Peasant – Fire Good!

Back when I was a young boy, just becoming a young adult, my Father yelled to me in the house. “Come outside. I want to show you how to grill.” I looked at my Dad and said “how hard can it be? You put the hamburger patty on the grill. It turns brown. You flip it. Then you eat it.” With that my Dad made me get two eggs from the fridge and he made me breakfast of the grill. My young mind was blown. That’s the day I learned that fire is just a heat source and if you respect it, you can tame it.

Respect the fire and you will own it. That’s kind of the mantra at NYC’s Peasant. The SoHo eatery servers rustic Italian fare, all of which is cooked in a gigantic wood burning stove. Whether it’s the pizza, the pasta or the meats, it’s all tamed under intense wood burning heat. Dishes are in limited quantities, especially the seasonal and nightly specials so be sure to ask as soon as your seated. If you hear something you want to shove in your face, speak up immediately. I love a restaurant with a one page menu. It says they know what they’re good at cooking and they want to share it with you.

One more thing about Peasant, they keep it very natural in the restaurant. Most of the light is by candle and there isn’t a whole lot. As a result, it made things tough to get good pictures. I didn’t want to be blowing off a flash every couple of seconds in a packed dining room so therefore my pictures will apear a little dark. You’ll get the gist regardless.

Sounds like a perfect way to celebrate joeC’s birthday!

The meal starts of with some of the finest, crustiest, most perfectly baked Italian bread in the 5 boroughs. The inside are white and soft while the crust is not quite chewy, not quite crusty but all tasty. Eat it alone, with olive oil or with cheese but definitely eat it.

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Again, it’s just fire, but if you’re going to perfect cooking in a wood burning oven you have to make a great pizza. Thankfully, Peasant does that. Be sure to get whichever most strikes your tables fancy and eat it! The pizza is legit and made with very fresh tomatoes. The whole pizza is so delicious and robust; Crispy crust, buttery cheese with a nice creaminess, good spice if you order the spicy sopresatta and peperoncini.

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Have you ever eaten burratat? To put it simply, it’s fresh creamy mozzarella stuffed into less creamy but still fresh mozzarella. Some say it’s cheese, I say it’s a work of art. Do not miss out here and be sure to eat the basil, it’s incredible.

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One of the specialties of the house is their sardine dish. There was no way in hell I was even going to consider taking a bite of this. The other guys a the table were loving it.

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Speaking of seafood, I won’t eat, how about some razor clams? No thanks, but they did smell good. The rest of the 7 thought they were great.

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I love pasta and I’m a sucker for great pasta. I love all kinds of Italian dishes but if I could eat pasta for every meal, you bet your bippy I would. Realize too, that’s coming from the guy who pens Burger Conquest, The NYC Wing-Off & Steak Club 7! When it was asked at the table if we wanted to split some pasta for the table, I demanded that we do. The Lamb Ragu – unreal. Get on your horse and ride. Incredibly savory. Perfectly cooked cavatelli. Perfect au dente. The pappardelle was just simply delicious. Amazing use of basil. A true example of what happens when you take your time cooking something. The pasta was a double dose of awesome.

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Most of the fellas ordered the bistecca alla fiorentina. It’s a classic preparation to a classic steak; 28 ounce of dry-aged t-bone beef. One of my favorite ways to prepare steak. It comes with a side of Mac n Cheese. While normally it wouldn’t even be in question for me to order this, the cards were in a different hand.

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It in limited quantities every night but the seasonal special at Peasant is my favorite dish on the planet, venison chops. Here it’s served on cabbage reduced with prosciutto. The server couldn’t even get the full description of the dish out before my hand was in the air signaling that I had to have one!

Unfortunately my venison, much like the guys’ bistecca alla fiorentina it was incredibly undercooked. In fact, the French called it black and blue. Now don’t get me wrong, I think tartare is stupendous, so I am not afraid of raw meat. Tartare however needs to be prepared a certain way. A steak that’s just raw on the inside but charred on the outside is not even close to medium rare which is all what we prefer. I hate to say something negative about a restaurant that otherwise we loved but this really brought it down a notch for me. Especially with such a great cut of meat.

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Box on the other hand had a different story to tell. Peasant tries to use as much of the animals as possible as they would in Italy. As a result, tonight they were offering a split and cooked suckling pig’s head. Box is a huge pork fan and couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

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A good steak dinner needs a good green to accompany it and Peasant does it right with Italian green beans.

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With the exception of my steak preparation, which can easily be changed, I thought Peasant was great. Would definitely go back for more!

3.5 knives out of 5
-Rev

Pietro’s – An Awesome NYC Classic

Ever since I ate at Pietro’s with Steak Club 7 back in June of 2009, I’ve wanted to go back. The food was great, the service was excellent and the good times were a plenty. There’s a lot of Steak restaurants in NYC and there’s also a lot of great Italian restaurants. However, there aren’t a lot of old school Italian restaurants that also seve great chops. Pietro’s is the place to go for both! This Italian-leaning steak house opened in 1932, this restaurant passed hands when original owner, Pietro Donini passed away. In 1984, Pietro’s moved to it’s current location on 43rd St.

As we do every year, some of my friends from the music business and I get together for a yearly holiday Steak dinner. With last year’s dinner having some lack luster results, I wanted to bring it back this year and suggested Pietro’s. This was going to be exactly the vibe we were looking for.

At this point, it’s now a tradition. Start off your meal with a platter of Pietro’s delicious chicken parmesan. It’s mighty big but it you have enough people, it’s perfect to split.

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While you’re at it, get an order of the meatballs as well. Actually, get one meatball for everyone at the table. We asked for an order to split to which our energetic and fun waiter said “are you kidding me? I’m not going to let you split meatballs, I am going to get you each one!”

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It’s a part of what many of my friends consider an essential part of a steak dinner, but I can’t stand shrimp, so I didn’t have any. I’m sure the rest of my table disagreed.

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It’s NEVER a bad idea to have some roughage as part of a meal this big and intense. The savoriness and intense flavor of a Caesar salad usually does the trick.

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Creamed spinach. I will never understand why people love this dish but they do and its extremely popular with steak dinners. My negative nancy-ness aside, I’m sure everyone else at the table would rave about the dish at Pietro’s.

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Garlicky green beans, now we are talking my style! I love love love green beans with steak and these were great.

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Bring on the start of the show, STEAK! Pietro’s offers a number of steak options but there is only one way to go. Come with a lot of friends and order steak by the number of people at the table. They’ll slice up a porterhouse and serve it to everyone at the table. Look at this picture. LOOK AT IT! Holy Wow! Yes it looked perfect and it tasted that way.

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You gotta have a little starch with a large steak dinner and Pietro’s offers you 9 choices! None of them will take you down a bad path but I definitely suggest the hash brown potatoes.

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While your at, try a helping of the french fried onions. They’re nice and crispy and work really well with witha  juicy bite of steak.

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Somehow not satisfied with the feast we had just ripped through,most of the table wanted to split desserts. While they were all good, the Italian Cheesecake (made with ricotta, not cream cheese) was outstanding and absolutely worth finishing off your meal.

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2.5 years later, Pietro’s is definitely as good as I remember. It’s definably classic NYC in it’s style, presentation, location and feel. The food is absolutely awesome, the service is top notch and the vibe is fantastic. It’s good for dates, parties, corporate dinners, dinner meetings and for 8 guys who get together once a year, dress up in their Sunday best and go out to celebrate the holidays by eating steak together.

 

4 out of 5 knives
-Rev

Bobby Vans – A Traditonal Christmas Shot

I love Nick Tieder. Nick is a dear friend and someone who let’s his passions fly unbridled to ensure maximum enjoyment. His teenager like appreciation for music, events and people is admirable. So when Nick asked me if I wanted to join him in planning another holiday steak-out for our friends, I undoubtedly said “HELL YES!!” Traditions are good, well at least the ones that don’t cause harm to others, but it gives people a reason to spend time together. Last year at this time I planned and holiday outing for our friends at Peter Luger’s Steakhouse. A grand time was had by all and it was well worth resurrecting once again.

Bobby Vans has several locations but this fantastic, NYC style steakhouse is best enjoyed at their Broad Street location, right across the street from the New York Stock Exchange. Diners have the option is sitting upstairs in the formal dining room, at the bar or in the more laid back atmosphere in the downstairs grille that still sits in the 1898 built vault room of the J.P. Morgan bank that was formally located here. Try booking a table for on Friday and Saturday nights when their ENTIRE wine list is half price. Traditional in every way, this formal dining room, covered in rich mahogany wood, chandeliers,  white linens and operated by well dressed and very courteous  staff. The regular menu has a selection of steaks, seafood, salad veggies and of course, potatoes. Everything at Bobby Vans is done with class and quality but don’t think for a second that it creates a stale atmosphere. Bobby Van’s knows how to make your dining experience fun and delicious.

If you’re going to stop in for a fantastic meal experience, please ask for Vincent and tell him Rev from Burger Conquest / Steak Club 7 sent you. It was absolutely the right choice for the Rev & Tieder Annual Holiday Steak Off!

We started off our meal test tasting the latest creation from GiddyUp! Sauces, a NYC Steakhouse style Steak Sauce on the Bobby Van’s bread basket. I wish I could tell who they were for but trust me, they are FANTASTIC.

HEYOH HEYOH! A surprise for the table, an order of the secret menu Chef’s prepared bacon. It was grilled to perfection in a balsamic reduction and it was spectacular.

We also got an order of calamari and baked clams, neither of which I tried because seafood is YUCKY.

Ahhhhh! The apex moment of excitement, the arrival of the porter house steaks, ordered for the entire table (that’s 4 porter houses for 2 between friends.)

Watch the magic happen, listen to my reel of clichés and see what everyone had to say about the PERFECTLY prepared medium-rare porterhouse for two.

Add in some tasting veggies and potatoes on the side and you have one fantastically traditional NY Steakhouse style meal.

It was at the monumental celebration that the “shot of steak fat” had its public debut. (See video entry here.) It’s taken from the juice of a porterhouse, poured into a glass and shot like one would liquor. It sounds disgusting but trust me, it’s AWESOME …

…and now it’s a holiday tradition!

The official “change the gloves” sign of Steak Club 7, the upright t-bone.

As always, I polished off my steak meal with a black Sambucca and espresso but at BV’s, espresso comes with rock candy on a stick!

Until next year, happy steak eatin’ all

4.5 out of 5 knives
-Rev

Maloney & Porcelli

We dined shorthanded this month as two of our “dogs” had last minute emergencies come up. Quick fact about SC7, we’ve been to dozens of New York City Steakhouses, but we’ve never dined at Smith & Wollensky’s as an official outing. I thought this would be the month we caved in, but decided otherwise. While on the S&W site, I decided we’d visit one more of their offshoot restaurants. We’ve had good luck at The Post House & Quality Meats (also Fourth Wall Restaurants), thus the decision to visit Midtown’s Maloney and Porcelli.

Loved the location of our table on this night. We were in the back left corner of the restaurant in a quiet area. Was perfect for us to talk and also enjoy the ambiance of the restaurant.

We started things off with salads and a shrimp cocktail. The wedge was good, having crumbled Bacon always gets a thumbs up! The shrimp cocktail was just ok. As a restaurant, Maloney and Porcelli offers more than just steak and on this night, two of our guys strayed from red meat, one went home happy, one was less than satisfied.

Box ordered the Crackling Pork Shank and loved it, the Firecracker Applesauce was a solid complement. The Rev ordered the Venison and was less than satisfied.. Joe and I ordered the smaller Dry-Aged Prime Rib Eye and it was fantastic! Cooked perfectly and for a rib-eye wasn’t too fatty. Rich ordered the thicker cut and was also very satisfied.

The sides were really solid as well. If you go to Maloney and Porcelli, you must order “Our Signature Balls” as a side dish! We also shared creamed spinach, mushrooms and hash browns, but the big winner was the Signature Balls, which is a potoatoes, bacon, chives all fried together!

Overall, a great night leading into the Thanksgiving break – Always great to have a big meal, before “the” big meal! Service was attentive to our needs.

3 and a half knives
-Jon

Michael Jordan’s The Steakhouse – Solo Mission

My wife Cara and her mother Evelyn hit me up asking for suggestions on a good steak dinner near New York City’s Grand Central Station. They wanted for the 3 of us to get together for a nice meal to enjoy some family time together. While I would be happy eating granola bars just to spend time with, nothing does it like a NYC steakhouse meal. Fortunately the request could not have been more easy to fulfill. Located right inside the doors on the North and West balconies of the Grand Central Terminal is a delicious steakhouse with an amazing view; Michael Jordan’s The Steakhouse.

It’s the ideal location for a grand meal if you commute in or out of the city from the station as it’s literally right there. The views from the restaurant are of the main concourse are spectacular. Known as “the most widely recognizable train terminal room in the world, ” it’s the room through which all traffic flows. Michael Jordan’s sits on the balcony looking out at the amazing star painted ceiling.  There is no shortage of tales, lore and relevance to this very historic and beautiful piece of the New York landscape.  Having grown up and living her entire life in NYC, Evelyn has a treasure chest full of memories and stories about the life of the building.

It’s a great setting to enjoy an appetizer of Warm Garlic Bread in Gorgonzola Fondue. The crispy and warm Garlic Bread stacks up like a Jenga tower while the Fonude provides its moat. The garlic bread is light and savory and when dipped into the thick, creaminess of the rich Gorgonzola Fondue. Be careful, you can ruin the entire meal gorging on this extremely tasty app. But do be sure to dip for the chunky parts!

Both Cara and her Mother chose the leaner and flavorful Filet Mignon steak while I opted for a special of the day. The words barely came out of the server’s mouth before I was fist pumping; “for our specials tonight we are serving a Filet of Venison…” I stopped him right there and with a very excited look in my eyes, I said “I’m going to need that please.” We all laughed and he ran through the rest of the specials although I didn’t hear any of them, as I was lost in thought over my favorite meat. Yes you heard that correct. The guy who hosts the NYC Wing-Off, writes the Burger Conquest website and is a founding member of the world’s #1 steak club, the SC7, prefers Venison over all other meats. Believe me, if venison was more readily available I would’ve started a Venison blog long ago.

The Filet comes served in a red wine reduction and parsnip purée. Ordered medium rare, the plate arrived with 2 pieces of the most perfectly cooked, succulent meat one could ever hope for. My hands were shaking as I quickly tried to snap photos for the blog. It’s a cut of meat that is rich in flavor, very lean, soft and succulent. The burnt edges around the medium rare center really created a monsoon like battle between the two flavors of the cut. I had to slowly pace myself so I didn’t just suck it down without truly enjoying every delicious bite. The parsnips were extra sweet an almost candy like. It’s a nice juxtaposition to the salty meat.

Each of us chose a side to be served with our steak. My wife asked for the Mac and Cheese, Evelyn asked for the Asparagus and I chose a personal favorite, Hericot Verts. They defined the word “fresh.” They tasted as though they had been picked from a welt kept garden on minutes before serving. The beans had a nice snap in the bite. I nearly devoured the entire serving. Michael’s Mac and Cheese is worth the trip alone! It’s creamy in consistency but light in texture. The cheese sauce is very creamy like a thickened, savory cheese soup. This and the Gorgonzola Fondue prove that Michael Jordan’s The Steakhouse knows what to do with cheese!

Try as we might, we could not earn credit for being members of the clean plate club at this meal. It was just too much delicious food for 3 people to eat. The waiter passed around the desert menu and the thought alone brought discomfort. Instead of a cake, pie or ice cream, we each selected an after dinner drink to help coat the truly delicious meal.

This one is for you Ada.

4 out of 5 knives
-Rev

Quality Meats – Dressed Up Scoops and Happy Endings

I can’t entirely take the credit for the choice of Quality Meats being the destination for August’s outing.  I generally feel that if you add the word ‘Quality’ to anything then it usually isn’t, ‘Quality Used Cars’ being a prime example.  Yes, I’m cynical but then again it’s a national trait for us Brits.

I was telling new boy Box that he’d be joining on a month that was my pick and that I had a lot to live up to being perhaps the only member of SC7 yet to make a bum steer so it was actually he that suggested we roll through Quality Meats.  Needless to say, after an exemplary example of what a fine New York steak house should be, I’m more than happy to take the credit.

We were seated in a secluded side room, with former NYC mayor Ed Koch a couple of tables over, his presence and the vibe of the place reminding us that we all had to be on our best behaviour this evening.  Not long after seating we were presented with fresh melon lollipops, intended, I’m sure as a palate cleanser .  Not being a fan of melon I decided my palate was cleansed enough already.  Besides, my excitement at seeing a sausage sampler on the specials list was too powerful, and it was all I could do to get the order in quickly enough.

My companions shared my excitement so we ordered two servings of the sausage sampler (containing rabbit, smoked duck, chorizo and andouille, fact fans), I have to say though, we were all pretty disappointed if truth be told.  Not sure how I was expecting it to be served to us, but cold was not what I thought, and bluntly, the flavour wasn’t that great.  In fact there was sausage remaining when the plates were collected, so the esteemed gentlemen voted with remains such were their thoughts of the sausage sampler.  A big avoid.

We went a little off script with the ordering of the appetisers, such were the massive choices available.  Thus, in addition to the usual shrimp and iceberg wedges we ordered crab cakes, New England clam chowder, baby back ribs, a charcuterie sampler… and more.

All the apps were off a very high, dare I say, ‘quality’, standard that served only to enhance the anticipation of the main event.  Much as we love the preliminaries, we are Steak Club 7 and it’s the steak that really has us talking.

As we’d already gone overboard on the appetisers, there was a general, albeit unspoken acceptance that we might as well continue as we’d started so the list of sides ordered was quite vast.  We had potatoes galore – the pan roasted, bubble and squeak and the ‘quality’ potato rounded off with gnocchi and cheese (amazing, of course), yorkshire creamed spinach (so called as it was served in an edible Yorkshire pudding) and just to add the greens (see Mum, I did listen) the buttered edamame finished with a mint salt (delightful).

Hang on, didn’t I mention steak a paragraph or two back?  Clearly I was getting carried away with the memory of the fine sides but don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten… There is a pattern at SC7, Joe C and Jon generally go for the strip (although Jon will sometimes rock the rib-eye), Matty Winks is a fillet guy and then the Rev, the Meat God and I hammer it out for dibs on sharing a porterhouse and tonight was no different.

I was phenomenally happy with the porterhouse (which interestingly isn’t a regular menu item but a special tonight, lucky us).  The taste was full and the temperature was as ordered (medium rare, if you’re interested).  The satisfaction of cutting off a slice and letting the flavour tickle the tastebuds whilst chewing, quite wonderful.

Desserts are a sometimes addition at our meetings however The Rev, whose most recent visit here had only been a week or two earlier, had told us that the desserts at Quality Meats were amongst the best he’d tasted and man was he not joking.

I urge you, should you feel compelled to visit Quality Meats, and really, you should, please, please save room for desserts.  They take it really seriously here and you’re short changing yourself if you don’t give it a go.  The ‘dressed up scoops’ are as good as any dessert you’ll have tasted.  Furthermore, for an expensive joint, the desserts are reasonably priced.  It’s almost like they’re saying “come on now, we know you’re full, and we know you’ve already dropped a lot of your hard earned tonight, but let us send you home with a smile on yer face, for not much money more”.

A true happy ending, indeed.

4 out of 5 knives
-Big P.A.

Nebraska Steakhouse and Lounge

Nebraska Steakhouse and Lounge

Cool, cool.  So, I kind of feel that I’m the guy who drags the crew to new and different places that may be considered “off the beaten path” in search of an alternate steak house experience.  Once I convinced everyone to get on a ferry and travel over a body of water to an old school Italian steak house along the lovely shores of New Jersey.  I insisted everyone get on the Q train in the dead of winter and travel all the way out to Astoria Queens (yes, close to the shooting location of SC7’s favorite film Coming to America) where we experience a Greek interpretation of our group’s savory steak mission.  The trek I planned to find a slightly different take this moth however, took me just a few blocks from my permanent place of residence, in the FiDi (Financial District) of Lower Manhattan.  Despite the short, boring walk…the outcome was equally as exotic.

The evening or our reservation, I received a text message from The Rev who arrived about an hour early (for pre-game cocktails) stating “um, how the hell did you find this place?!?!?!”  I, still in my office, responded in a panic “why???  Is it terrible???”  His reply was simply “YOU’LL SEE!”

I rushed down to the site: Nebraska Steak House.  My intention?  Scope the place out and if necessary, call an audible.  The beauty of Wall St is that there is legitimate steak joints on almost every block.  The Capital Grille, The Palm, Harry’s, Delmonicos, and literally across the street is one of our all time favorites, Bobby Van’s.  I could have easily rallied the troops and head elsewhere to an Ol’ Faithful.

Here’s the first concern we had:

These are two of the first pictures you see on the Nebraska website…and it’s what this place is like upon arrival.

Luckily, the group was enamored by the dark lighting, the pulsating dance music, and the former Czech female body-builder BOMBSHELLS stationed behind the bar.  To my surprise, everyone agreed: “we aint leavin’, we’re here for an experience, WE’RE EATIN NEBRASKA!”

The actual restaurant setting was kinda old school and very comfortable.  Rich leather and oak décor.  I think we all agreed upon seating, we probably made the correct call.  Now on to the food!

First, a wonderful surprise:  Red and green vinegar peppers in a bath of extra virgin olive oil with decent quality bread…and in HUGE quantities for the table.  This went over really well with the crew.  The peppers were very, very good, similar to what my mother who hails from Ariano Irpino in Italia would serve. I was very impressed.

Next up…Kobe Burger split up for the table as an appetizer…delicious!

Tomato and Mozzarella salad:

And an absolutely delicious Seafood Linguine entrée that was easy to share as an app for the table.  Shrimp, clams, muscles, and a very large split Maine lobster tail in a tangy marinara sauce:

Now…steak time!

Mine was a very healthy cut of New York Strip cooked to perfection.  Pink and juicy in the middle with a very nice char on the outer shell.  I was impressed with the technique and presentation, however I did not find the flavor of the actual steak at a level that I have come to expect when paying $50 for a single piece of meat.  All in all I enjoyed.  Here’s a look at the other cuts ordered:

I felt all the sides were exceptional and the peas and onions were really and unexpected surprise…that dish is a MUST ORDER!

Desert time called for the standard espresso and black sambucca for me and The Rev:

Ok, this place was pretty solid all-in-all.  I would say to not let the ambiance up entering fool you, this is first and foremost a steakhouse.  Our service was very good and our food was also.  Be prepared to pay Wall Street prices though, the menu is not scared of putting up big numbers in bold text!

3.5 our of 5 Knives

-joeC

Old Homestead – Old Favorite

There’s always pressure when it’s “your month”. Do you pick a new hip place, should we re-visit one of the many places we’ve had a mediocre meal at, or do you pick an Old favorite to be guaranteed a great meal. Since last month’s outing to Strip House was less than stellar, I had to go Old’ reliable for my pick. Thus, I went with the familiar friend, The Old Homestead.

This wasn’t a “Solo Mission” and wasn’t a full Steak Club 7 gathering. To borrow a golf-term, we dined as a foursome (No Rerun, No Rev, No PA). We had an 8pm tee-time and sat promptly. After much deliberation over the wine list, we settled on an Italian wine and we were ready to eat! (NOTE: The wine list at Old Homestead is VERY pricey. Maybe it’s just been a while, but you should be able to get a $45 bottle of wine at a NYC steakhouse. The average price was much closer to $75/bottle).

We started with the famed Jenna style garlic bread – Always a thumbs up!

Next up was the Kobe Bacon Appetizer. We ordered 2 pieces each to which our waiter thought we were crazy. He eventually let us order it and the bacon was amazing. Probably the best steak house bacon in quite some time. BACON!

We also ordered Shrimp for the table. They were huge. Reminded us of a former NY Yankees First Baseman (Hint: Jason Giambi). Definitely performance enhanced just like we like them. Tasted really good!

As for the steaks, a couple of us strayed from our usual menu favorites. I ordered the Filet (usually orders Strip), Rich ordered the Strip (usually gets Porterhouse), Joe ordered Rib Eye (usually orders Strip) and Matt went with his signature Filet Au Poivre . I believe we went 2 for 4 on our steaks. Mine was perfect and I was completely satisfied. Matt’s was well under-cooked, ordered Medium-Rare plus, but arrived very rare. Joe’s was ok, but he took most of it home and Rich never leaves anything on his plate.

I realize that most great steaks don’t need steak sauce, but Old Homesteads sweet sauce is just too good to avoid. I can’t recommend it enough (even on a steak).

The sides were good, not great. We went simple with Broccoli, Hash Brown and Truffle Mac & Cheese. The Hash Brown is amazing, Broccoli is healthy and Mac & Cheese may have been too much.

Even though it was a familiar steakhouse for us, the renovation that made the restaurant smaller gave it more cozy atmosphere, but not sure if that’s a good thing. Often felt cramped in the main dining space and our waiter was standing over our table most of the evening (mostly b/c he had no one else to stand).

We got the bill and realized we did some major damage. We didn’t go too crazy with drinks or desert and it was quite an expensive evening! Overall, we had a great night. The food was good, not amazing. We’re always going to enjoy going to Old Homestead, but the mighty could be falling some.

3.5 Knives
-Jon

Quality Meats – Solo Mission

Be warned, promising the glory of meat to a member of Steak Club 7 is a gesture taken very seriously. My friend Adam had made such a promise more than a year ago and I intended on making sure he made good. I had to with it out but Adam, being the good and honorable dude that he is, took me and our friend Matt out for Steak. Since Adam was treating, his only demand was choosing the location and he asked to go to Quality Meats. Who am I to argue!??

Matt and I started off with a victory scotch while Adam had a PBR.  The meal began with a sampling of the amazing charcuterie meats and cheeses that Quality Meats offers. You see, Quality Meats actually has 2 restaurants, the full-blown steak house in the back and the counter service charcuterie bar in the front. If you get a table in the full restaurant, you can order from both and I most certainly suggest that you do! You’ll not have a better sampling of Italian Meats and cheeses any where else in the city.

In an attempt to have a serious palette cleanse as well as get in some roughage, we all ordered a salad. I had the Local Farmer’s Salad, overloaded with fruits and veggies while Matt ordered the beet salad and Adam went with his favorite, a Caesar. Mine was robust, bursting with succulent flavors and by far one of the most flavor intense salads I have ever eaten.

Most NY Steakhouses offer their own signature steak sauce and Quality Meats makes their own with a twist. Rather than just bottle it up off site and place it on the table, they bring all the ingredients table side and furiously whip up a batch just for you. While I wouldn’t necessarily suggest using steak sauce on a great steak but this sauce is incredible. Try dipping a few bites or use some bread. It’s a taste you will want to try.

Our amazing, attentive and friendly server put in a heavy suggestion on the NY Strip. As a big fan, there was no need for me to consider otherwise. Matt went with the same and Adam chose his favorite cut, a ribeye. Unlike other steak houses, Quality Meats serves their ribeye bone-in which makes it look like the kind of steak that Fred Flintstone eats. My NY Strip, also served bone-in, was cooked to a perfect medium-rare and exploding with amazing flavors. Quality Meats uses a little more salt in the seasoning of their steak but really, it just makes the tastes more intense. But the combination of marbling and the bone add an intensity to the flavor that you wont’ find in a of other place.

It’s always tough to gauge ordering sides for a meal like this. It’s easy to underestimate the hunger at the table and it’s even easier to over-estimate. It was a celebration so what the hell, we ordered almost all of them! The Pan Roasted Crispy Potatoes were awesome. Imagine thick cut potato chips served still hot and covered in spices. MMMM! TASTY. While I didn’t try the Yorkshire Creamed Spinach (not a fan), the Grilled Asparagus were crunchy and well prepared.  The Corn Creme Brulee and Gnocchi and Cheese were my two favorites. The former was an interesting mix of sweet and salty that worked well against a very savory cut of meat. The latter were rich and creamy providing a different palette than the rest of the meal. I also enjoyed the Broccoli & Cheese Bites but not as much as I would’ve just liked some steamed or sautéed broccoli. You need a little greens with a meal like this.

As we sat holding our full bellies, we agreed, there just wasn’t any room available for desserts. Upon delivering the after dinner menus, our server reiterated that the ice cream at Quality Meats was home-made and worth trying. That was enough nudging for Matt and I to give in and order Banana Cream Pie and Coffee & Doughnuts ice cream. Of course that lead to Sticky Toffee & Cherry Pudding with Almond Ice Cream and a Chocolate Brownie Cake served with Pistachio cream,Yogurt and Raspberries. Each one of them was rich, jam-packed with delicious flavor and unique in its own right. The Banana Cream Pie ice cream and the Sticky Toffee were the stand outs.

If there’s one thing that Quality Meats does well, it would be EVERYTHING! Not a moment or bite of the entire evening was boring or average in any way. Perhaps the name truly does tell all here. Enjoy, you won’t leave disappointed.

4.5 out of 5 knives
-Rev

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