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BLT Steak

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BLT Steak


Address: 106 East 57th Street
City: New York, NY
Zip: 10022
Phone: (212) 752-7470
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Map: Map
Cuisine: Steakhouses
Area: East 50s
Entree Price: >$30
Payment: Amex Visa Mastercard Discover

Review:

BLT Steak, the sexy new temple of haute beef in the space that was Pazo, is a place to relax, tuck a napkin into your collar, raise a glass (the wine list is 700 bottles long), and quite simply, feast. Designed with a feminine side, BLT Steak is warmed with amber lighting, and smooth camel-suede banquettes, with a long zinc bar that should will whisper to you as you enter, beckoning you to rest yourself before dinner with a perfectly shaken cocktail before dinner. Indeed, unlike most manly-man cow-houses, BLT Steak brings resets the steakhouse mold, making it as much a place to relax and dine as it is to and indulge. Owned by Jimmy Haber (the man behind Pazo and AZ), the restaurant is named not for the eponymous sandwich, but for Laurent Tourondel (get it? Bistro Laurent Tourondel), the gifted chef known for his luxurious seafood dishes at Cello. At BLT Steak, the crowds are both young and hip, and handsome and wise, and the menu is American Steakhouse meets young French guy (that would be Laurent) with a passion for terrific ingredients and a way of bringing beef to the realm of dreams. You can start with a platter from the raw bar, or the signature BLT ($22), a toasted sandwich fashioned from slow-roasted tomatoes, arugula, foie gras terrine and crisp bacon. I prefer my BLTs simply with slab of bacon alone, but I guess he is doing to the BLT what Daniel did to the burger. Sad that some people can't leave well enough alone. (The BLT at Union Square Café however is served the way it should be, and is the definition of "well enough alone," done to perfection.) But despite his need to spruce up the BLT, Tourondel is a mature and talented chef and he offers a wealth of options to sample said talent. While I think we need another tuna tartare on a menu like we need another iteration of Average Joe, he does make a case for this overexposed dish. His is a glistening, roughly cut mound of super fresh tuna dressed in a soy-lime dressing ($14) as bright and lively as a perky cheerleader on opening day. I was also taken with his crabcakes—they are fat, golden-crusted, and filled with lots of sweet shredded crabmeat, and nothin' else ($15). After apps, you must undertake the daunting Craft-like task of selecting a protein—Hanger Steak ($24), Kobe Flat Iron ($26), Braised Short Ribs ($28), Rib Eye ($58 for 2), Lemon Rosemary Chicken ($22), Moulard Duck Breast ($27), Grilled Swordfish ($30), Grilled Tuna ($28), or Dover Sole ($34), among others—then choosing a sauce—Béarnaise, Peppercorn, Red Wine, 3 Mustards, Blue Cheese, or Horseradish for the meats, or Soy-Citrus, Caper Brown Butter, Tomato-Béarnaise, Cilantro Mayonnaise, Ginger Ketchup for the fish. While wonderful, you really need not mind the sauces, as Tourondel makes meat and fish worth eating naked. Sides ($7-$9)—like the cloud-like Parmesan gnocchi, or his crispy wedge cut French fries—are all excellent, but the prize-winning side on this menu is the creamed spinach. It is gorgeous. Brightly colored and laced with lethal amounts of Gruyere and cream, it is hard to imagine a better way to eat your vegetables.

Review By: Andrea Strong


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