Bobby Flay Steak - AC, NJ
Posted 18 May 2008 - 03:22 AM
We started things off with cocktails. My wife had a V.O. Manhattan on the rocks and I had a Stoli on ice with a splash of Kahlua. Both drinks were made as requested and were very good. Our waiter then brought us a very nice selection of rolls with butter. They included a cheesy sort of Parker House roll and miniature ciabatta loaves, both were excellent.
For appetizers we both had the Lobster-Crab Cake with Tomatillo Sauce and Saffron Aioli. This is an excellent dish but the cakes could have had a browner or crustier exterior. We were somewhat amused in the manner in which they were served. They used a bowl that looked like it was meant to be a serving bowl for vegetables or potatoes in a family style service. It didnít detract from the cakes but it was absurdly large for a relatively small appetizer.
We both ordered a Spice Rubbed Steak. My wife had the boneless Ribeye and I had the Filet Mignon. We both ordered them medium and they arrived exactly so. A word of caution however, both steaks were charred black. This wasnít a problem for us since we both like a blackened or ďPittsburgĒ exterior. The spice rub may have contributed to this as it does with Cajun dishes like blackened redfish. I was a little disappointed at the size of the filet. I doubt that it could have been more than four or five ounces. My real disappointment was with the flavor and texture. It just wasnít that good, not bad mind you, just not what I expected from a top of the line steakhouse. When I got home I checked their website and they donít advertise their steaks as being prime or aged and I donít think they are either.
My wife had the Sweet Potato Gratin for a side that she enjoyed. I had the Brooklyn Hash Browns that I thought were terrible and IMO virtually inedible. It was as if they took fried hash browns, mashed them up with onions (?) and whatever and then put the resulting concoction in a gratin dish and heated it up. When I complained, our waiter replaced them without a problem with the Black Pepper French Fries with Chipotle Aioli which were decent if a little too peppery for my taste. He said that a lot of people had complained about the hash browns. He indicated that they were trying to duplicate the hash browns served at Peter Lugerís. Well, I havenít been to Lugerís but Iím pretty sure that theirs are a lot better than these. I also had a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale with dinner and my wife had water.
We decided to forego dessert and finished the meal with coffee. My wife had a cup of decaf and I had an espresso with an anisette on the side. The coffee and espresso were excellent.
Iím glad we tried Bobbyís place but I donít think weíll go back. For over a hundred dollars a person, there are simply too many other restaurants in AC to try first.
A word of advice for Bobby, donít challenge the Old Homestead to a steak throwdown. Youíll lose big time.
Posted 30 January 2011 - 02:18 AM
Myself and a friend had reservations at 7pm and were promptly seated. I had no problem with the service throughout the dinner, so I will focus on the food. Service was professional and attentive.
I started off with a cocktail (an old fashioned). It was decent, but in my opinion slightly weak. Bread was served soon after ordering. As Tom above stated, bread was 2 different Parker House-style rolls - one plain, the other onion flavored. The bread was /okay/, but struck me as something you might get at a diner as opposed to a fancy steakhouse. Butter was whipped soft and served in a small dish. It tasted like it could have been frozen.
For an appetizer I had the AC chop salad with lobster ($26). It wasn't bad, but not particularly memorable. Some of the lobster meat was slightly chewy, and for the price I might expect a little more lobster meat.
My entree was the kobe strip ($85), which they said was 10oz. This was the first time I had tried a kobe steak, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The steak was visually unappealing - it was only approx. 3/4" thick, and looked rather like a cheap strip steak you might get at a supermarket. The steak was not tender, and the texture was slightly chewy. The flesh didn't easily yield as I cut into it. I kind of had to saw through it with the serrated steak knife. It appeared to be properly cooked - seared on the outside and red on the inside. The taste was VERY rich and buttery, but the texture and tenderness ruined it. Texture is 90% of what makes a great steak great. This is why so many people order filet over more tasty cuts like ribeye. In this regard, the $85 kobe strip was a complete fail.
My friend ordered the filet. I tried a slice. It was good, but the flavor and texture were just not good enough to compete with other top steakhouses (like Old Homestead).
I ordered a glass of pinot ($12). It was good, but for $12 I've had better.
Sides were brooklyn hash browns, which we enjoyed, so I have to disagree with Tom on that one. Also, we got the mushrooms, which were very good but perhaps a little too sweet.
The dry rubs on the steaks were OK, but honestly I think I would have preferred plain old salt and pepper.
The sauce served on the side with the steaks was cloying and completely inappropriate for a quality steak. If you used this sauce, you would not taste the steak.
For dessert we each had coffee and baked alaska. The coffee was fine. The baked alaska was very good, although I have had better. But it was a very competent rendition nonetheless.
Bobby Flay really is not a top steakhouse, except for the prices. At this price point, he is competing with the finest in New York and Philadelphia. There is simply no comparison between Bobby Flay and places like Peter Luger, Wolfgang's, Old Homestead, Barclay Prime, etc. Bobby Flay is solidly 1 or 2 tiers below them all. I have eaten at Old Homestead in the Borgata as well, and while I feel that other places (like Wolfgang's) are better, at least at Old Homestead I feel like what you get is more in-line with a top quality steakhouse and the price points are fair. I also have to agree with Tom - the steaks do not seem like prime grade, and I know for a fact none are dry-aged (I asked the waiter and he admitted it).
If I wanted to eat a second-class steak (can't afford Peter Luger all the time, ya know?), there are countless local places I could go to that are better than - and a fraction the price of - Bobby Flay.
Hey, maybe I just had an off night. But I firmly believe that anybody recommending this place knows nothing about steak. I will not be back.
Stay away, stay very far away.