KristalBelli – $56 For Bacon and Worth It

Steak is a fantastic dish and should be celebrated. There’s no better way to show your love for it than to share it with your friends. That’s the whole motivation behind the World’s #1 Steak Club, SteakClub7; to eat, share & enjoy Steak with your friends. Which steak, where’s is prepared, how it’s made, well that’s up to your interpretation and for this month’s Steak Club outing, we chose to diversify up the palett.

If you love meat and are open to ethnic foods, I’ll take the safe bet that you’ve eaten and love Korean barbecue. Known as “Gogigui” in Korean which translates directly to “meat + roasting”, which is refers to their way of grilling meat. The dishes are prepared right at your table on a table top grill. It’s a fantastic way to dine and experience a little food culture. At NYC’s KRISTALBELLI, they take this to a whole new level.

Founded by Korean entertainer, music mogul and business man Park Jin-young (AKA JYP), KRSITALBELLI is a high-end Korean barbecue restaurant located in Midtown Manhattan. JYP and his restaurant group have worked to create a brand new style of grill fashioned from crystal. The convex surface provides high-heat retention with a perfect distribution and creates a perfect cooking experience.

From their website:

The advantages of crystal grill:

• Infrared-ray – When it’s heated, it emits infrared ray enabling the meat’s inside to get cooked simultaneously with the outside so the meat holds more juice and the outside is much unlikely to burn. (Infrared ray is known to be the most beneficial wavelength to humans.)

• Cook time – Cooks meat 2~3 times faster compared to traditional stainless or metal grills.

• Appearance – Its clear color and shape provides a visual attraction to the grill.

• 99.9% natural crystal – The stone does not create any harmful residues.

• Artistic grill and table: Kristalbelli’s grill/table is the 1st to be artistically designed when all Korean BBQ grills just focused on its function until now. Our roaster is equipped with the downdraft system, which drags in all the smoke downwards.

It’s not only authentic but it’s very stylish and unlike other Korean barbecue restaurants, your server handles all the cooking.

For the proper Korean barbecue experience at KRISTALBELLI, you’ll want to order a number of selections from the menu. It doesn’t have a lot of choice but they are all pretty great. The entire meal should be split so none of this “that’s mine” businesses, if it’s on the table, it’s fair game! We started off with 3 dishes:

Haemul Pajeon “해물 파전” – Mixed seafood pancake with scallions. I didn’t try this but I really don’t like Seafood. The rest of the guys were into it.

Japchae “잡채” – Stir fried glass noodles with vegetables. This was delicious and robust with all kinds of great flavors and spices. I could’ve eaten this as an entire meal!

The KB (Kristalbelli) Salad – Sauteed pork belly on top of mixed greens accompanied with soy ginger vinaigrette. Seriously, do not skip on this. It’s simple but incredibly tasty.

Korean meals often come with lots of sides, dips and prepared vegetables that are meant to be eaten with the main dish so be sure to try everything that comes your way.

KRISTALBELLI offers four cuts of beef, Filet Mignon, Wagyu Rib Eye, Wagyu NY Strip & Wagyu Galbi . We went with the latter 3 so as to be able to try a bunch of different types. It all comes with onions and mushrooms that your friendly and skilled server will cook for you. Once it was ready, we ate it faster than it took to cook the steaks. Amazing quality, taste, flavor, execution and style.



The steaks of course come with more sauces, vegetables and pastes. We actually asked for more of the chili paste (bottom, center) because it was so amazing. I want to bottle and sell that.

The Wagyu Galbi comes from the Chuck Tail and cut that is not easy to come by. In fact KRISTALBELLI keeps a limited amount on hand so be sure to get there early and order some.

Want to see what $56 worth of bacon looks like? That’s actually 2 full orders of the KRISTALBELLI Samgyeopsal “삼겹살” – Pork belly. You have never seen a table of men salivate until you’ve witnessed the SteakClub7 watching while their server prepared this on the grill. It was incredibly rich, succulent and fresh tasting. Ignore the cost and be sure to order it.

And like all dishes, the Samgyeopsal comes with more delicious sauces to dip in which honestly, it does not need. No matter, you should try them all!

Rounding out the meal we did as you should and ordered Kristal Bibimbap “크리스탈 비빔밥.” Bibimbap is a traditional Korean dish made with rice with seasoned assorted vegetables with chili pepper paste served either cold or hot (choice of beef or tofu) in our signature crystal bowl. As they mix it table side, the rice starts to stick to the bowl and crisps creating something like a moist rice chip. It’s incredible and if do not order this, you did yourself an injustice. We practically fought each other for the last bites.



KRISTALBELLI might be a little on the expensive side but you get what you pay for. If you want the best, you have to pay for it. That’s why I suggest going with several people so you can split and try a lot of dishes.

KRISTALBELLI is one of the most unique, high quality authentic ethnic dining experiences in NYC and the food, especially the Steak is nothing but delicious.

4.5 out of 5 knives
-Rev

Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecote NYC – The Spatula City of Steaks

We love Steak. After 7 years of eating it regularly as the world’s #1 steak club, we still yearn for it. Sure, sure, we love the bacon apps, the glasses of scotch, the German potatoes on the side, the creamed spinach, shrimp cocktails, mac n cheese, onion rings, chocolate sundays, after dinner sambuccas and so forth. But what makes it all come together, the reason for the season, the climax of the event…the kairos moment, if you will, is when that tender piece of beef hits the plate, cooked to order, succulent, juicy, bursting with flavor and calling our names. That’s the what where why and who to this club, event and the prior run on sentence.

That’s also the reason behind Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecote, the multi city Steak House with a location in NYC. You see, this fine dining and formal eatery has one thing and one thing only on it’s menu: steak. More than 5 decades ago the original location opened in Paris, serving Parisian style Steak Frites. There was no menu then and there is no menu now. Whether you are in Paris, Manchester, one of the locations in London or NYC, the menu, or should I say lack of menu, is the same: Salad, followed by Steak Frites. The waitress, dressed in a French Maid uniform, simply asks how you would like it prepared and then the meal begins.

Even though the Big P.A. had been to one of the London locations, the wonderful waitress took the time to explain the process: Salad, Steak Frites, Steak Frites,Pay the Bill, go home. She then politely explained that they only prepare the steak one of 4 ways: 1. Blue, 2. Rare, 3. Medium & 4. Well Done. There is no halves, meaning for me, who usually orders medium well, at a Parisian steak house, I go medium. Why? In Parisian steak prep, their M is our MR. Once each of us ordered, the waitress wrote down the selection, on the table cloth and then the meal began.

A few moments later, once you’ve tipped into your first beverage, the meal begins. A green salad with walnuts dressed with mustard vinaigrette starts your off right with some green. It’s fresh, clean, easy to eat and preps your stomach for what’s to come.

Then, as promised, out comes the sliced Steak & Frites. It’s a nice, perfectly cooked piece of sirloin. It’s topped in their secret sauce which tastes like a light peppercorn gravy. It’s freakin delicious. No joke, the steak is spot on. The frites, just the right amount of crisp. The sauce, doesn’t over power the meat but adds to the already succulent flavor.

As your rounding out the last couple of bites of your steak and frites, you’ll probably think: “this isn’t going to be enough. I am going to want more.” We most certainly did and Joe C even jokingly asked if we could see the “other” menu with the appetizers and sides. Our waitress was a good sport about it and giggled. She then asked if we were ready for our 2nd helping of steak frites. So yeah, that’s it: Salad, Steak Frites & more Steak Frites. By the time you rock through the 2nd helping, you’re going to be about full. The timing at which it’s served along with the place will more than surely fill you up.



That is, unless you are the the Big P.A. He demanded we split a chocolate sunday. Now here is the funny thing about the dessert menu at Le Relais de Venise, it’s rather extensive. Where and how that decision came from, I have no idea but I guess if you get that far into the meal, you are welcomed with a delectable menu of choices. I couldn’t imagine another bite but that my friends, is just how the Big P.A. roles.

If you love steak, you will love Le Relais de Venise. That’s all they serve and after you taste one bite, you’ll understand why they don’t need to serve anything else. If you can do it right and do it better than anyone else, you win.

4 out of 5 knives
-Rev

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