Showing posts with label Steakhouse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steakhouse. Show all posts

STK (Toronto)


STK is more of a place to be seen than eat: one scroll through the Instagram photos tagged at their location reveals more breast and thighs than steak. This should have been the first hint that the restaurant focuses on its boozy atmosphere and food is secondary.

The tuna tartare ($19) was boring but respectable - a bed of mashed avocados topped with diced tuna sitting in a sweet and salty soy honey emulsion. Too bad everything was just so soft, the only crunch coming from the taro chips. It’s fine, but seems like something I could easily replicate and hardly restaurant quality.

At a whopping 28oz, the dry-aged porterhouse ($150) should be shared amongst two (it was even enough to satisfy our table of three). The menu declares the cut the “king of steaks” given the bone holds together a NY striploin and filet mignon, two cuts in one. Sadly, it wasn’t prepared like royalty. The filet mignon was grossly overcooked from the requested medium-rare, instead arriving at the cusp of medium-well. Luckily, it’s a tender cut of beef and has been dry-aged so even with the extra time on the grill the tenderloin was still edible.


What a shame to cover the beef juices with a sauce, but with the steak’s haphazardly seasoned exterior, depending on the slice you choose, sauce could be necessary. With a choice of two accompanying the steak, we opted for the au poivre and chimichurri. The chimichurri was so tart that someone must have substituted cider vinegar for olive oil and the au poivre so tame it might as well be gravy. After a taste of each, I decided to go back to how it should have been enjoyed in the first place – plain.

As common with high-end steakhouses, sides must be purchased separately. The Mac ‘n’ cheese ($14) could have been warmer as the cheese was congealed making the pasta spoon out in clumps rather than displaying long creamy strands that makes you salivate. Nonetheless, at least it had plenty of cheese and with its heaviness was a large satisfying serving. 


The Brussels sprouts ($14), on the other hand, sorely lacked vegetables … bacon made up half the dish. For some, this meatiness may be a welcomed addition, but since I actually enjoy roasted Brussel sprouts, the meagre portion was a disappointment. I’ve never had such gluttonous Brussels sprouts: aside from the huge cubes of hard candied bacon, it was also drenched in a sweet balsamic glaze – do yourself a favour and stick with the asparagus or broccolini. 


Despite the lackluster meal, that evening I decided to post a picture of the boring but at least pretty looking tuna tartare. Here’s your second hint that STK is really a lounge than a restaurant: a friend commented on how I was out “partying it up” … you’ve been warned.  

Overall mark - 5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 153 Yorkville Avenue

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


STK Toronto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The David Duncan House (Toronto)

The David Duncan House


There’s something utterly charming about steakhouses set in historic mansions. I’m not delusional, it doesn’t feel like I’m dining at an aristocrat’s home; the surroundings, despite the plush carpeting and baroque décor, is nonetheless still a restaurant. But, it feels like I’ve momentarily stepped back in time, when dinners last for hours and micro greens still don’t exist.

It may even be the strange complimentary starter that graces our table – the garlic bread and olives I understand… the salty soft pickles and cottage cheese? I have yet to comprehend their purpose.


It’s a place where ordering salad is a treat – where a cart is wheeled over and the dressing is whizzed in front of our eyes. Two orders of Duncan’s table side Caesar salad for two ($25) was easily enough for our table of six. Our waiter working at lightning speed to combine the fresh egg yolk, vinegar, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and anchovies. A hefty portion of garlic gave the salad a zing and the strong taste lingered until the next course was served.


For myself, the Duncan's cut bone-in prime rib ($49) was beckoning – a thick slab of tender succulent meat coated in a salty barque crust. A hot pool of gravy covered well over half the plate and left the otherwise medium done meat cooked through. Duncan should consider offering the gravy on the side to stop the sauce from cooking the beef before presented.


In true British fashion, a plump Yorkshire pudding adorned the plate, a buttery crust with a downright airy centre. The fries, although pale and limp looking, were hot and rich in potato flavours - they just needed a double fry to give it crunch and colour.

The bone-in rib steak ($63) had beautiful grill marks, which added a lovely charcoal flavour that’d be hard to achieve even with a home BBQ. However, the beef itself was rather chewy for such a marbled cut … guess we’ve been too spoiled with the 30+ day aged meats.


Although it doesn't appear large in the photo, the steak was huge and could be shared. It just so happened the baked potato was equally gargantuan. Perhaps the spoonful of listless looking mushrooms will provide a better sense of proportions.


Take my advice – stick with the meat. Fellow diners had the cod and both were done beyond comprehension. A barque ring on steak is great… on fish, not so much.  

After so much meat, my husband and I couldn’t partake in desserts, but the menu consists of several classics that are enough for sharing. The Peach Melba ($7) looked tastier than the description – the simple vanilla ice cream elevated with fruit, strawberry sauce and whipped cream on top.


The New York Style cheesecake ($9) appeared dense and creamy, yet lacked the buttery graham crust that is my favourite part of the dessert.


Something about the service makes old-fashioned steakhouses such a treat. There’s a level of efficiency and professionalism that’s admirable – our waiter ensuring we realized there’d be a wait for the salad given its popularity. Of course, they’re attentive but not intrusive; flitting about filling and clearing items without being known and knowing when to do it without asking.



At David Duncan House, they may not have the wonderfully aged steaks, but their atmosphere is charming and worth a visit. 

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 125 Moatfield Drive

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


The David Duncan House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Jacob and Co. Steakhouse (Toronto)

Jacob & Co. Steakhouse


After five years, Jacob & Co. has improved. Possibly I was younger during my first visit: the 40+ menu items relating to steak was daunting and the three minute spiel explaining the menu even worse. During that visit, something grated me about how I was told, “The Chef will be cutting the steak to ensure it’s served at its optimal level.” As if I’ve never wielded a knife before!

Most likely, it’s because I deviated from my true love, a Black Angus bone-in rib eye, and succumbed to the waiter’s suggestion for a Japanese wagyu instead. Prized and expensive? Sure. Tender? You bet. But, I’m not 90 years old yet, I can certainly chew through an aged steak. The wagyu, in my opinion, is all fat without the bloody meaty flavour. It’s still delicious, but in small quantities.  

After being persuaded back for a family dinner, I’m glad to have returned. The menu is still as extensive, but I dutifully scanned for the bone-in rib eye options (there was only one). The spiel was equally long but the server brought up thoughtful suggestions about sharing and creating a “steak-tasting” menu. And thankfully, he did not end with explaining how the Chef couldn’t trust me to cut my own meat.

Instead, on this visit, I fondly remember the hot cheddar rolls that were as airy as Yorkshire pudding, flaky as croissant and buttery as brioche.


The Caesar salad ($19; enough for two), prepared table side, which provided an element of showmanship. At Jacob’s they tip the bowl on its side so guests can watch as each ingredient is added and whisked.


It’s well worth the wait: the freshly made dressing isn’t overly creamy but rather adds a slick richness to the romaine. Moreover, none of the individual ingredients are overly represented, instead well balanced blend of flavours. You get the slight brininess of the anchovies, richness of the yolk & olive oil and tang from the garlic, but they’re not competing with each other. Only the bacon bits had the potential to overwhelm the salad, but since they were more cubes than bits, I ate them on their own anyways.


Yet, it’s the shared 24 oz. bone-in rib eye ($108) from Hereford-Guelph, a city just down the 401, which I’ll remember the most. Here I thought Alberta reigned supreme with steaks, but Ontario can certainly hold its own. Indeed, it could have something to do with aging the meat for 60-days; the room filled with meat currently undergoing to process proudly displayed on the second floor, not unlike a wine cellar.


The steak was fantastic! Filling the mouth with flavours before almost melting away with each bite. It had such a beautiful caramelized crust despite the centre being a vivid reddish pink. Here, our server was helpful – explaining that the restaurant first sears the meat, lets it rest until cool, before finishing it off in a hot oven to avoid overcooking. That extra middle step was critical.


On a return visit, I may even branch out into the other bone-in cuts (a T-bone or Porterhouse). Having a slice of a fellow diner’s PEI T-Bone ($113), it was equally succulent and I liked how you get two tastes in one: the meaty sirloin and smaller tenderloin cut.

Our table was filled with condiments for topping the steak: a Danish blue cheese with bacon, chimichurri, Japanese shoyu, oak smoke, fleur de sel and crushed black pepper. I tried a forkful of the chimichurri (delicious and thick) but left everything else. For such prized meat, you want to taste the melding of fat, blood and juices – why cover such delicious meat with other strong flavours? After all, we’re not having some everyday unaged skirt steak here.


Like most high-end steakhouses, a $100+ steak won’t even get you a potato. So, we added a bunch of sides to share. As soon as the chef’s special of lobster poutine ($13) was uttered, we knew the duck fat fried potatoes would be substituted. Jacob’s poutine consisted of dense rich fries smothered with hollandaise, cheese curds that were sadly not melted, but made up by sweet pieces of lobster.


I commend Jacob’s for automatically adjusting the size of sides to the table. For our group of six, we also ordered sautéed rapini ($8), potato puree ($8) and creamed spinach ($7). Our server provided (and charged us) for the half orders, which was more than enough to satisfy.


To finish our wine, my husband and I shared the cheese plate ($14) - a nice varied selection of crystal laced Blackout Beemster, creamy Chateau de Bourgogne triple-cream Brie and not overly strong Bleu d’Elizabeth semi-soft blue cheese. The small plate could barely hold all the lavish crackers, dried apricots, fresh berries and compote that accompanied the dairy.     


The petite fours, which arrive with the bill, left me with the sweet ending I needed … one last bite of flaky shortbread before leaving.



Dining at Jacob’s is more than just a one-meal affair. They leave you with chocolate chip muffins to enjoy the next morning – which they bake fresh before dinner, giving the dining room a lovely fondue essence. Although, truth be told, I wouldn’t have objected to a cheddar bun instead… because, man, those were good.

Overall mark - 9 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 12 Brant Street

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



Jacob's and Co. Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The Shore Club (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 155 Wellington Street West
Website: http://www.theshoreclub.ca/
Type of Meal: Dinner

The Shore Club, situated beside the Ritz Carlton, is surprisingly spacious.  The enormous restaurant is split into smaller areas using wooden walls adorned with artwork and backlit decorations, which makes each section cozy despite its size.  

As we settled into the plush velvet booths, the hostess whisked away the white napkin in front of me and handed me a black one instead.  It's only later my friends and I start noticing some have white napkins while others have black... what is causing this?  Not being able to decipher a pattern we finally ask our waiter.  It's simple, it depends on your clothing - people wearing dark clothes are given the black napkin - so that any lint that may be left on your clothing will not be noticeable.  Genius!  And it's this attention to detail that sets the Shore Club's service above the many other restaurants across Toronto.

The service that night was exemplary.  Despite being a table of nine, five staff members served each course to ensure we could all start eating at the same time.  Moreover, I cannot remember once in the night when my wine or water glass was ever empty.  After the disappointing service at my last two meals, refer to Lucien and Urraca Resto Lounge blogs, it was refreshing to go to a place that does it right!  We were even served warm, freshly baked bread for free (once again refer to Lucien).

I chose the arugula, pear and brie salad to start.  The poached pear was beautifully presented and was a great texture (not too soft) and flavour (not too sweet).  It would have been nice if the pear was warmed up to compliment the cold brie and arugula.  But, overall was a good salad and tossed in the perfect amount of dressing. 


My first bite into the New York striploin presented mixed emotions; I was happy with all the flavours of the grainy mustard rub and wonderful steak jus, but disappointed that my steak was overdone.  After giving away slices to my husband and continuing to eat, I realized that the remaining two thirds of the steak were cooked well.  After trying some of my husband's halibut, which I thought was nicely cooked albeit a tad under seasoned, he commented on how his fish was also overcooked on one side only.  So, it appears, the Shore Club may have some issues with its cooking surface or warming areas that is causing one side to cook faster than the other. 


Nonetheless, the meal was good.  The beluga lentils at the bottom of the halibut were great and soaked up the romesco sauce.  You can imagine them to taste like a cheesy barley risotto, except a bit firmer.  The sides that accompany our mains were served table style so we were able to mix and share: 
  • The green beans were great - thin and crispy;
  • The steamed broccoli is exactly as it sounds, a bit bland and boring; and
  • The steak house fries were disappointing and tasted like the frozen McCain variety.
To complete the meal, we pretty much all had the sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream. I loved it! The warm toffee cake itself was surprisingly light and not too dense. I enjoyed that the caramel sauce was poured around the cake so that it didn't become too sweet.  As always, nothing goes better with a warm dessert as some rich, cold vanilla ice cream.


After this visit, I went back to the restaurant for their normal menu, visit my more recent post for my thoughts on this visit.

Is Winterlicious worth it?


As a special feature to the Winterlicious blogs, I will attempt to calculate the savings being offered (based on my meal selection).   

Winterlicious - $45

Regular menu - $68 - salad* ($10), striploin steak ($40), side of green beans ($8) and toffee pudding* ($10) 

Savings - $23 or 34%

* The salad and toffee pudding aren't on their regular menu; prices based on similar dish



Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


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____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System
  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!
For further general discussions about this blog please refer to http://gastroworldblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/welcome-to-gastro-world.html













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