minetta Tavern (3): Drinks make you drunk

Minetta Tavern (November 2012)
113 MacDougal St
New York, NY

SameerBlack Label Burger (medium rare), Côte de Boeuf (medium rare) - Hm, the details of this visit are a little blurrier than usual, there may have been another steak in there.  Highlights include:

- Steak and burger
- Some fucked up bone marrows, which when GENTLY pointed out to the waitress, resulted in excess desserts, which was more a kick in the duodenum than anything.  Nice gesture, I love her
- Josh and Jeff insisting on fighting

If I could make the 3rd cow in this rating blurry, that would be more fitting.

Jeff:  - shared -  It's hard not to think that eating here inflicts real physical damage to your body.  As if when you move through each course of the meal, you can feel time being chipped off the backend of your life.

As per our resolution after our last visit (intern, can you please link to last visit? thanks),  we ordered the bone marrow.  Which then promptly disappointed.  Upon dear Sameer gently pointing this out in casual conversation that seemed perfectly harmless, the waitress apologized instantly, noting the fad-like "foodie" culture has depleted the region's store of worthwhile bone marrow.  Her apology came so suddenly and forcefully I feared a certain sense of irony from her.  That she then brought us two free desserts, then confirmed it.  She wished us dead.  Or worse, plumped by free dessert.

Burger was again a small plated miracle.  Cote de Boeuf overshadowed by the burger, and by Sameer's theatrics and apparently recurring drinking problem.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Maloney & Porcelli (2): Rib-eye. No questions asked.

Maloney & Porcelli (October 2012)
37 E 50th St
New York, NY

Sameer Rib eye (medium rare), crackling pork shank - No doubt about.  A well earned 3 cow.  The beauty of the rib eye was not diluted by lesser steaks.  The pork shank was an afterthought for me even though it was moist and fucking delicious.  But the rib eye.  I am glazing over daydreaming about it, quite possibly the best rib eye I've ever had.  Maybe I'm getting more gushy or emotional as I get older, but I savored every bite.  The flavor brought me back to simpler times.  The crust and fat distribution were top notch.  Side note that we got the same waitress, I am one step closer to regular status some place.  SOTM is making a name for itself.

In short, if I had to marry a steak and have babies with it, it would be this one.

Jeff:  - [shared] -  I need to stop showing up late to these dinners.  I pop in just when the cow pieces arrive at the table.  There's no pre-amble, no Act I, no fumbling conversational foreplay.  What's everyone been up to? I'm so lost.  Right, the food. I know we come to this establishment for the steak, but goddamn that pork shank is one helluva distraction.  The pork shank is a, in short, a visceral delight.  At first sight, a craggy monster; but as savory as it is textured.  I posit the crackling pork shank is one of the best non-steak dishes we've eaten on our tour de forced eating, easily besting the "famous" mutton chop at Kean's, though may not as perfect as the burger at Minetta tavern.  The steak dishes remain flavored, aged, and cooked perfectly.

At our first visit, I gave Maloney Porcelli two cows out of sheer skepticism  from such a small sample size.  This follow-up cements in my mind their level of quality, and a full cow is restored.  I don't know what it is about this place, but this is my surprise steakhouse of the year.  If expectations are factored in, this is the best steakhouse we went to in 2012.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

St. Anselm: Like sleeping with someone you hate and loving it

St. Anselm
 (September 2012)
355 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY

Point of order: steak eater Sanjeev, whose invitation was not influenced at all by betrothals or repeated high frequency lobbying, attended his first monthly steak dinner.  Hazing was kept at a minimum.

Jeff Axe Handle Rib Eye - 48 oz (medium rare), Butchers hangar steak (medium rare), Pork Chop of Appeasement  - Is there any way to change the cow icons to represent that these are the two most reluctant heffers I have ever awarded a restaurant?  The current cow icons are not hunching enough nor have their eyes cast downward in shame.  Okay fine, we abandoned the city's steaks for the twee armpit of Billyburg, and on September 11th no less.  So rather than supporting lower manhattan by eating at Delmonico's and injecting interstate commerce into NY Dolls, we crossed the Easter River and waited 45 minutes for a four top on a fucking Tuesday night for the privilege of breaking bread over a fair-labor repurposed wood bench.

Our fey waiter bristled-- BRISTLED-- at our initial order. "We are not a steakhouse," he scoffed, "we just happen to cook really good steak."  St. Anselm's was apparently a misunderstood rock band that was being pigeonholed by the mainstream media.  We added a pork chop to broaden our horizons.

He went off to retrieve "a list of their rib eye cuts."  Oh, I thought, this is like the tradition in Chinese restaurants where the waiter brings a still-flopping fish to your table for approval of its freshness and weight.  Falsehood.  He returned, and laid on our table a piece of paper with four numbers written down:  42, 47, 40, 48.  After much ceremony, we chose the 48 oz.

The real tragedy is that I am unable to completely shit on this place because, in the end, the food was delicious and affordably priced.  All meat was flavorful, though I do not recall much char or crunch.  We were perfectly capable of cutting the meat with the steak knives they supplied us.  And so, I am forced, under the Chinese immigrant system of food review, to ignore all these transgressions, and award two cows based on the cheap price and high quality tasty food.

Sameer:   - [Shared] - Lot of ground to cover on this one.  First off, I would like to thank Jeff for reinvigorating this blog, which, since left to my own devices, I made into a rote, mundane pile of cow flop.  Jeff, you are my steak wife, someone that challenges me to do better with my steak related life adventures.

Ok, St. Anselm.  Our second foray in BK for steak, and in keeping with Williamsburg, this place is the steakhouse embodiment of a hipster.  Snippy and smug, while trying to repress any real connection to something really good for fear it might be labeled.  Long wait due to an illogical table setup, waiters who cannot seem to grasp client service (except that one guy), trying to convince me chicken will be better than steak, and apparently they don't have knives sharp enough to slice the steak for us despite knowing we ordered a massive 48oz steak to share. In short, I loathed almost everything about this place.

Except the food.

Really, really delicious steaks here.  To the point where I was almost upset with them for trying to run from it and foisting a useless pork chop on us.  Delicious flavor, decent char, really beautifully executed with some great quality cuts.  Hangar was the laggard here for me, keeping the cow count down.  But I kept going back for more, to the extent we all wanted to take a syringe and extract the steak from our bellies to relieve the pressure.

So affordably priced compared to the ludicrous steakhouses of manhattan that we overordered like we were fucking pashas.  I am also baffled by presenting the steak weights on a piece of paper.  I guess the waiter could not be bothered to remember 4 numbers because that would make him like a mainstream waiter.  But whatever, it was delicious.

The bones from the ax handle are still sitting in my fridge 2 weeks later.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Porter House: Bones

Porter House
 (August 2012)
10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY

Sameer - NY Strip (rare), cowboy rib-eye (medium rare), chili rubbed brandt natural rib-eye (medium rare) - Represents an average rating across a pretty good cross section of steaks.  Overall, they delivered on the promise of rare vs. medium rare.  Really perfect execution there.   The strip has some decent flavor, but a pretty flimsy char, resulting in a much mushier feel and no texture to contrast the nice rareness of the meat.  Also, I assume it was just as aged as this 45+ day rib-eye, since it had the tang to it, which I think I am actually not overly fond of.  The rib-eye was the winner for me, great crust, nice flavor.  I wonder if I appreciate the expertise with the medium rare and fat rendering at a slightly deeper level now with my cast iron at home experience.  The chili rubbed rib-eye hit some high points with the meat flavor, but I personally was not a fan of the chili rub.  It was subtle, not overpowering, which I liked to see, but the flavor did not mesh well for me.  I guess I'm just a purist at heart.

I will note that the cuts were grass-fed from Creekstone (healthier!).  I wonder if I could now tell the difference between grass and corn fed.  The bones are sitting in my fridge waiting to do whatever one does with steak bones.

 - [Shared] - I shudder whenever Sameer talks about doing something with bones.  It's like bovine necrophilism.  Before I begin my review, let the record show I was on time this dinner-- nigh early!-- for once.  Even if we did have to reschedule this dinner because I could not even show up to earlier week.  It will counts.

Onward, the waiter had advertised that they cook rare steaks to have a "cold red" middle; medium rare, "warm red", etc., but  I failed to notice the manner in which our steaks were cooked, which I suppose is a passive way of saying they were perfectly cooked in a manner in which the cuts were intended to be cooked.  GRASS FED beef is such a rarity among the steakhouses we visited, so I call bullshit that all the cuts were indeed grass-fed, rather than the one specialty cut labelled as so.  My favorite was the NY strip, by default.  I have already forgotten how the regular rib-eye tasted, and the chili rubbed rib-eye was a charlatan, a boil-faced whore you trot out when the customers are out of 20 dollar bills.  I find it odd we failed to order the porterhouse for two AT A RESTUARANT CALLED PORTERHOUSE.

Lastly, I propose we adjust the month numbering system to an absolute counter.  Instead of Month 8, year 3, I prefer "Month 32".  Seconded?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Keen's Steakhouse (2): Order the salad

Keen's Steakhouse (July 2012)
72 W 36th St
New York, NY

Sameer: ZERO COW- Porterhouse (medium rare), strip (rare - complimentary) Wow, I did not see this coming.  Just awful in my opinion.  Putting aside how completely overdone the steak was, even the complimentary steak the maitre'd gave us, though a nice gesture, added insult to injury.  I would write more, but the steak was so disappointing, I scrubbed it from my brain.  What I do remember was poor char, poor flavor, poor quality meat.

On a more positive note, they were very nice about it (this probably marks the first time we have ever said something about the steak being overdone), and the scotch list was nothing short of breathtaking.  

Jeff:  - nein cows - I refuse to give charity points just for giving us a free steak (that was not even the same cut) because they nuked the first one.  An abused housewife could cook steaks more consistently, and with less whining.  When a fellow diner had to be carted out on a stretcher, we should have taken the hint from God.  Maybe he was allergic to disappointment.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Maloney & Porcelli: Where have you been all my life

Maloney & Porcelli (June 2012)
37 E 50th St
New York, NY

SameerRib eye (medium rare), crackling pork shank A rare 3 cow for me.  And an honest one.  I'm not doing a mixed review with the pork shank included because I was so enamored with the steak.  The pork shank was good, the skin wonderfully crisp, it was moist, but I did not find myself craving more.

The rib-eye on the other hand.  I am convinced medium rare is the way to go in general.  Each slice was tender, exceptionally charred, sublimely flavorful.  One of the rare instances I felt like I would've been happy getting a steak for myself and shunning the share system.  The execution of the medium rare was near flawless and the fat distribution was gorgeous.  A gem I was unaware of beforehand.

Jeff:  - [Shared] - For some reason, I keep wanting to make steakhouses-as-women metaphors.  Maybe it's the ready delivery of flesh to be consumed.  Or perhaps our repeated rating of them.  Or maybe we just need to go to Robert's before someone else gets fucking married.  If you were wondering, this place is like making a blind date from playing World of Warcraft, and it turns out you are courting Mila Kunis.

Stunning cuts, perfect flavor, visually and olfactorially delightful.  (I'm talking about steak now).  The crackling pork shank is their signature dish and so wonderful we could not finish it.   Rib-eye was an eye-opener.    To make sure we weren't just high off of wedding fumes, I recommend an immediate re-visit. And I'm not just saying that because this place is named after two lawyers that once helped out the owner in a legal matter.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Texas Special Edition!

Krishna / Jaling Wedding (May 2012)
Dallas Arboretum
Garland Road
Dallas, TX

Sameer- Lamb chop (medium rare) - I can't make heads or tails of this review.  It is not of a steak, but more of a an event that was so special, so intoxicatingly joyous, so full of fun memories, it will all translate into a review of meat, which is the only emotional outlet I am capable of using.

The lamb was tender, it was beautiful, it was a wonderful balance of flavor and texture.  The taste lingered and was memorable once finished.  It sung the praises of the chef, it had a nice char, it was delightful to all senses. It was what lamb is supposed to be.

Jeff's was only marred by the nervous sweat that poured from his forehead onto it.

Also must-mentions: the crawfish boil, the brisket at Smokey's, the fried chicken, late night whataburger, the presence of love.

Jeff  - Are we really going to review this month?  I don't know.  All I know is that when the waiter tried to prematurely take away my plate at the reception, I killed him and buried him in the arboteruem.   A sapling sprouted from his impromptu grave site, and blossomed into a mighty oak as sturdy and hardy and real as love itself.   Then I went back and finished my lamb shop.   Epilogue: at Smokey's, I ate the best ribs I have ever tasted.  They were snappy to bite and juicy and not the meat-falling-from-bone bullshit you hear about elsewhere.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Minetta Tavern (2): Romantic man-date

Minetta Tavern (April 2012)
113 MacDougal St
New York, NY

SameerBlack Label Burger (medium rare), bone-in ny strip (medium rare) A repeat visit, with the added benefit of trying the steak.  I would put the steak at 2 but I had such a reignited love affair with the burger that I had to go full 3 cows as an overall.  I can't identify what it was this time around, maybe it was because we split the burger so the clarified butter did not make its presence so obvious, but each bite of that burger was pure delight.  Tender, flavorful, exquisite.  

The steak was no laughing matter either, very tender, decent marbling, and nicely seasoned.  Didn't have to add a pinch of salt.  There were some tendons that got in the way, and had some nice flavor, but the burger was the clear BSD of the night.

Jeff- [Shared] - I am discomforted by how tall everyone in this establishment.  Perhaps it speaks of some higher echelon in which Sameer and I trespass.  Just stringy waifs and power jackets abound.   As Sameer said, the burger thankfully lacked the first visit's wax-mouth effect from some clarified butter overkill, and was a wonderment of delights to eat.

The steak was cooked medium rare based on the waitress' note that they cook their steaks "french-style" here, and that medium rare was a "warm red" middle.  Lo-and-behold, the steak was perfectly cooked.  Outstanding flavor, well-seasoned, delightful to the last bite.  I actually preferred this NY strip to the burger, but perhaps I was in just one of those stripy new york moods.

Also, in a rare digression regarding appetizers, I would like to apologize for even suggesting we get the lamb tartine, thereby denying ourselves the pleasure of the bone marrow starter.   Also, I'm pretty sure that table next to us was purposefully rubbing their marrow in our faces by ordering it, and then eating it, and then rudely not offering to share any of it with us.  The other patrons at this joint sure do ruin the experience.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Prime: Bachelor Party Edition

Prime (March 2012)
804 Main Street
Park City, UT

Sameer: [non vache] - Ribeye (medium rare) - Eh. Lacking flavor and texture, but well executed medium rare. Not much else I can say about this, except it was a great dinner in every other sense. Many scotches flowing, good group of people, a manly night overall in a slice of Mormon heaven. Violating the bachelor party code, this post discloses at least the dinner portion of the weekend.

Jeff: secret amount of cows - How dare you even disclose our location or activity?  I refuse to acknowledge whether we ate steak, drank scotch, spent hundreds of dollars on an activity of questionable legality, left someone in the desert, drank a bodily fluid not of our own, left behind a board game at our house just because some people are too close minded to try something new, or popped corn by hand.  Now forget you read this, and burn your computer in a trash can.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Buenos Aires: Beautiful people, beautiful city, beautiful cow

Buenos Aires (February 2012) 513 E 6th St
New York, NY

Sameer: - Bife de Chorizo Especial Buenos Aires (strip steak - rare) and Skirt Steak (medium rare) - A nice variation in the lineup from a namesake that knows its steak. I am a convert to skirt steak. I would be hard pressed to find another steak that was so buttery, so tender and so juicy as that skirt steak. Each bite melted. The strip steak kind of sucked though so I would consider this a blended rating. On a side note, some of the nicest waitstaff I've come across, they pounced on repairing our broken table like surgeons.

Jeff: Pending

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dylan Prime (2): Grassfed does it again. and by "it" I mean feeds us

Dylan Prime (January 2012)
62 Laight Street

New York, NY

Sameer: - Bone-In Ribeye (medium rare) and NY Strip (rare) - Another run at the grass-fed steak and I was still very pleased with the results. The ribeye was very juicy, very nice marbling and excellent taste profile. Little underseasoned, and I was still not a fan of the strip. I am hypothesizing that bone-in preparation for grass-fed steaks help offset some of the toughness in the meat. Perhaps a mental thing now that I'm aware of the differences, but I feel like I can detect this slight stringy texture in the meat while chewing. Regardless, I was still delighted with the overall steak experience.
Shame Ron no longer works here, nor do we know where he went. Maybe he was never really there at all.

Jeff: Pending