Ryan and I spent most of Friday being tourists in New York City visiting the Howard Stern studio, wandering around Times Square, visiting the Hard Rock Cafe, going to a comedy club and having dinner at BLT Prime, one of the best steakhouses in the city.
We were met by Facebook friend Steve and his boss Erin who work a major digital agency. They have recently re-branding their agency and wanted to share with me what the changes could mean for my company. Over a great dinner we talked about social media and how that was changing the way we communicate with our customers. I also found out that Steve and Erin are both into the food scene and participate on several blogs of their own. Erin also blogs about the wine she drinks and that has made her learn a great deal about which wines to drink. Good for us LOL. So interesting people, in an interesting place all set to have a great meal so let me tell you about what we drank and ate.
I like to try the signature cocktail at the restaurants I eat in just to change things up from the usual glass of wine or standard cocktail. At BLT Prime, they have a few signature cocktails that would match most people’s taste. I went for The Last Ride since the ingredients sounded like the drink would be an upscale Manhattan, and since I was in Manhattan, why not? LOL. The barmaid created my cocktail by muddling a half dozen cherries and then combining them in a shaker with some Makers Mark Bourbon, Cointreau, Carpano Antica (an upscale sweet vermouth) and some Ice. After some vigorous shaking, she poured out the wonderful libation in the photo. not overtaking the drink as many house Manhattan tend to do. The Last Ride brought notes of orange and cherry but not making the drink overly sweet and sappy but well balanced with the Bourbon. A very nice cocktail and highly recommended by me.
Every order at BLT Prime gets their signature Popover as their take on an amuse-bouche. In most restaurants that serve amuse-bouche, it a bite size appetizer that gets you started for meal. Here, they give you a six-inch Yorkshire Pudding-looking piece of bread. Erin had been here a few times before so she knew that the best way to attack this was tearing off a piece, dabbing on some BLT Butter and then shaking on some of the Sea Salt. I was expecting a bland Yorkshire Pudding without-the-gravy-taste but it actually tasted like butter popcorn. The top of the popover was covered in melted Gruyere cheese, giving that section of the popover a cheesy popcorn flavour. That was a bit of a surprise for me but quite nice and enjoyable while we waited for the appetizers.
We all decided to share the different appetizers so we could all get a taste of them and then compare. I had the Tuna Tartare. The generous portion of tuna was served over avocado and lime soy sauce with potato crisps. I liked this dish. The sweet tuna and avocado matched well with the salty line-soy sauce. The creamy tuna and avocado contrasted nicely with potato crisps giving each portion a nice mouth feel. A tasty and filling appetizer.
Steve ordered the Crab Cake. It came with Meyer Lemon sauce and a tiny Radish Salad. The small bite I had was pleasant with the lemon contrasting nicely with the sweet crab meat and the radish salad offering some nice crunch to the chunks of crab meat. It was a good crab cake with some interesting textures you don’t usually see.
Ryan went for the classic Caesar Salad. BLT Prime serves a generous portion with two large croutons. For some reason the prepared the salad by placing the dressing in the middle of the salad leaving the top leaves of lettuce undressed. After mixing the salad and getting all the greens dressed it turned into a very good Caesar Salad but Ryan was kind enough to say it wasn’t as good as mine. LOL He’s a smart kid. The small portion I tried was nice. Crisp lettuce, creamy dressing, nice level of garlic (I like more) and great cheese. Very acceptable.
Erin called it the most “Bad Ass” appetizer ever, Grilled Double Cut Bacon. The dish came with four slices of double thick, slightly smoked grilled bacon. The great grill marks, sauteed garlic and parsley bites and bacon aroma made this appetizer a new classic for me. We each tried a slice and it was the best bacon I have ever had. Meaty, sweet, slightly smokey and a nice char from the grill. Definitely Bad Ass. Try it.
Ryan went for the NY Strip steak. Sixteen ounces of 28 day aged meaty delight. Perfectly cooked to a medium rare and accompanied by a selection of sauces; Bearnaise, Peppercorn, Red Wine and Horseradish. Ryan was loving this steak.
Erin and I decide to split the BLT Cut, Bone in Double Cut Sirloin. Again 28 days of dry ageing and cooked to perfection medium rare. At 32 ounces it was perfect to share giving us a reasonable amount of meat each. The staff carved the steak before presenting it to us making it easy to select portions from the serving dish to enjoy on our plates. The first bite was amazing, tender, a lite char on the outside and earthy sweet meat on the inside. Meat perfection in a bite. I tried the meat with the different sauces and each one brought a different note to each bite but even on it’s own the steak was perfect.
Steve ordered the Steak Special of the day, steak imported from Italy. I didn’t write down the name and now can’t find it on the Internet. I did manage to get a bite from Steve and it was very interesting. The first taste sensation was dry, not dry in a bad way but rather a concentration of meaty flavours. This steak seem to take to the dry aging more than the steak from the US. I had never tasted anything like that. It was quite good and different from any other steak I have ever tasted.
We tried several sides and shared them; Gnocchi Pomadoro, Creamy Spinach, Grilled Asparagus, Stuffed Mushroom Caps and Hen of the Woods Mushrooms. Most were average at best with mushroom caps standing out. The gnocchi had too cheese and didn’t match weell with steaks. The creamy spinach was too runny for me but still flavourful. The asparagus was well grilled but needed some sauce to make it truly tasty. The Hen of the Woods muchroom arrived as surprise in place of the Blue Cheese Tater Tots we actually ordered. The Hen of the Woods mushrooms were ok but the mushroom caps were much better.
For dessert, I chose the Carrot Cake with Ginger Ice Cream. The classic dessert was well excuted with a great carrot flavour coming out of the cake and ginger coming out of the ice cream. It was a perfect size for one person and I managed to keep most of it for myself LOL but Steve did try it and commented strong ginger and carrot flavours. Very nice.
Erin went for the daily dessert special the Blueberry Cobbler. The large portion came with Vanila Ice Cream. The biscuits covering the blueberry sauce were light and sweet and they made a nice contrast in texture with the blueberry sauce and ice cream. The Blueberry sauce was warm making the cold ice cream melt into a delicious sauce soaked up by the biscuits. A classic dessert well executed in a very generous portion. Make sure you try it if it’s on the menu that night.
It was a great meal and I got to enjoy it with Steve and Erin, two leaders in the digital/social media space and of course my son. BTW BTL Prime offers a $60 Prix Fixe menu, where you get to order of the specials menu, one app, one main, one side and one dessert. I am sure our meal was more expensive than that but if you want to try BLT Prime, the Prix Fixe maybe a more affordable way.
BLT Prime, 111 E 22ND St, New York, NY 10010-5400 (212) 995-8500