Tag Archive | creamed spinach

Top Ten Things I Love About Bobby Van’s Grill

Bobby Vans Grill Interior
I Love This Place (Photo Courtesy Bobby Van’s Grill)

It’s been more than a year since our previous review of Bobby Van’s Grill on West 50th Street, so it was a special treat to be invited back again for another taste of what we here at The Gig consider to be the Best Filet Mignon in Manhattan. Just being serious. Here are a few of the reasons why this surely won’t be our last visit to this Midtown gem.

First of all, the place is gorgeous. Bobby Van’s is an old school steakhouse fitted out in warm woods, polished brass fixtures and classic lighting moderated by decorative glass shades. As soon as you enter the restaurant, which is fronted by a spectacular long bar, you feel comfortable and welcome, but also like you are in for a very special dining experience.

Which brings us to  service that is exceptional on every level. Our waiter and additional wait staff were all friendly and attentive, but also confident and invested in making sure each customer has a memorable meal at Bobby Van’s. General Manager Paul Modica even stopped by our table to make sure we were being taken care of. Paul, who has a professional background like something out of a movie, also entertained us briefly with engaging stories of his impressive career in the restaurant business, which began when he was just 14 years old. Paul is the coolest.

Warm Crispy Artichoke Salad

Among an exhaustive list of tempting appetizers and salads, the Warm, Crispy Artichoke Salad ($15.95) stands out — served as a portion generous enough to split with your dining companion, but also hearty enough to satisfy as a main dish at a lunch visit. These lightly battered and quick fried, tender artichoke hearts mixed with frisee greens are tossed with tangy Parmesan cheese and then garnished with another slice of cheese. This is a very special salad the likes of which I’ve not encountered at other steakhouse restaurants.

Brussels Sprouts

When it comes to choosing your accompanying vegetable side dishes you will not have an easy time of it, as there are so many good things to try. On this visit we opted for the Brussels Sprouts, which are sauteed in garlic, rosemary and olive oil before being lightly braise and crisped  with a quick trip to the oven, for an elegant presentation.

Creamed Spinach

And if you’re going for Classic Steakhouse Meal sides all the way, their Creamed Spinach cannot be topped.

Mac and Cheese

Look at this Macaroni and Cheese. Just look at it. Bobby Van’s serves an authentic baked Macaroni and Cheese, created with two different kinds of White Cheddar (English and American) plus Parmesan cheeses and topped with bread crumbs and seasonings. This dish is culinary perfection in a white ramekin.

Filet Mignon

Here it is, the star of our show: The Filet Migon! You can see the masterful result of perfect cooking in the lightly charred and caramelized crust on the filet’s exterior, which reveals a perfect, juicy medium pink inside (medium rare is also recommended, depending on your preference). At approximately 16 ounces pre-cooked weight, this steak is a bargain at $49.95.   Bobby Van’s signature Filet is so flavorful, buttery tender and outrageously delicious that it tastes perfect on its own, though a side of rich Bearnaise sauce comes with the entree. You may want to also try…

Bobby Vans Steak Sauce

Bobby Van’s Original Homemade Steak Sauce, just to change it up and keep your palate amused. A little bit sweet, a little bit tangy, so so so good.

21 Layer Crepe Cake

OK, it’s time for dessert and that means just one thing: 21 Layer Crepe Cake! Trust me, this pastry treat tastes even better than it looks — and it looks pretty great! You can see in this photo how whipped cream-like custard is layered between stacks of tender crepes to create a dessert that is both decadent and yet light. While Bobby Van’s does procure these cakes from an outside vendor, they prepare it their own with garnishes of mint leaves, fresh sliced Strawberries and tart Raspberry Coulis. This cake is a must have on any visit and is perfect to share after an indulgent meal.

Finally, we love the value of a visit to Bobby Van’s Grill. Considering the high quality, consistently delicious food and generous portions of all their dishes, the prices are quite reasonable, and the menu is so extensive and varied that you can find dining choices to suit  any budget. We recommend that you consider Bobby Van’s Grill to be a desired destination for all celebratory events as well as just a rewarding weeknight  break from the grind!

Bobby Van’s Grill is located 135 West 50th Street (Between 6th and 7th Avenues), New York, NY 10020, and is convenient to many subways including the 1, N and R Trains. Hours are Monday to Friday: 11:30 AM – 11 PM, Saturday and Sunday: 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM. Phone (212) 957-5050 for Reservations.

Christos Steak House: A Steak Lover’s Paradise

Full Feast Perspective Shot at Christos Steak House
The Feast Awaits (All Food Photos By Naomi “Natalie” Markewitz)

The greatest discovery any foodie can make is finding a local restaurant where you just know when you sit down at your table that anything you could order on the menu will be delicious. This is not the same thing as having a favorite restaurant where you really love the Cheese Enchiladas or the Green Coconut Curry. I’m talking about a dining establishment that not only serves your favorite dish, but a place where the quality of what you already know you love is so amazing that you’re encouraged to try things you might not have otherwise. It is from such circumstances that true Food Adventurism is born, and that just makes life more enjoyable. Because dining out is awesome.

We recently went on a food adventure (outside the borough of Manhattan, even) to a wonderful Greek Steak House called Christos, where we ate the Best Steak of Our Lives, and also enjoyed various other delicious foods that put us into a satisfying food coma. We are going to share that experience with you now. Please settle in.

Dining Room Detail at Christos Steak House

Located in Astoria Queens, half a mile from very last stop on the Q or N line, Christos is everything a classic steak house should be while also offering a distinctive Greek touch to their dishes. The interior is warm and unpretentious and you can choose to have your meal in the front room, well lit with natural light from the street, or a more intimate area towards the back, which would probably be good for a larger, private party. If you’re on your own, or prefer a more casual seating area, there’s plenty of space and extra tables in the bar area.

Interior Bar Shot at Christos Steak House

Service is friendly and very accommodating, so you really feel welcome and that your patronage is appreciated. The menu is quite extensive and as long as you have brought along your heartiest appetite you should find it challenging on what to choose, as every item looks so amazing.

Select Appetizer Trio at Christos Steak House
Signature Appetizers: Crab Cakes, Lamb Cigar, Fried Cauliflower

Christos has the Surf and the Turf fully covered. For fans of Oysters, there’s an impressive Raw bar, and their menu of Signature Appetizers, (Priced $10 – $19) includes a wide variety of seafood options including fried or grilled Calamari, Charred Octopus, Mussels Aegean (White wine, garlic, plum tomatoes, feta) and two varieties of Baked Clams. Diners can also sample smaller portions of Christos‘ specialties by choosing the Trio Appetizers ($15), to mix and match three selections from a generous list of meat, vegetable and seafood delicacies to whet your appetite. With a wish to be adventurous while leaving room for big a fat steak, we chose a sampling of tiny Crab Cakes in lemon remoulade, one fillo wrapped minced Lamb Cigar with roasted pepper yogurt sauce (the best lamb cigar we’ve ever tasted) and the barely-battered crispy Fried Cauliflower. The flavorful and meaty crab cakes are fried in clarified butter at a high temperature that makes it possible to use virtually no breadcrumb coating (this is one of chef Mina Newman’s secrets, which we are sharing with you now!)

While Christos also serves a succulent center cut Pork Chop ($22) and Lemon Thyme Brined organic half Chicken ($19), we came to eat a big steak. Once we saw this in the front window:

Raw Filet Displayed at Christos Steak House

We quickly decided on Christos’ 10 ounce Filet at $36 (a 14 oz is available for $45). All of Christos beef (except for the filet) is carefully dry aged for 21 days in their temperature controlled cold aging room to achieve peak flavor and supreme tenderness. Steaks can be paired with select sauces or crusts to further enhance the flavor ($6 – 8). My dining companion chose the Roquefort Cheese and Red Wine Garlic Sauce, while I opted for a sauce of Wild Mushrooms in port wine sauce called Mavrodaphne. The Port reduction added a distinctive sweetness to the rich sauce that I really enjoyed, though it might not be to everyone’s taste. Most importantly, the filet was absolutely perfectly cooked medium, with a pink center and crisp sear, melt-in-the-mouth tender, juicy and flavorful. Best. Steak. Ever. That is all.

Gails Steak and Feast at Christos Steak House
Featured Sides, Center: Creamed Spinach, Sour Cream & Chive Mashed Potatoes, Truffle French Fries With Parmesan

Sides are out of control and include twelve different, mouth watering vegetable dishes (we could not do without the Creamed Spinach, cooked to perfection and topped with crispy fried onions, $8) and nine varieties of mashed potatoes, all $8.00 and portioned for sharing (our selection: Sour Cream & Chive). Truffled French Fries with Parmesan Cheese were an off-menu special that night, so we had to have them as well. Because, Truffle Fries.

Baked Astoria Dessert at Christos Steak House

There is little chance that anyone will have room for dessert after indulging in such a feast, but we forced ourselves to order the Baked Astoria, a take on the classic Baked Alaska created by Christos by sandwiching cookies and cream ice cream in between layers of chocolate and red velvet cakes, covered with Meringue peaks and flambéed — a over-the-top ending to a magnificent meal. We shall be returning to Christos for further Food Adventures.

Christos is located at 4108 23rd Ave, Astoria, New York 11105 (Take the N or Q Train to the last stop, Astoria/Ditmars, turn left on 23rd Avenue and walk 10 blocks up to Christos – so easy!). Visit Christos on the web at This Link to view the complete menu or to make reservations.