Sunday, December 30, 2007

Restaurant: Quality Meats

While I have said before that my taste in steak houses is far from perfect, I have been growing more and more fond of this unique dining experience. Recently a friend and myslef headed to a relatively new and different steak house called Quality Meats. Owned by the same group as Smith & Wollensky, it had a really nice hip and homey vibe to it, with a lot of mirrors, exposed brick and wood. Steak houses usually seem to be two types, extremely lavish and high end, or more casual all about the meat type of places. Quality Meats from d├ęcor alone seemed to try to fit in the middle of these two. Heck, even the waiters were dressed like butchers, which I thought was a nice touch, if not a little over the top. My friend considers himself a steak house connoisseur, often attending the top places regularly. Before we go any further, be warned, the wine list is incredibly expensive, even for a steak house. The cheapest bottle (a Merlot, of course) was $42, and most wines were around the $85-$100 range. So of course we went with the beer. The Quality Meats ale, while not terrible is nothing worth spending more than a sentence on here.

The “bread course” as our waiter described it was delicious. Piping hot bread, covered with parmesan, rosemary and oil was served in a single bun, which you broke into 4 squares with a spoon and was quickly replaced once it was devoured. Our appetizers soon followed, my friend getting a nice sized house salad and myself being served a tuna sashimi with julienned papaya. The fish was fresh, the papaya salad very refreshing, but the vinaigrette served with the fish seemed like it needed just a little more lemon and the oil made you lose the texture of the fish. Then again, who judges fish at a steak house?

The steaks and sides came out together and my friend got the three fillets, which ended up being a much bigger portion than expect. Each fillet had a different sauce, one a creamy beschamel, one a spicy BBQ, and one a mushroom sauce (which he had them leave off due to a mushroom “allergy"). From what I tasted the steaks were moist and the sauces very good without overpowering the fillet. My steak, a bone in sirloin, was a bit under cooked, closer to medium rare rather than medium, but after a bite I decided the accident did not affect the taste. One great thing that Quality Meats does is they make fresh a steak sauce in a mortar and pestal. The sauce was chock full of ingredients, and just a few we picked up were orange, thyme, vinegar and molasses. By the end of the meal, I declared it the best steak sauce I’d ever had. Sides were generously sized, suprising and delighting my steakhouse veteran friend. The sauteed spinach, while a little over garlicky was tasty, as was the mashed potatoes. Neither were anything special and could be served in dozens of restaurants in the city. The cheesy gnocchi however surprised us both for it’s size, and how tasty and oozing with cheese it was when served.

I forced us to get dessert despite statements of being ready to explode from so much food. My friend got a blueberry tart which was good, but nothing unusual. Same to be said for my banana cream pie, although the homemade graham cracker crust and cool refreshing taste of bananas and whip cream did help with the overload of meat and carbs.

All in all this was yet again another great steak experience, and my friend was very impressed, vowing to take clients there so he could expense it…

Meat of Good Quality

1 comment:

LairdNYC said...

I find the best way to compare the steak at different steakhouses is how each tastes without steak sauce. I rarely let any sauce touch my plate.