We had our first (of 2 - next up J&G) Restaurant Week meals last night at BLT Steak. It was wonderful. Our meal started with a complimentary Champagne cocktail. It was placed in front of us as soon as we sat down. It was interesting, basically sparkling wine, with sugar, and bitters maybe. It was a nice touch, not wonderful, but certainly nothing to complain about, since it was complimentary.
Next up was the amuse bouche. It was a small turine of chicken liver pate. I am not a fan of liver usually, but absolutely loved this dish. Everyone at the table was in agreement that it was wonderful, and we all basically fought over who would get to lick the bowl clean.
The next suprise were the Gorgonzola Popovers (which I should have known about). This is the signature item at BLT, and has won raves from previous diners. They are huge, very light bread puffs, with a perfect balance of cheese funk. After finishing the popovers, and liver app, we all agreed that we were already full, and could probably leave happy now.
Of course, our meal hadn't even begun. We ordered one of each off the menu, to ensure we could taste everything. I ordered a glass of Gruet Sparkling wine (one of my favorites, and props to BLT for supporting regional purveyors).
The highlight of our first course was definitely the soup. It was basically a squash soup, with crab, and the most amazing sweet cinnamon croutons. All the tastes in the soup complimented each other, and the portion of crab was generous. The tomato/onion salad was pretty good, but maybe a little pedestrian. In this dish the quality of the ingredients really stood out - they used heirloom tomatoes (the skins were dotted, and different colors), and a nice balance of oil, and other ingredients. It was a nice dish (but I would probably opt for the soup if given a choice, as it was much more special).
The standout for our main course was the fish. It was a whole Sole, butterflied, and cooked to perfection. The fish had a wonderful salty crust, and perfectly tender meat. It was cooked to perfection, and among some of the best fish I have had anywhere. The steak was also good. The quality of the meat was clear, and the mushrooms that were presented with it in the cast iron skillet were amazing (and I am usually not a fungus fan).
The sides that came with the entrees were nothing special. The fingerling potatoes dish had more onions than potatoes, and the carrots were fairly pedestrian. Again, they weren't bad dishes, just nothing special. If I had it to do over, I think I would have supplemented the meal with some other sides from the regular menu.
Deserts were a minor letdown. The peanut butter mouse was super rich, and overwhelmed the rest of the tastes of the dish (namely chocolate, and banana from the ice cream). I thought the consistency was fine (and the crunchies they put on top added a good texture). The berry cheesecake was fine, but nothing special. We all wondered if they used goat cheese to make the cake, as it had a little bit of a funky taste (in a good way), and a very soft texture. We asked the waiter, and he said it was just regular cream cheese.
My final comment would be about the service. It was stellar, and indicative of what we would expect if we were paying full price. They changed out the silverware with each course, paced our meal properly, and most importantly, offered us the RW menu right away, with no attempt to upsell. From the moment we walked in (the hostesses accommodated our request for an outside table), to the time we left (everyone thanked us for coming in), they treated us well.
Overall, I was very happy with this meal, and thought it was a wonderful value (actually a steal, as our final tally was $69 and I had a glass of wine).
Here is the menu:
BLT Steak - Modern American Steakhouse
BLT, or Bistro Laurent Tourondel, is the personal stamp of acclaimed chef and restaurateur Laurent Tourondel, named 2007 Restaurateur of the Year by Bon Appetit magazine. BLT Steak opened in Manhattan in 2004 as a revolutionary modern American steakhouse and was named one of Esquire magazine's "Best New Restaurants in America" shortly after receiving a two-star review from The New York Times. At BLT Steak, Tourondel elevates the classic American steakhouse with his signature style, French training and all-around finesse.
- First Course (choice of):
- Kabocha Squash Soup / Crab Relish / Canella Crouton / Chive Creme Fraiche
- Early Girl Tomato & Onion Salad / Ginger Vinaigrette / Frommage Blanc / Mache Greens
- Second Course (choice of):
- Hanger Steak / Roasted Fall Mushrooms / Truffled Steak with your choice of either Butter Heirloom Glazed Carrots / Mesquite Honey or Fingerling Potato "Boulangere" / Pancetta / Stewed Cippolini Onion
- Lemon Sole/ Brown Butter Caper Sauce with your choice of either Butter Heirloom Glazed Carrots / Mesquite Honey or Fingerling Potato "Boulangere" / Pancetta / Stewed Cippolini Onion
- Third Course (choice of):
- "Sugar Pie" Pumpkin Pie / Mascarpone Chantilly Cream
- Cheesecake with fresh berries instead
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse / Banana Ice Cream
- Additional Items (choice of):
- Navan Champagne Cocktail