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John, a Lunch Belle reader from Florida, asked me and a friend to join him for dinner at Club A Steakhouse during his recent business venture in New York City. For me — a woman who, by fault, doesn't take herself that seriously — receiving an invitation to dine with one of my readers was both flattering and exciting. Without question, I invited my dear Emily, who just so happens to be my biggest cheerleader and unofficial publicist.
Unlike some of its competitors who are located on "grittier" blocks of New York City — ahem, Keen's Steakhouse or Peter Luger — Club A Steakhouse resides in one of East 58th Street's "dime a dozen," pristinely-maintained brownstones. And its location, believe it or not, is what truly sets this particular "beef shrine" apart. Diners seem a tad bit more elegant and sophisticated, a trait that lends in creating a more demure and, coincidentally, romantic atmosphere.
Em and I chose to arrive on the earlier side of our 7pm reservation so that we could briefly catch up over a glass of wine at the restaurant's bar. Between sips of pinot noir and nibbles of CAS's (Club A Steakhouse) devilishly delicious house-made potato chips, 7pm quickly approached, as did our gracious host.
House-made potato chips: now *this* is my type of bar snack!
Notice the long-stemmed decanter!!
An assortment of the freshest breads, paired with a sweet-cream butter
Greek olives and parmesan cheese nuggets
After perusing CAS's menu, we chose to begin with thee extra-thick sizzling Canadian bacon. Assuming that it would be similar to the version I've had at Peter Luger, I was completely surprised by what was actually presented. CAS's bacon was at least three times the size of what is served at Luger's, meaning that there was much more succulent, smoky, and slightly caramelized meat. For all of you pork lovers out there, this dish ranks at the top of my "must-try before you die" list. Absolutely phenomenal.
Quite possibly, this bacon could put an end to world wars if given as a peace offering. Trust me, this hunk of love will change your life.
Pork chop? No. Ham steak? No. This, my friends, is a thick "slice" of bacon
For my entree, I ordered the bone-in filet mignon, to be prepared medium-rare. With a selection of seven side sauces, I chose the creamy-mushroom as an accompaniment to my steak. And for the table, we agreed to split three side dishes: truffle macaroni & cheese, hashbrown potatoes, and creamed spinach.
Not since my experience at Wolfgang's Steakhouse have I had such a quality cut of beef that was perfectly charred on the outside and moist and buttery on the inside. Each bite was more tender and rich than the last. Of the side dishes, all three were equally outstanding but, if I had to choose just one, then the hasbrowns would take home the trophy. A crisp and salty exterior gave way to a pillow-soft interior.
From the bone-in filet mignon, moving clockwise: truffle macaroni and cheese, hashbrown potatoes, creamed spinach
Bone-in filet mignon
As if tons of bread and butter, bacon, steak, and three rich side dishes weren't enough, our server returned to make strawberries with homemade sabayon, table-side.
Emily gave the sabayon her "thumb" of approval
Oh, what a night! After dinner, we retired to CAS's second floor, where we sipped champagne and listened to live music.
From everything that encompassed CAS — decor, food, drink, and service — to my fabulous company, I had the pleasure of experiencing one of the most memorable and magical meals since the inception of The Lunch Belle. Thanks again, John.
12 Steak Dinner Recipes That Are Better Than Any Steakhouse Can Make
Photo credits: Half Baked Harvest, Foodie Crush, Bev Cooks, Feasting At Home, Boulder Locavore, A Spicy Perspective
Steak dinners are a special kind of meal. They're big, hearty and make a regular Monday night feel like a decadent celebration. That's because steak dinners usually are the mark of a special occasion, punctuated with an outing to a big, fancy restaurant. But we say save the money you'd spend on table service and learn to make steaks at home -- and do it better than the steakhouse can (so long as you avoid these mistakes).
Not only is perfecting your at-home steak game easy, it also means you'll be able to eat more of the good stuff, because it's significantly less expensive to cook it yourself. If that's not incentive to learn how to make perfect steak at home, we don't know what is. Here are 12 recipes that'll help you do just that.
How to Cook a Steak
Follow these easy steps for a delicious, juicy steak.
It&rsquos Thursday &ndash time to think about what&rsquos for dinner this weekend. How &rsquobout a nice, juicy steak? Don&rsquot be intimidated it&rsquos one of the easiest things in the world to cook, and it&rsquoll make your soul sing.
Let&rsquos cook a rib-eye today.
Look for a boneless rib-eye with "good marbling", which refers to the tiny lines of fat distributed throughout the steak. Marbling adds flavor, juiciness, and tenderness to the cooked steak. This particular steak is about 1" thick.
For this lesson, I&rsquoll use my trusty (but not rusty) iron grill pan/griddle. Any grill pan will do, or you can certainly use a regular (but not nonstick) skillet.
Go ahead and turn the burner on medium to medium-high heat you&rsquoll want the pan to be very hot when you&rsquore ready to start cookin&rsquo.
Here&rsquos my never-fail arsenal: Lawry&rsquos Seasoned Salt, McCormick Lemon Pepper, and a nice stick of regular (salted) butter.
First, sprinkle a light layer of Lawry&rsquos&hellip
&hellipFollowed by a nice, generous layer of Lemon Pepper.
Now that the pan&rsquos nice and hot, rub the stick of butter all over the cooking surface.
For one steak, I&rsquoll melt about a fourth of a stick of butter.
Now, let the butter sit on the pan for a couple of minutes&hellip
Next, place the seasoned steak on the hot pan.
Press it down firmly so the pan will leave nice, black grill marks on the meat.
1 minute, 45 seconds later, rotate the steak 90 degrees.
The purpose of this rotation is to form a criss-cross pattern in the grill marks, and to cook the surface of the steak more evenly. Notice that before I rotated it, the grill marks only went in one direction.
Two minutes later, go ahead and flip the steak over to the other side.
After 1 minute, 45 seconds, rotate it 90 degrees and finish cooking for another two minutes.
It doesn&rsquot get any better than this.
This is medium-rare, my favorite. Remember, you can always throw it back on the pan if it&rsquos too red for your taste&hellipbut you can&rsquot UNDO it if it&rsquos overcooked, so be careful. If you begin with a thinner steak, decrease the cooking time on all sides. And don&rsquot be afraid to cut a little slice in the steak to check the doneness as you&rsquore cooking. And remember that the steak will continue to cook slightly after you&rsquove removed it from the heat.
If you follow the aforementioned instructions carefully, here are some possible scenarios that will result:
1. If you cook it for your boyfriend, he will propose to you.
2. If you cook it for your girlfriend, she will give you a ninety-minute foot rub.
3. If you cook it for your husband, he will tell you he can&rsquot imagine being married to anyone else in the world.
4. If you cook it for your wife, she will give you a ninety-minute foot rub.
5. If you cook it for yourself, you&rsquoll decide you don&rsquot need no stinkin&rsquo spouse.
6. If you cook it for your friends, they&rsquoll never invite you over to their house for dinner again. You will have permanently raised the bar.
Go get &rsquoem! And report back to me when you&rsquove completed the task.
Recipe New York Strip Steak Marinated in Bourbon with Mashed Potatoes Yachtsman Steakhouse Yacht Club
2. Pour bourbon marinade over steaks, making sure they are totally covered. Let sit refrigerated for 24 hours.
3. Grill until done, brushing with Jack Daniels Glaze.
4. Served with mashed potatoes.
6 oz. dark brown sugar
7 oz. Jack Daniels
9 oz. pineapple concentrate
5 oz. soy sauce
32 oz. water
1. Combine sugar and Jack Daniels, stir until dissolved into a syrup.
8 oz. pineapple concentrate
6 oz. Jack Daniels
4 oz. dark brown sugar
8 oz. soy sauce
8 oz. water
Cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with a little water)
Combine all, bring to a simmer. Add a cornstarch slurry and stir until desired thickness. Strain and hold to hot. Add a splash of Jack Daniels before serving.
Other recipes at Yachtsman Steakhouse
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4 Charles Prime Rib
“Brendan Sodikoff's lovely newcomer makes the case that New York should be home to more Chicago influencers,” inspectors say of the steakhouse named for its street address. This late night dining den is a sure win for meat-lovers, with a menu offering three cuts of prime rib that’s been slow-roasted for 12 hours and served with beef jus.
What to order? “Some dishes may break with tradition but offer tasty results, like spaghetti carbonara twirled with pecorino and smoky guanciale set beneath a silky fried egg,” suggest inspectors. “Others are firmly footed classics, like a phenomenal bone-in Porterhouse for two, served alongside truffle potatoes, creamed spinach, and a whole head of roasted garlic.”