Sunday, March 28, 2010
You gotta love half off coupons. Especially when used as an incentive to try a new restaurant. I had bought a half off $50 coupon for Iron Steaks which is only one block from my house.
Iron Steaks is owned by the same folk who own Willie's Burgers, just four blocks further down. But where Willie's is super casual, Iron Steaks goes toward the other end of the spectrum, where you go for an expensive steak. Think Ruth's Chris or Morton's in that you are going to order a piece of meat and then order sides separately.
The restaurant itself is located in what used to be a Japanese restaurant. It is beautifully decorated with lots of wood. The floor is particularly interesting in that they sawed small blocks of wood and laid them upright so that you can see the cut across grain of the wood. Up on the ceiling they've fixed metal grates for hiding pipes but holding the lights. The booths are large and comfy and the tables slide easily for seating.
We were seated in a booth and made our menu selections. The steaks listed were indeed large. We ended up choosing a Porterhouse of 32 ounces and to supposedly feed three people. They also had another listed to feed six. Most of the steaks said they were for two or three people. We discussed how many single serving steaks in other restaurants are 6, 8, or 12 ounces, so 32 seemed like it would be sufficient. There were a lot of sides to choose from as well. We chose three.
While we waited we were served with their 'bread'. They were beignets. Willie's serves beignets with the traditional powdered sugar during breakfast. Here it was unadulterated, just a deep fried, raised doughnut served with butter. Different, but I'll take baked bread over the deep fried dough, thanks. When asked if we needed more we passed.
Our steak arrived on a cart so that our server could cut it in front of us.
The hot iron skillet was then placed on a rock in the center of the table. We had asked for medium rare and found that the center was really leaning to rare while the edges were definitely overdone. I guess cooking such a large piece of meat is tricky. It was a good inch and a half thick. We were disappointed in that this 3-person steak left us hungry. Suppose a lot of that 32 ounces was the bone. And we are talking two women and a guy, not a bunch of hungry men trying to split it.
The favorite side was the macaroni and cheese. The menu said it has five kinds of cheese. As you can see, it was definitely cheesy and good. It was so rich that the three of us didn't finish it and the pan was only about a 7" pan.
My choice had been the Brussel sprouts. Although that was the title of the dish, it was evenly split with fennel and onions as well. I enjoyed the addition of the fennel but found the veggies to be very oily.
My friend wanted the ratatouille. I'm not a big fan of it, but was willing to add it. Bad choice. Not that many veggies and mostly sauce. The zucchini were very mushy.
Besides the mac and cheese the other winner for the night was dessert. The menu had a nice selection of 'different' desserts. We selected the Zabaglione, an Italian custard with a raspberry liqueur and served over berries. Yummy and decadent. Even though I hate and can detect alcohol in anything, I can deal with it in cooking as long as it is not too strong. This was light and yet the dessert was decadent. We all loved it.
I will admit that I was feeling a bit of indigestion and I rarely do. I think it was the rich mac n cheese and the oily veggies that did it.
So I feel our dinner was hit and miss. Worthy of another try if only due to the close proximity to my house. Otherwise, I've got too many other places to try in the meantime. Beautiful interior, good service, so-so on the food. I would just keep in mind our steak to person experience when you order.