Tag Archive | Steak

Jubilee French Restaurant: C’est Si Bon!

jubilee-french-restaurant-logo
Above Image Courtesy of Jubilee, All Other Photos By Anne Raso.

Do you like French food? I sure do. Recently, I was invited to dine with a couple of friends at Jubilee, an authentic French eatery that’s just a short trip up First Avenue from my east village flat. Owned and operated by Eric Macaire, head chef Luc Holie (formerly of the late, great L’Absinthe) and his amicable wife Ilda (the couple hail from Montpelier and Paris, respectively),  Jubilee is a neighborhood gem whose warmly decorated interior is elegant while remaining comfortable, cozy and charming. I felt welcome right away.

Jubilee has a huge following for its fresh Mussels (Moules), prepared with your choice of  sauces including Marinière, Curry, Poulette, Catalane, Dijonnaise, Citronnée, Tomato Basil, Asian and Calvados (or choose  a trio of sauces). Mussels are served ala carte for $17 or with French Fries or Salad for $23.50. Keep that in mind if you have friends who are mussels fans!

Enjoy these photos of our menu choices!

Terrine de Foie Gras

As a first course, I enjoyed the Terrine de Foie Gras de Canard avec Compote de Fruit ($19), Chef Luc’s Homemade Terrine of Duck Foie Gras with a Balsamic Reduction and Fruit Chutney. The generous portion of this buttery Foie Gras is ultra creamy and mild, with the tart balsamic presenting  a nice flavor counterpoint. The bright sweetness of the fruit chutney is also nice complement, and adds welcome texture. This dish is very rich and I suggest sharing so as not to dampen your appetite for your main course.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Both of my dining companions ordered the Salade de Tomates d’Heritage avec Mozzarella et Vinaigrette au Balsamique ($13). This fresh  Heirloom Tomato Salad with Mozzarella and Balsamic Dressing arrives drizzled extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with fresh basil, with a toasted baguette “crouton” garnish.

Striped Bass

Fish lovers might enjoy the Loup de Mer aux Tagliatelles de Courgettes, Bouillon de Tomate Séchée ($29), Striped Bass, Zucchini Tagliatelles and Sundried Tomato Broth. The fish arrives with a gorgeous, browned crispy skin!

Black Angus Steak

Meat lovers have plenty to choose from on Jubilee’s extensive menu. The Steak de “Black Angus”($35) is a Grass Fed 10 oz Black Angus Steak, served with French Fries and Salad, with  choice of Green Peppercorn or Bearnaise Sauce. One of my friends chose to substitute her fries for a side of fresh sauteed  Brussels Sprouts, as she was watching her carbs. The requested, off-menu substitution was made with a smile!

Côte de Boeuf

Take a look at this luscious Côte de Boeuf ($40), a Grass Fed 14 oz Rib-Eye Steak, which was my entree. Also served with French Fries, Salad and a choice of Green Peppercorn or Bearnaise Sauce, we asked for both sauces and shared them. Divine! The meat was perfectly marbled with an excellent exterior char, and the crispy french fries were plentiful. The classic French bistro meal of Steak Frites surely does not get better than this.

Profiteroles

I finished off a very satisfying meal with a favorite French dessert that was too tempting to resist: Profiterolles au Chocolat ($11), a trio of perfect profiteroles, consisting of ultra-light and delicate choux pastry balls filed with vanilla ice cream, garnish with toasted almonds, and served with a dish of warm chocolate sauce to drizzle over the top. So indulgent! Other delectable desserts on the menu include Molten Chocolate Cake with Caramel Ice Cream ($11), Classic Crème Brulée with Cointreau ($10), and a delicious baked dessert made with fresh berries, Gratin de Framboises (Raspberry Gratin) for $11, among many more sweet choices.

Cheese Plate

For those with not so much of a sweet tooth, Jubilee offers a cheese plate with your choice of three cheeses, accompanied by sliced fruit, nuts, field greens and an assortment of homemade breads — which would almost be ideal as a light lunch or afternoon snack! At the end of our meal, we were also presented with a small plate loaded with tiny homemade Madeleine cakes, still warm from the oven and dusted with confectioners’ sugar – what a very special treat!

Jubilee has an extensive menu with dishes to please every palate. They also host a popular weekend Boozy Brunch ($28.50) that I would love to try with a few friends. I’m excited to have discovered Jubilee,  my new go-to place to enjoy all of my favorite French dishes and great service! Bon appetite!

Jubilee is located at 948 First Avenue (at 52nd Street) in Manhattan. Phone: 212-888-3569. For reservations, menus, and more information, visit This Link.!

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United Steaks of America

Meat America
Photo By Gail

Meat America is an eye-opening and artery-clogging tour of the American spirit, as told through meat. This photo by Dominic Episcopo, winner of a PDN Taste Food Photography Award, was snapped by me at the Photo Plus Expo, held at NYC’s Javits Center in October 2016.

Desmond’s Steak House Offers a Tailored Dining Experience

Desmonds Globe Lighting Front Entrance
Interior Photos By Gail. Food Photos By Anne Raso.

A steak house might be described as Manly, Elegant or Down Home, depending on its location, target clientele and the type of image it wants to project. Open for under a month and centrally located just a few blocks west of Macy’s or east of Times Square, Desmond’s Steak House seems to indicate that one Steak House can be all things to all people, within reason of course. Occupying an 8,000 square-foot space (formerly the site an OTB) at 513 Seventh Avenue, Desmond’s is a welcome dining addition to a neighborhood that’s somewhat calling out for a renaissance. Before you even open a menu, the interior of Desmond’s offers you a choice of rooms and dining spaces in which to enjoy your meal, each with subtly different décor to suit your mood, or the size of your party.

Front Bar

Entering on 38th Street just east of Seventh Avenue, you’ll notice the restaurant’s ground floor meat locker, stuffed with cuts from Strassburger Meats (which also supplies steaks to Keen’s and Sparks) before ascending a glass block-encircled staircase featuring suspended deco globe lighting – very lovely and unique! At the top of the stairs a gorgeous, marble-topped wraparound bar welcomes you.

Desmond's Bar Area Seating

The front of the restaurant features tufted-leather booths that separate the bar from a private dining area – done in lighter finishes with distinctive architectural features like brick arches, fieldstone and porthole-like faux windows – that’s ideal for hosting a special event.

Private Dining Area

Private Booths

Follow the bar around to the right and you’ll pass a row of private booths perfect for a romantic dinner for two, before entering the massive, clubhouse-like dining room overlooking Seventh Ave – an open setting suited for anything from a family get together to a business dinner. No matter what the occasion, you’ll feel comfortable at Desmond’s.

Main Dining Area

Grilled Slab Bacon

To start our meal, we selected the Grilled Slab Bacon appetizer ($15), which was noticeably less fatty than the usual steakhouse pork belly, and the edges had a tasty crispiness. This dish is served with a smooth applesauce whose sweetness makes an excellent accompaniment to the tender, smokey meat.

The menu says that all meats are grain fed and aged 50 days, and as far as selection of prime cuts, all bases are covered. Red meat fans can choose from a NY Sirloin (which is their strip, available in 12oz and 16oz cuts), a T-bone (20oz), a Porterhouse (48oz, portioned for two), a Boneless Ribeye (20oz), a Cowboy Ribeye (bone in, 24oz) and a Filet (in 8 or 14oz portions). If steak is not your thing, they also have selection of delicious-sounding seafood entrees as well as a raw bar that we heard patrons seated near us raving about.

My dining companion and I chose to share the 14-ounce filet ($50). Served with a choice of five specialty sauces, we selected the Horseradish Cream. The generous portion of meat arrived with a perfectly pink interior, and was buttery tender with a flavorful, crispy sear, but we had a bit of an issue with the (unexpected) bone-in presentation.

 Filet with Sauce

It’s no secret that cooking meat on the bone enhances flavor, and while this is generally preferred with, say, a pork chop or fried chicken, on a filet it was just a distraction. I doubt anyone would argue the point that a filet is among the most consistently tasty cuts of beef available, and a fully trimmed cut would certainly not suffer for having the bone removed. Being as Desmond’s has an on-site butcher, perhaps they could consider offering a trimmed version of their filet in addition to the bone-in presentation. Since it is considered inappropriate to gnaw on a bone in a fancy restaurant, much of the delicious meat was lost to us – definitely the only disappointment of the evening.

Grilled Veal Chop

As a second entrée, we selected the Grilled Veal Chop ($40) served with Horseradish Potato Puree and topped with sautéed Chanterelle Mushrooms. This grilled-to-perfection chop was thick, juicy, lean and scrumptious – qualifying as possibly the best veal chop in the city. My dining companion especially loved the Horseradish Potato Puree, declaring it to be the best she’d ever tasted.

Creamed SpinachMashed PotatoesExotic Mushrooms

For sides to share we chose the naturally sweet Creamed Spinach ($11), Mashed Potatoes ($9) and the sautéed Exotic Mushrooms ($11). I would say that each side serves 2 – 4 persons, depending on how many sides you order and individual appetites. The portions are definitely very generous!

Vanilla Panna Cotta

We finished off a hearty meal with couple of small but satisfying sweet treats from Desmond’s enticing Dessert Menu. Vanilla Panna Cotta with Raspberries Three Ways ($8) was sweet and light with the best fresh raspberries I’ve ever tasted. The Warm Chocolate Cake ($9) has a delicious milk chocolate flavor but it virtually dissolved when we tried to divide it between us, so I’d advise you not to do, that unless you don’t mind the mess, which we did not.

Service at Desmond’s is top shelf and our server, David, was especially friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating. We look forward to exploring the menu further on a future return trip.

Warm Chocolate Cake

Desmond’s is located at 513 Seventh Avenue (enter on 38th Street), New York, NY 10018. Phone (212) 391-6900 for Reservations or visit their website at Desmond’s Steakhouse and Grill.com.

The United States of Meat

United States of Meat
Mmm…Delicious Meat Map (Image Source)

There is something so compelling about a raw steak shaped like our country. It makes me want to eat it, yes, but it also makes me want to find out more about where such a steak might have come from. In this case, it is part of a photo book by Dominic Episcopo, called Meat America.

You can find out more about Meat America, and order a copy for yourself, at This Link.

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.

Federal Government Declares Holiday In Honor of Gail’s Birthday!

The Two Gs Celebrate My Birthday!

It’s my Birthday, Bitches! Enjoy your day off! I’m going to celebrate by sitting at home all day fucking around on the Internet, and then I’m going out later for a steak. Birthday!