Monday, March 10, 2008

Stamford Steak Awards 2008

I don’t consider myself a steak expert, but I married into a steak-loving family. I’ve eaten more steak in the past 3 years than I did in the first 28 years of my life. For those of you who are not steak smarty-pants, I humbly offer you my overview of steak in Stamford.

For trendy steak: Dunn’s Loft. This is my favorite place to go for steak. The filet is buttery and awesome. There are creative sauces like peppercorn and horseradish, and they offer Luger’s steak sauce, too. The sides are good and free. The French fries are McDonald’s-esque, and the garlic mashed potatoes are worth the starch. The interior isn’t stuffy, so to me, Dunn’s offers the most interesting eating experience. It’s also cheaper than Morton’s. I went to Dunn’s Loft for my b-day dinner last month and was pretty happy, although I regretted ordering the vegetable side. What was I thinking? Just get the fries! The chocolate dessert, tragically, was not molten enough.

For tradition and for chocolate: Morton’s. I’ve been twice, and I wasn’t blown away by the steak, but other people love it. Morton’s gets minus points for presenting me with a living lobster before I eat, but Morton’s chocolate molten cake is 15 times better than Dunn’s.

For nothing out of the ordinary: Bennett’s Fish and Steak. I went for the first time Thursday. I didn’t love the filet mignon, but I did like the $ 35 prix-fixe meal and the merlot-butter-gravy steak sauce. Bennett’s had nice energy; the dining room was full on a Thursday, and tables are placed at a pretty good distance for eavesdropping. There is nothing exciting about Bennett’s, although Rudy Giuliani and the Dalai Lama have eaten there (separately) and there is an awfully cute little bar. Bennett’s only offers chocolate mousse- what??? Mousse? Where’s the cake? Go to Bennett’s if you’re looking for an ordinary but good experience.

Some steak-xperts here on the couch are telling me that Morton’s is dry-aged and maybe some people like that, and that maybe Bennett's isn't, but that “they’re different types of steak.” That’s fine- I understand that food is often personal preference, but I'm telling you what I like. I'll do a more thorough analysis as I keep eating at steak houses.

For good steak in a non-steak restaurant: Duo. Duo has a steak entrée; half is braised pulled tenderloin and another half is filet mignon. It’s very good, but comes with no sides except for like, 2 carrots. However, Duo’s chocolate dessert rules this town, so check it out.

My awards are limited to the steak places I’ve been to. Sorry, Giovanni’s II, Anthony’s and Capital Grille. I hear that the first two are regular old steak houses, nothing bad. I hear decent things about Capital Grille online and from some men who I know like steak, so I’ve got an open mind about it. I’ll go once I’m in the mood to pay big bucks for a meal that is in essence, pretty boring.

Steak and potatoes? Give me green tea infused pasta with octopus and vegetables with beet foam! Pad thai with peanuts! Spicy lamb koorma with a glass of white wine! Give me Naan! Ginger noodles in fish sauce! Spicy Garlic chicken sandwich at Layla’s! At least give me pasta Bolognese- Napa and Co has a good one. I just can't do OK steak or it will kill my spirit.

I’m not a doctor, but I just want to end by reminding you that if you eat a lot of steak, you should be doing cardio every week to clear your poor arteries out. Get on the treadmill, you lazy steak-eating men. Turn that meat into muscles for the ladies! Planet Fitness has great rates.

Maybe we should do a Stamford Talk Steak Test one evening. We can split dishes to keep it cheap-ish! And maybe we could get deals from restaurants. Let's ponder this. Any friends who think this would work, email me and we'll see if it's worth getting something together!


Anonymous said...

I'd love to do a steak-test. I'd be curios to see how Capital Grille stacks up. I think it's every bit as good as Morton's. Have not been to Dunn's Loft. Interesting that they serve the Luger Steak House Sauce - NOT to be used on steak!!! It's for the rolls, the beefsteak tomato & onion salad. But not for the steak itself.

I think you should also try the steak at Telluride and Napa. Both are good in very different ways, and could qualify for best steak at a non-steakhouse restaurant.

Stamford Talk said...

But why not on the steak? It's so good- although I do see how it would overpower the steak, defeating the purpose of a good steak. Thanks for the tips on Telluride and Napa- I'll do some research! Since I am living la vida biftec, I might as well try to become a real connoisseur.

Anonymous said...

Just as you said, it does not complement the steak, it kinda takes away from it. I personally think it's too sweet for the steak, but definitely try it on an onion roll or over tomatoes. My wife mixes it in her meatloaf, and it work well there.

Luger's recommends spooning a little of the natural juice/melted butter that collects on the metal steak plate as a "sauce".

Anonymous said...

Be sure you consider the difference between Prime and Choice beef when you look at steakhouses. Morton's and Bennett's serve Prime while Capital Grille is Choice. Choice is what we buy at the grocery store and toss on the grill...not so sure I want to pay somebody to cook that up for me when I can do a fine job on my own.