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The Cody Blog: Seeking Best Steak Frites or Bar Steak in NYC, or, Three Sexy Italian Ladies and a Bottle of Pelegrino

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Seeking Best Steak Frites or Bar Steak in NYC, or, Three Sexy Italian Ladies and a Bottle of Pelegrino

When I first moved to NYC, I wanted to break out and try anything and everything, which of course included food. I mostly lived on pasta, tuna and vegetables for dinner most nights, as there certainly wasn't any money to spare for nights out at nice restaurants.

But anytime I did go out, I'd always order something that I'd never tried before -- swordfish, octopus, seared tuna, whatever the specialty of the house was. Most of the time, I liked whatever was served just fine. But then one time after a year or so in the city, I was at a steak house and I was like, "Hmm, I'm gonna have me a steak and potatoes meal for dinner like my ol granpa always did."

We were at Peter Luger's and I ordered steak with everybody else at the table. And, oh, man it was a great steak. Crisped on the outside and a pink that converged in the center where you could to a razor-thin deep red stripe. By the time I finished savoring my first bite, I was trying to remember exactly why I'd ever ventured from my love of beef.

And while I eat out most nights a week these days, I rarely venture out and try something new anymore. I usually just order some sort of beef dish.

So I was at Les Halles with Doug Kass and coincidentally I'd been there a few weeks before with James Altucher who had rightly ordered the chef's specialty, steak frites, and then raved about it for days after. I didn't hesitate and ordered the steak frites, medium, and oh, man it was good. Darn nearly a perfect steak, sliced not-to-thinly and just singed on the outside and not to juicy on the inside. I give it a full W+, the brand my great-, grand- and father have used to mark our own bulls.

The next night I was at Lucky Strike and I ordered the Bar Steak with french fries from a pretty short-haired waitress that I'm not sure but either really liked me or couldn't wait for me to leave. It was dry and just a bit too flavorless as the quality of the beef itself (rather than the cut) wasn't of great quality. I give it a V, which is more than a /, both of which are less than a W, which is less than the perfect score of a W+. Follow all of that? I know any editor I've ever had would throw that line out in a heartbeat, which makes so thankful for the ability to have a free printing press of this blog so that I can write in what's my own voice -- sometimes restrained or not -- on my own terms. Viva la revolucion. But I digress.

On Sunday night I'm out to dinner at Barolo with a friend whom I met from having exchanged emails about stuff on this blog. I had the steak frites again. I love Barolo, but the steak frites there needs something to jazz it up. Maybe the waiter was supposed to tell me that I should have a side or something, but he didn't and the steak experience was especially lacking without it. A V.

Today for lunch I ate at Balthazar with an analyst from Goldman. I ordered, yes, the steak frites. And it was undercooked, especially for a lunch meal, and I didn't like the garlicy butter that they put on top. Another V.

If I know anything about the phase cycles I tend to go through in my own idiosyncratic ways, I figure that I'll be ordering steak frites or bar steak at just about every place I go for the next few weeks or months. I also figure it's going to be awfully tough to top Les Halles (ever see that guy's show on the Food Network? It's really good.)

Okay, I'm just home from a very long day and then a dinner out (steakless though it might be) with a buddy from Google, a media consultant from McKinsey and a distressed bond broker...and wrapped up with a bottle of Pelligrino (yes, water, it was late and it's Tuesday for crying out loud) with three sexy Italian ladies who might or might not have been pretending to not really speak much English.

The quest continues.


Blogger Wes said...

I get on food kicks like that too, where I just have to sample different versions of great food.... just so I know.... ya know?

Anyway, good steak with a side of Italian. Sounds great man. Enjoy.

8/16/2006 02:15:00 AM  
Blogger The Unknown Broker said...

"...a dinner out (steakless though it might be) with a buddy from Google, a media consultant from McKinsey and a distressed bond broker..."

Why was the broker distressed? HAHAHAHAHA!

8/17/2006 11:21:00 PM  

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