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Where would you go for steak?


Gastro888
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What's the difference between a rib chop and a porterhouse?  Wow, totally showing my noob-ness here...

They're different parts of the cow. The porterhouse is the short loin, while the rib chop is...the rib, generally much more fat-laden.

By the way, on Friday Frank Bruni weighed in on the topic here. Not surprisingly, he has some of the same suggestions that we do.

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If your preferences are calibrated towards heavily charred steaks, Craftsteak (and Craft) is always going to seem off.

Speaking of charring, something I've been wondering... BLT makes a proud point, on their menu, that they blast their broilers (presumably for finishing) at 1700 degrees. I've gotten the sense that just about everyone else, NYC or elsewhere, maxes out at around 1200. If that's right (is it?) what's the explanation - if there's a meaningful explanation - for the difference? 500 degrees is, in cooking terms, so many standard deviations, isn't it?

EDIT: Actually, I may be thinking of QM, not BLT, but either way, one of them boasts about a 1700 degree broil, and I'm still wondering what the explanation is.

Edited by kretch (log)

"I've been served a parsley mojito. Shit happens." - philadining

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You're mostly correct... probably the best way to enjoy wagyu is "ishiyaki" style. The beef will come cubed or in, say, half-inch thick slices similar to the way your porterhouse might come sliced (albeit smaller slices), and you sear the beef on a hot stone placed before you, and eat it rare-medium/rare. This is how Sugiyama does it, and does it best, as well as you'll find it at Megu, Morimoto, Nobu too I believe...

There used to be a restaurant in Midtown east, 53rd Street I think, called Seryna. It was a NY outpost of a group of them in Tokyo. They specialized in Wagyu ishiyaki, and from what I recall also had a $150 Matsuzaka steak. Not sure how it was served.

Good Wagyu, I think naturally you want to savor every morsel of it and enjoy it as the centerpiece of a whole course... but hell, if I had the money and the inclination, a wagyu STEAK will of course taste great. It is still medium-rare and will surely taste a whole lot better than lesser grades of beef.

Someone with a big appetite, craving a steak, might just be disappointed at the quantity of beef they'd get at a Sugiyama.... Japanese people just don't eat THAT much beef in one sitting. It was only introduced to the country in 1867 and really wasn't widely available until the 50s or 60s anyway....

Another way that I've best eaten wagyu is at yakiniku restaurants, where it will arrive only slightly seasoned, salted, peppered, lemon-juiced, and I'll let these pictures speak for themself and make you all hungry...

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These days in Japan it's not uncommon to find wagyu sushi -

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It's certainly cheaper than otoro, and fat is fat, right?

Another thing to keep in mind when dealing with real Kobe (and to some extent with any Wagyu) is that just because it's the highest grade (read: fattiest/most marbled) doesn't mean that it will always be best tasting in any form or dish.  Kobe beef is best appreciated not in the American slab form that most steakhouses serve, as this doesn't really bring out its best qualities.  In Japan, the highest grades of Wagyu (Raji, as the board's resident Japanese food expert, please either back me up or correct me on this) are generally thought to be best appreciated when sliced somewhat thinner than you'd usually expect for an American steak and then quickly cooked over fairly high heat, so that the fat is just rendered/caramelized.  Because of its exceptionally high fat content, the typical steakhouse cooking procedure will either undercook it in parts (a waste as the fat just stays raw/cold) or totally overcook it (which loses the great flavor that the fat is there to produce), rendering it a colossal waste of money (and beef).  So even if the beef quality is very high, I'd generally steer away from American steakhouses serving "Kobe" in the American format.  I'd also not bother eating it at any temperature other than what they recommend (medium rare-ish).  If you're going to bother with the money and effort, get it prepared as it should be at one of the various Japanese places in town that do this.  I'm sure there are specific places that do high end Japanese steak, but I also know that Sugiyama does a very good job of serving it correctly. 

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To answer your question, an off-peak direct flight from NYC to Tokyo can be had for as little as $500...

These pictures are mostly from the TORAJI chain of Yakiniku restaurants... full disclosure, the owner is dear friend of mine, part of the reason I am so immersed in the Japanese beef culture....

He DID open one in Hawaii, so prices are about the same as Japan...

Those shots are of the premium kobe harami, kalbi, misuji...

http://www.ebisu-toraji.com/EN/hawai/menu_diner.html

I've been BEGGING him to open in NY for years now - I mean, look at the selection of meats!

Edited by raji (log)
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Unless you're willing to front my ticket, it'll be a while before I head to Japan.

No one's been to Rothman's or heard anything about it?  That's not a good sign...uh oh....

I can't speak firsthand, but I've heard it's fairly average in the steak department, though supposedly a good experience in terms of service, wine, etc. They do a lot of couponing, which isn't usually a good sign. I'd skip it for most of the other recommendations on the board.

As for Kobe/Wagyu, you might want to read the chapter entitled "Where's the Wagyu?" in Jeffrey Steingarten's book "The Man Who Ate Everything". Lots of great info on Wagyu there, and he's a very entertaining writer.

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I walked by BLT Prime the other day and they have Waygu on the menu as well as mashed. The environment looks comfortable and inviting and I think I'm going to give it a whirl. We'll save PL for another time; since this is more of a date night for us, I think BLT Prime might fit the bill.

(OK, honestly it was the Waygu Rib eye that tipped the scale...)

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Oh hells yes. I love me some fat.

I'll put in my request for a two-top and hopefully I'll remember to bring the camera and take pictures.

To be honest, I thought about this: if I'm going to pay $200+ for a meal, I want to have a nice experience in a nice atmosphere. PL is what it is and for this particular dinner, I want a bit more.

Also, I heard the cheese popovers were beast. I am a sucker for a good popover. Haven't had a decent one in years!

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Oh hells yes.  I love me some fat. 

I'll put in my request for a two-top and hopefully I'll remember to bring the camera and take pictures. 

To be honest, I thought about this: if I'm going to pay $200+ for a meal, I want to have a nice experience in a nice atmosphere.  PL is what it is and for this particular dinner, I want a bit more.

Also, I heard the cheese popovers were beast.  I am a sucker for a good popover.  Haven't had a decent one in years!

Hope you have a great meal! When I went, the popovers were the best part of the meal, so I'm eager to hear if the steak has been bumped up from pretty good. I'm sure others here on EG will be eager to hear the review as well. (And if you don't think it was "all that", try Strip House next time...great date place:))

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Thanks, LPShanet! After learning that the Striphouse is "loud", I'm not too keen on going there for a date. Maybe by myself for those 'taters everyone's talking about.

I walked by BLT Steak last night and the menu's about the same as BLT Prime. The space seemed more geared towards a lounge than a cozy restaurant like BLT Prime. Maybe that's just my impression.

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I met Laurent Tourondel back in June during the Book Expo at Javits, he has a cookbook coming out in October called BLT. I got an advance copy (paperback B&W, book will be published in full-color hardcover), and it's very nice!

He was doing a cooking demo and made green pea risotto with duck pancetta. It was really nice but he was hard to understand at times. LOL I want to check out his new market, I've been to the spot on 57th though.

Lately I've been stuck on Bobby Van's, probably because they have the huge filet topped with jumbo lump crab (my fave) the size of a enormous crabcake, topped with Hollandaise sauce. I'm feeling all tingly just THINKING about it! The one on 50th St is nice and not noisy at all, depending on when you go.

I think I walk past Strip House on my way to The Strand? I'll check that out somtime!

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I walked by BLT Steak last night and the menu's about the same as BLT Prime.  The space seemed more geared towards a lounge than a cozy restaurant like BLT Prime.  Maybe that's just my impression.

Once you get inside, I don't think there's a whole lot of difference between BLT Steak and BLT Prime.
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Thanks, LPShanet!  After learning that the Striphouse is "loud", I'm not too keen on going there for a date.  Maybe by myself for those 'taters everyone's talking about.

I think Striphouse is only loud in the bar area in front. The back restaurant hasn't ever struck me as particularly loud.

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Gastro maybe you are not looking for a steakhouse at all. If you want to have a wonderful intimate dinner at a long standing NYC restaurant that serves a very tasty (although a bit chewy) steak as well as a full menu of other wonderful items including the best french fries in NYC (IMHO of course). This place is a hangout for Galician (NW Spain) ex-pats. With food close to that of NW Spain. I have had maybe 100 steaks there or more since my first in 1982. The Pork Chops are amazing as well. The starters like cold Pulpo laced with paprika and olive oil. All the Steaks and chops are served with rice or potato and the FF as I have already said are amazing. We even went through a phase of putting butter on them because they are so crisp and rich and the flavor of the yellow potato is so, well potatoey. The Steaks are un-trimed Strip with all the tail and surrounding fat and outer layers of fatty meat left on. Well charred and best eaten blood rare. Not pre sliced. They have a very intense "beefy" taste and are a bit chewy but not tough. They remind me of the Steaks I have eaten in Europe. Their prices are still so unbelievably low it is a shock (in a good way) when the bill comes. We have had large dinners there like B-Day parties that went on from 8PM until 2AM and the bill was still only about $40- $50 a person.

They have a web site now.

I used to live on 16th street back 25 years ago and I would eat lunch there everyday almost as they have this veal sandwich that was amazing and cheap/ Like $4 in the old days, plus a $2 large cold beer.

BTW you can talk to your +1 all you want at the same time there is a lively bar with a nice hum bit not a din. This is one of my all time favorite steaks and all time favorite places in general.

David West

A.K.A. The Mushroom Man

Founder of http://finepalatefoods.com/

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Wow! Sounds lovely! Thank you for the interesting tip, dfunghi! Wow. That sounds wonderful. Oh man. Good thing you posted before I made my reservation. Or good thing that I procrastinate. Oh man. Hmm. OK. Let's see what the +1 says....

PS: I heart mushrooms big time. You're lucky to be in the business.

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I like Capital Grille.  Close to our office and very good steak and sides.  The seating is very comfortable and you don't feel like you are dining with the tables next to you.

Capital Grille sucks.

Sucks? I wouldn't say so, and I've been there twice—both when other people suggested it. Everything about Capital Grille feels very "corporate," which is understandable as it's a national chain. In a city full of indigenous steakhouses, there's no good reason to visit places of that ilk (including Morton's, Ruth Chris, Shula's, etc.), not because they suck, but because they're not New York restaurants. Edited by oakapple (log)
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I like Capital Grille.   Close to our office and very good steak and sides.  The seating is very comfortable and you don't feel like you are dining with the tables next to you.

Capital Grille sucks.

Sucks? I wouldn't say so, and I've been there twice—both when other people suggested it. Everything about Capital Grille feels very "corporate," which is understandable as it's a national chain. In a city full of indigenous steakhouses, there's no good reason to visit places of that ilk (including Morton's, Ruth Chris, Shula's, etc.), not because they suck, but because they're not New York restaurants.

Okay maybe "sucks" is a bit much. I happened to be there on a corporate lunch. The "claimed to be dry aged" bone in strip was tasteless. Maybe it was a bad first experience but this experience doesn't give me any inclination to go back and retry it. There's no reason for me to go back when there's at least 20 other steakhouses in the City that I know are better and more consistent. When you spend $40+ on a tasteless steak, it tends to leave a bad taste in your mouth (even if I didn't pay for it). Maybe I caught an off steak but I don't want to chance my disposable income on 2nd try. :biggrin:

Edited by steakas (log)

:D

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OK, we made a decision and our reservations are for BLT Prime. We decided on this place because they have the Kobe, Wagyu, and porterhouse available, a good selection of sides (blue cheese tater tots...interesting!), a cozy space, and of course...the cheese popovers.

I will make sure I have my camera so that I can provide y'all with a report. Thanks to everyone who provided hints, tips and comments. I really appreciate it.

One day we'll go to PL but maybe after they get rid of the rat that's been scampering around.

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Yes, you can ask them not to slice your steak, however if you do that you won't be getting it the way the restaurant typically serves it. If you're going to buy in to the Peter Luger experience, it's not necessarily the best idea to start your first visit with special orders. There's a ritual to it: the steaks are broiled and buttered a certain way, the slicing causes some of the meat juices to mix with the butter and generate a sauce on the platter, the platter is propped up on one end so the sauce accumulates at the other end. That's the way a Peter Luger steak is meant to be cooked, sliced and served.

According to a story in today's Wall Street Journal, there's an additional reason why pre-slicing is part and parcel of the Luger steak experience: the steak receives additional cooking after it has been sliced. The reporter, Katy McLaughlin, was allowed to observe a steak being cooked at Peter Luger, and noted the following:

Mr. Truskolaski grabbed a cold porterhouse, placed it on the grill rack of the broiler and sprinkled it with some salt. He then removed it while it was still raw inside, cut it into piece, put it on a plate, and broiled it to medium-rare.

(This link works today, however Wall Street Journal articles tend to go into the premium archive quickly -- so act fast if you're not a subscriber but want to read the full article.)

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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