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BLT Steak

BLT Steak overall score: UNRATED

This is a special sort of review, so I am keeping it unrated for now (flavor on all of the cuts was a 10/10 though, just for your own edification). I recently became friendly with the owner of Kow Cattle Co., a domestic wagyu producer out of Iowa that ships directly from the farm to customers and restaurants. No distributors get their hands on this stuff, and the beef goes right back to them after the slaughterhouse. Needless to say they create some great product, most of which is grading out at BMS scores of around 8. This dinner was a special tasting of a few different cuts of Kow, since BLT is now going to serve some of their products on the menu. Check it out:

Wagyu Tongue Reuben

This baby is on their lunch menu, and it is amazing. You may be freaked out by the idea of eating tongue, but it is tender, marbled and delicious. When cooked properly, this is one of the most delicious cuts of the animal. Go give it a shot.

Vietnamese Style Tri-Tip

Perfection! I hope this is on their regular menu, because it is an amazing way to treat an off-cut, or not-so-common cut (uncommon here in NYC steakhouses anyway). There was a hit of fish sauce, fresh herbs like cilantro and scallion, pickled daikon and carrot. Amazing. And look at that sear on the outside!

Wagyu Tenderloin/Filet Mignon

This is pure butter. So friggin good. Great cook temp, great crust on the outside, and super soft inside.

Wagyu Tomahawk Rib Eye

This is served sliced and off the bone. I loved it. Everyone goes nuts for the tenderloin from these Kow folks, but I am a traditionalist. Give me that rib eye!

As for some of the other items we tried from the BLT bullpen, their awesome popovers:

A really nicely crafted terrine/head cheese:

Lamb bacon, which I was excited to see on the menu:

A standard wedge salad:

A great blue cheese olive martini:

Some kind of flourless healthy vegan brownie, that was actually good:

And mini cookie ice cream sandwiches. Good ice cream, but cookies needed to be softer.

Anyway, that does it. I’ll definitely be back for seconds on the Reuben for lunch, and I need to take my wife for the Viet tri-tip.

By the way, you can order all of these Kow steaks online from THEIR WEBSITE. I highly recommend.

BLT STEAK
106 E 57th St
New York, NY 10022

Osamil

Osamil serves up a really great brunch on weekends. They open nice and early too, at 10:30, so if you’re like me and think that brunch is really just a big breakfast with booze, then 10:30 is right on the money. We went at 12:30 with another food couple that we’re friends with though, so this became our main meal of the day.

The cocktail menu is really fun here. This pink one had watermelon foam and mescal. Very nice.

I also tried a michelada (beer and bloody mix), which was nice.

And we shared this giant punch bowl.

As for the food, we started with some kimchi deviled eggs, which had a nice spice level to them.

Next up was cold uni bibimbap. Essentially this is rice, kimchi, egg, quinoa, onion, nori, mixed greens and other tasty things, mixed up with some uni (wish there was more).

This asian pear salad with candied walnuts was really nice and refreshing too.

The broth for these mussels is incredibly slurpable. I was eating it by the spoonful throughout the meal. And yes there is bacon in there.

And those fries you see there are some of the best in the city. Might be my new favorite, as a matter of fact. They’re dusted with pimento and finished with truffle oil.

Okay so let’s get to the meat. First, spam. I know, I know… but it really is good.

Next, pork belly, lettuce and tomato sandwich. So good!

But here’s the show stopper: grilled prime hanger steak served atop bacon and kimchi fried rice, with a sunny-side up egg. Amazing.

THAT’s what breakfast should be… Not only is it gorgeous but it tasted great too. The steak could have used a bit more salt and pepper, but that’s only if you were eating it by itself. When combined with the rice, you got all the savory elements from the bacon and kimchi working together with the steak, so it’s all good. 9/10.

OSAMIL
5 W 31st St
New York, NY 10001

BLT Steak (White Plains)

BLT Steak (White Plains) Overall Score: 71

Guest Review by “Hungry Dad” Hugh Gallon
www.HungryDads.com

Before I give this guest review, I need to take the piss out of myself and level-set the reader. I am not qualified to properly review a steak – at least not when compared to Johnny Prime himself. I’m still learning. But, I happen to have a keyboard and opinions (like every asshole on the internet), and I happen to live near some steakhouses Johnny has yet to review. As a steak-novice, my goal is to either: (a) provide enough information so people can decide whether they want to try BLT Steak for themselves, or (b) express such ignorance that both vegetarians and carnivores can finally agree on something – that I am a complete idiot.

Flavor: 5
I ordered BLT Steak’s 28-Day Dry Aged 20oz Prime Bone-In NY Strip. The top and edges of the steak were soft with little char. I like char. A pat of herb butter sat on top mostly un-melted.

photo 3 (2)

Tasting little/no seasoning, I salted my meat and enjoyed one smallish fatty, crusty edge far more than the medium-rare center. Perhaps my palate does not fully appreciate aged beef?

photo 5

For context, my favorite steak place was, and still is, Peter Luger (77), which I enjoy more than Old Homestead (81) and Ruth’s Chris (87). So right off the bat, I acknowledge my questionable credibility. Johnny and other reliable critics have often exclaimed that Peter Luger is good, not great. But as Woody Allen said, in a much creepier context, “The heart wants what the heart wants.”

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
Maybe I should have gotten the porterhouse, since Peter Luger’s porterhouse is my personal yardstick for steaks (“yardsteak?”). But BLT’s $98 porterhouse was not labeled as “for two” like it is at Luger’s. And as Johnny’s “Meat 102” taught me, the NY Strip is basically half of a porterhouse, so the comparison should be at least reasonable.

Here are BLT Steak’s offerings:

Prime Hanger Steak 10oz / 32
Filet Mignon 8oz / 42 12oz / 51
28-Day Dry Aged NY Strip 16oz / 52
28-Day Dry Aged Prime Bone-In NY Strip 20oz / 57
28-Day Dry Aged Prime Porterhouse 98
Bone In Rib Eye 20oz / 54
American Wagyu Ribeye 12 oz / 94
American Wagyu Top Cap 10 oz / 84

In retrospect, I should’ve gotten the rib eye, which I assume would have been fattier, juicier, and more to my liking. Next time I’ll refresh my education before I go out by re-reading Johnny’s “Meat 102.”

Portion Size & Plating: 7
My beloved Peter Luger steak is delivered sizzling, dripping with juices and butter. BLT’s was not. The BLT steak was served in a mini iron skillet which was kind of cool. They did give me a heated dinner plate, empty to receive my steak and sides in portions and positions as I saw fit. I liked that. Portions were certainly reasonable. I ate up all of my sides and brought some steak home (I enjoy cold leftover steak the next day – or as a midnight snack).

Price: 7
The prices were fair for a high-end steak place. I was a little disappointed that the prices were on par with Manhattan prices. If there is any benefit to dining outside of NYC, its a little price break. I thought perhaps the proprietors would pay less in rent than a Manhattan joint and therefore pass the savings on to me.

Bar: 7
I got adventurous with a house cocktail called, “Smoking Gun” (Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Sweet Vermouth, Orange Bitters). It was strong and tasty with a particularly nice aromatic of orange peel. Nice to sip slowly. One glass lasted most of my meal.

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I didn’t hang out at the bar. But walking by it gave a clear “hotel bar” vibe on account of the annexed Ritz Carlton. To be fair, we were dining on a 6PM reservation, hardly the hottest time for any scene.

Specials and Other Meats: 8
BLT’s non-steak offerings included Braised Short Ribs, Rack of Lamb (2 double cut), Herb-Parmesan Crusted Veal Chop, and a Lemon-Rosemary Chicken. If I go back, I’ll probably try one of these before I return to the steak. Somebody at a neighboring table ordered the veal chop. At the risk of being caught, I checked out this strange man’s meat and it looked impressive.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
While I am a self-proclaimed novice at steaks, I can confidently speak about sides and desserts. Here’s what we had:

Popovers – BLT is known for its gruyere popovers for good reason. They are huge, airy, tasty and served as the dinner bread before every meal.

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Fries – Crispy batter-style fries in a nice large portion. I can be easily disappointed in French fries, but these were top-notch.

Creamed spinach – Creamed spinach is a mandatory side anytime I am eating steak. BLT’s spinach was a great compliment to my meal and appropriately garlicky.

Espresso brownie bites – Like the popovers, the espresso brownie bites were complimentary. They were sweet, chewy, and a great ending to the meal – especially since I almost never order dessert. I personally find a large cup of frozen yogurt from down the street to be more enjoyable than restaurant desserts – at least for the price and portion.

Seafood Selection: 8
BLT offered sautéed Dover Sole, Sautéed Branzino, Grilled Spicy Miso Tuna , and Grilled Lobster. My wife had a “Lobster Cobb Salad,” and enjoyed it alongside some of my French fries and stolen sips of my soda. She said the salad was good. I tried to get her to tell me more, but she had no other words. I might buy her a thesaurus for Christmas.

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Service: 6
I found the service to be just fine – appropriately polite and professional. My wife left annoyed for two service-related reasons. First, when we made the reservation, they asked if we were celebrating anything. We noted that we were, in fact, celebrating my birthday. Usually when we are asked this by a restaurant a little piece of cake, a drink, or an appetizer is provided compliments of the house. BLT didn’t do anything special. Then, as they wrapped up my leftover steak to go, they offered one of their popovers to go with it. I thanked them and enthusiastically accepted the kind offer, noting how much my wife loved them. When our to-go bag returned, there was no popover. I’m a capitalist and I’m not going make a complaint about failing to get free stuff. But they probably shouldn’t ask questions and set expectations if there is no follow-through.

Ambiance: 7
As I noted, we were dining on a 6PM reservation (we tend to fall asleep if we are out past 8PM on account of our early-rising, energy-draining little kids). So I’m not in much of a position to judge the ambiance. The restaurant had very large windows, and it was still very light out, so the restaurant was bright. It was a casual early-bird crowd and the place was not buzzing with patrons. I am willing to guess after dusk BLT Steak takes on a much busier but more intimate vibe.

BLT STEAK
221 Main St.
White Plains, NY 10601

BLT Prime

BLT Prime overall score: 90

NOTE: THIS PLACE IS NOW CLOSED!

Over the last two years I have heard nothing but great praise for BLT Prime. It was high time that Johnny Prime stepped through the doors here. This time was a birthday meal… for me.

Flavor: 9

You can certainly taste the quality angus beef in this steak. I had the ribeye and it was really great, other than the fact that it needed a touch of salt. The steak comes with a half head of roasted garlic and rosted bone marrow. That was amazing, but it was almost a little TOO much melty fattiness on the plate at once. Perhaps the marrow would have been better suited to go with the bread and chicken liver pate before the meal (which was psychotically amazing – for real, the bread is “stab your mother in the face” good). They claim to broil the meat at 1700 degrees; this should make for a great crispy char on the outside, locking in the juices beneath the surface, but my steak wasnt so crispy on the edges. They serve the meat with a steak sauce that is somewhere between a gravy and A1. It’s not bad, but certainly not for putting onto CAB quality prime beef. That would be tantamount to sin. Mortal sin, like eating the faces of limbless mentally challenged midgets after blowing inch thick rails of bath salts and getting naked in the streets of Miami with your homeless friends.

the ribeye

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 10

All the meat here is prime, aged, and Certified Angus brand, so you are basically guaranteed top notch cuts. BLT Prime boasts an impressive selection of carcass too. Two versions of strip: bone in “Kansas City,” and boneless “New York;” a filet; a porterhouse for two; a “cowboy” bone-in ribeye; and even a hanger. On top of that, they even have a small selection of “Kobe Wagyu” cuts (please refer to my prior post about Kobe and/or Wagyu beef in this country): a ribeye, a top cap, and a skirt, all boneless and all the same size (10oz). At least the menu had the good sense to explain that these were domestic cuts, not the real deal. They also have braised short ribs on their entree menu, and they offer a special organic porterhouse for two, in addition to a number of other dead animals. They have a host of sauces you can order to top your steaks as well, but I passed on those. This review blog isn’t about the dress; it’s about the meat underneath.

Portion Size & Plating: 9

Ounces are listed as follows: bone in “Kansas City” = 20oz; boneless “New York” = 16oz; a filet; porterhouse for two = 38oz; “cowboy” bone-in ribeye = 22oz; hanger = 10oz; fake Kobe Wagyu selections = 10oz. These portion sizes are average to slightly above average for steaks. Other menu items were slightly smaller in terms of portion size (with the exception of the bacon app and the special fish entree), but you get so full with all the little freebies that it doesn’t matter. My ribeye came out on a nice cast iron skillet, as did the peas and creamed spinach sides (in cast iron tubs). My wife’s whole roasted fish was served head on, beautifully plated.

whole roasted black bass

4) Price: 8

The prices for the main cuts range from $44 (filet) to $57 (bone in strip), and they seem fair. I’m not quite sure why the one strip clocks in so high. The ribeye is $10 cheaper and 2oz larger. The other items were a bit pricey. Our total bill was about $270 for three apps, two entrees, two sides, two desserts and a few drinks a piece. Not too bad, but some items felt wasteful. The oysters seemed a bit pricey so we skipped those this time around, but there were two kinds in my seafood platter (also high at $34). But it was delicious. On the other hand you can get a really great price fix menu of four courses for $60, which in my opinion is a steal.

Bar: 8

The bar was nice, modern, elegant, minimal, and clean. Great wood on the actual bar surface. A nice big image of the Wall Street bull graced the lounge seating area across from the actual bar. The martini was made well; crisp, clean, cold. It was $12. They also offer a great selection of specialty cocktails; we tried the blueberry bramble (gin, blueberry puree, lemon juice, simple syrup, shaved ice).

Specials and Other Meats: 10

On special BLT Prime had an entire menu of items. White asparagus, fluke carpaccio, whole grilled black bass, lamb rump roast, organic porterhouse, spring peas, shishito peppers, banana cream tart with praline ice cream, and chocolate fudge cake with mint ice cream. As far as “other meats” go, they offered braised short ribs, rack of lamb (in addition to the rump/lamb ass on special), veal chop and roast chicken. This, combined with the ample supply of traditional steaks and other specialty cuts demonstrates great diversity. On Sundays they even have a prime rib special for $47, and they have a daily price fix special of four courses (limited selection to the special items I first listed above) for $60. Awesome.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8

We ordered fluke carpaccio, bacon, and a seafood platter for apps. The platter had a small half lobster, two clams, two oysters, a rock crab claw and knuckle, and a few jumbo shrimp. The lobster was sweet and perfectly cooked. The crab was a little on the bland side, but still good. The shrimp were awesome, and the raw shellfish were really crisp and creamy. My wife liked the fluke carpaccio but I was a little put off by it; perhaps because I despise dill. But I was expecting more of an usuzukuri style japanese ice cold sushi dish, but this was still nice. The bacon was more like ham, and the fat between the meat was a bit too stringy to eat. It was also just warm, not sizzling hot like some places. On the bright side the order came with four strips rather than the standard one or two for the same price. I’ve been to places where the bacon ranges from $5-$10 per slice. Here it was $10 for four slices, but not nearly up to snuff when compared to other bacon apps I have had (in terms of flavor and quality). On the side we had the creamed spinach. It was pretty good. Rich flavor, creamy, with crispy minced garlic on top. A bit on the heavy side, however, and a little small in size. There was also the spring peas on the side. They were a bit too firm/uncooked and grainy for my liking, but fresh, minty, and flavorful nonetheless. They were dressed up with bacon and cipollini mixed in. For dessert we had the banana cream tart with praline ice cream, and they served me a complimentary order of birthday donuts with coffee ice cream and dark chocolate sauce. Both were delicious ways to end a great meal, and the ice creams that came with each were amazing, packing in lots of natural, mild flavors with smooth airy textures. By the way; the fries looked amazing but we were way too full to order anything else.

seafood platter, fluke carpaccio, plantain chips, bacon (left); donuts (top); creamed spinach & peas (bottom)

Seafood Selection: 9

Wonderful seafood selection. In addition to the fully stocked app section (platters included), they also offered a wide variety of entrees. Dover sole, branzino, ahi tuna, Maine lobster and shrimp. On special there was also the fluke app, and the whole black bass entree. The bass had nice crispy skin, yet it was tender inside. It was HUGE too. Really beautifully cooked and simply delightful to both look at and eat.

Service: 10

Our waiter was AWESOME. I wish I remembered his name to give him some praise here (maybe Scott?). First come the incredible table breads; a nice toasty slice of soft yet crispy ciabatta bread with a latched mason jar of chicken pate to spread across it. Unbelievable. I was licking the spoon for every last bit of pate. Then comes the cheese popovers. Made fresh, they are hot, airy, and crispy on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside, with a nice briny cheese flavor throughout. We took a bunch of stuff home with us, but the waiter and bus boy gave us extra cheese popovers, fresh and hot, right in the bag. AWESOME! I would seriously come here just for the bread. It is THAT good. The best part: a recipe for the popovers is included with the doggie bag. There was also a freebie of thinly sliced (longways) fried plantains that went nicely with the seafood apps. Oh and also a freebie of mini rum cake brownies that came with dessert. They’re called “petits fours” in the foodie world, for you culinary morons, but that is a quiffy, fucked up, faggy-ass French term, so I don’t blame you for knowing about it or caring about it. Fuck that shit. And yeah that’s right: I said “faggy,” but I used it in the right way, so don’t go getting all bent out of shape, assholes. Oh yeah and my dessert was free for my birthday. Holy shit! They wished me happy birthday… several times! As you can tell the service here is incredible, seriously. Last, if you fill out a comment card and sign up for a “BLT” credit card of sorts, you get 15% off your next meal there. Not too shabby, since I am almost certain I will be at a BLT establishment again sometime in the future.

chicken liver pate bread and cheese popovers

Ambiance: 9

The decor was modern and elegant, yet sleek, minimal and robust. The dark wood floors are stunning. Nothing here is overdone or too fancy; in fact the coolest feature is the gigantic menu they have posted on a fuzzy black board that takes up the entire left wall of the rear/main floor dining area. The main dining room boasts gorgeous, angled, greenhouse-style glass-paneled skylights that slope up to create a high vaulted ceiling. On the opposite side of the dining room there is an elevated area for private seating overlooking the dining room on one side and the bar/lounge on the other. There is also a private room downstairs for parties or gatherings. There’s even some outdoor seating, curbside, which is rare and awesome at a steakhouse. Another cool feature about this place is that the reverse side of the menu has a great pictorial beef chart that shows where virtually every commercially available (in the US) cut of beef comes from on the cow. It is so great that I need to share it with the beef community. The bathroom was clean and nice, with thick disposable paper towels in stacks beside the marble sink. A fine place to drop a deuce if needed.

BLT PRIME
111 E. 22nd St.
New York, NY 10010