Tag Archives: steak

Filet Mignon Steak Tartare

Filet Mignon Steak Tartare - Lark Creek Steak

Filet Mignon Steak Tartare – Lark Creek Steak

 Steak tartare has been such a rarity that its perennial status as a French delicacy seems even more elevated in recent years. Most places that serve steak tartare do it well, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better steak tartare than at Lark Creek Steak.

The steak tartare at LCS is made of filet mignon, so you’re in the Pantheon of tartare right away. It’s dolled up with capers, chopped onion, fleur de sel and the prerequisite raw egg yolks. It’s meat at its purest and finest, with just a bit of seasoning. It’s rich, meaty, salty, a bit fatty, and absolutely fantastic. This is a meat lover’s dream.

The crostini are likewise perfect, crispy, buttery little trowels to dig out fine chunks of filet mignon. The portion is generously sized to share between two, three, or four friends.  If you’ve never had steak tartare, treat yourself. You’ll love it.

THE GRADE: AWESOME (highest grade)
THE DAMAGE: $13.95 
THE SKINNY: LARK CREEK STEAK 

Westfield® San Francisco Centre
845 Market Street, 4th Floor, Ste 402
San Francisco, CA 94103

Phone: (415) 593-4100

Reservations: http://www.larkcreek.com/larkcreek_steak/index.html

Lunch:
Mon.-Fri. 11:30 am – 2:00 pm
Sat. & Sun. 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Dinner:
Mon.-Thurs. 5:30 pm – 9 pm
Fri. 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Sat. 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Sun. 5:00 pm – 9 pm

Filet Mignon Steak Tartare

Filet Mignon Steak Tartare - Lark Creek Steak

Filet Mignon Steak Tartare – Lark Creek Steak

Steak tartare has been such a rarity that its perennial status as a French delicacy seems even more elevated in recent years. Most places that serve steak tartare do it well, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better steak tartare than at Lark Creek Steak.

The steak tartare at LCS is made of filet mignon, so you’re in the Pantheon of tartare right away. It’s dolled up with capers, chopped onion, fleur de sel and the prerequisite raw egg yolks. It’s meat at its purest and finest, with just a bit of seasoning. It’s rich, meaty, salty, a bit fatty, and absolutely fantastic. This is a meat lover’s dream.

The crostini are likewise perfect, crispy, buttery little trowels to dig out fine chunks of filet mignon. The portion is generously sized to share between two, three, or four friends.  If you’ve never had steak tartare, treat yourself. You’ll love it.

THE GRADE: AWESOME (highest grade)
THE DAMAGE: $13.95 
THE SKINNY: LARK CREEK STEAK 

Westfield® San Francisco Centre
845 Market Street, 4th Floor, Ste 402
San Francisco, CA 94103

Phone: (415) 593-4100

Reservations: http://www.larkcreek.com/larkcreek_steak/index.html

Lunch:
Mon.-Fri. 11:30 am – 2:00 pm
Sat. & Sun. 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Dinner:
Mon.-Thurs. 5:30 pm – 9 pm
Fri. 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Sat. 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Sun. 5:00 pm – 9 pm

Flatiron Steak (Oola, SF)

Flatiron Steak

Flatiron Steak at Oola, SF
Flatiron Steak at Oola, SF

A flatiron steak is usually compared to skirt or flank steak, but it’s actually a better cut that tends to be much more tender than either. When it’s properly done, it can be great. It’s a cut with nice marbling from the beef shoulder (chuck), and sometimes called “top blade,” a reference to its blade-like shape. The shape resembles a flatiron.  (For more about this cut, visit Certified Angus Beef and click on the “chuck” portion of the diagram halfway down the screen.) 

At $28, Oola’s flatiron steak is priced on par with more expensive steak cuts, but it is definitely the best flatiron steak I’ve eaten in 2009. Baring its flesh like a fashionable summer sunburn, the grilled slices skate up from a pond of peppercorn gravy: simply sumptuous morsels. The peppercorn sauce is wonderful, both rich and surprisingly light. The potato gratin is also great, and well-balanced with cheese that’s mild and doesn’t show up the beef. Again, Chef Ola Fendert takes something that is often traditionally heavy and lightens it without sacrificing any flavor. Some grilled asparagus spears add a jolt of crunch and color. 

The waitress kindly shared that Oola’s medium rare is a bit more rare than usual, which I’ve found to be how French and French-trained chefs interpret medium rare. I recommend the flatiron medium rare (as shown).

The Grade: Excellent

The Damage: $28

The Inside Tip: 

Don’t order a flatiron steak past medium or you will lose the juicy flavors; go for rare to medium-rare.

The Skinny: Oola Restaurant & Bar

860 Folsom Street (between 4th St & 5th St)
San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: (415) 995-2061
Website: http://www.oola-sf.com/

Make reservations at Oola directly via OpenTable.com

Beef Bavette (Spruce, SF)

Beef Bavette

The grilled beef bavette steak at Spruce is thick-sliced and flayed out like meaty arrows. dipped in Bordelaise and ready to pierce your taste buds. What an amazing steak;  this is one of the best of 2009. The richness of Bordelaise (sauce made from bone marrow, red wine, and broth) soaking the beef bavette can make your eyes roll back when you chew. Spruce’s bavette is paired with duck fat potatoes, which are terrific, and a seasonal vegetable.  A simple and fantastic dish, and a perfectly grilled steak.

Grilled Beef Bavette - Spruce, SF
Grilled Beef Bavette - Spruce, SF

The Spot: Spruce

Spruce itself is one of the smartest designed restaurants in San Francisco. Opulent but coolly so, every table comfortable and distant enough from neighbors to make you feel your party is the only one there. And faux-ostrich dining chairs…they should sell them.  Comfortable, plush, dark, romantic, Spruce is a great place for dinner. And there are great small tables in the bar area if you don’t have a reservation. 

The Grade: Awesome/Phenomenal 

(highest grade)

The Damage: $30

The Skinny: Spruce

3640 Sacramento Street, San Francisco CA
Phone: (415) 931-5100
Website: http://www.sprucesf.com/
Hours: Lunch M – F 11:30am – 2:30pm; Dinner nightly 5 – 10pm
Chef: Mark Sullivan 

Make a reservation at Spruce via Open Table

 
If you want to try a Bordelaise yourself, here’s a decent recipe (not from Spruce): Steak with Sauce Bordelaise

Steak Frites (Monk’s Kettle, SF)

Steak Frites

Steak Frites - Monk's Kettle, SF
Steak Frites - Monk's Kettle, SF

A good steak frites is the French man’s answer to hungry lunching. It’s a simple dish, the French bistro take on meat-and-potatoes, get-the-job-done. Monk’s Kettle serves up a very tempting steak frites, with a giant leafy forest of greens.

This skirt steak’s a juicy little Angus (Nature Well), cooked to order (medium-well or bust), and nicely portioned. But red wine shallot butter and demi-glace give the beef quite a pronounced pounce. This steak frites has a bit more attitude than most; it’s an excellent version. The fries are thin and crisp, nicely done, reminiscent of the addictive, McDonald’s variety.

Steak Frites (thick detail) - Monk's Kettle, SF
Steak Frites (thick detail) - Monk's Kettle, SF

The Spot: Monk’s Kettle

Aside from a lovely steak frites, Monk’s Kettle is one of the best places in San Francisco Bay Area to sample an astounding array of beers. Their 24 draught taps change 3 to 5 times weekly. The beer menu itself is 6 legal-sized pages listing (and explaining) a worldwide variety of familiars and odds, with prices that range from your low-budge suds (PBR and such) to party-like-a-rock-star froth (including champenoise-style beers that set you back between $45 and $60 for 12 oz.). The staff is authentically friendly, very knowledgeable about the beers they have, and enjoy helping folks match their flavor palette or dare into new territory. If you’re no pork chopper, just go by for a beer sometime.

Get your Belgian beer on: Monk's Kettle
Get your Belgian beer on: Monk's Kettle

The Grade: Excellent

The Damage: $21.50

The Skinny: Monk’s Kettle

3141 – 16th Street, San Francisco (between Valencia & Guerrero Streets)
Phone: (415) 865-9523
Website: http://www.monkskettle.com 

Steak Tartine (Redd, Yountville)

Steak Tartine

New York Steak Tartine, Redd, Yountville CA
New York Steak Tartine, Redd, Yountville CA

The Dish: Steak Tartine

This is probably superstar chef Richard Reddington’s version of a burger & fries. The New York steak tartine, rare and thick-sliced, is mesmerizing in its tenderness, flavor, and juiciness. A bit of aioli and balsamic onions make the small open-faced bites of beef and bread drool-making. The onion rings are perfect, but thankfully the breath-charging haloes sit atop a hill of local greens for some earthiness and textural relief.

Maybe a bit of onion overkill here…I mean, people do get romantic in Napa Valley and all those onions might keep both vampires and lovers at bay. Otherwise, an exceptionally good dish.

The Spot: REDD, Yountville CA

With all the great restaurants in Northern California’s wine country, it’s hard for visitors to discern which are hype and which are worth the ‘I’m in wine country on vacation so I won’t squawk at the bill’ type of pleasure that all the restaurants here should provide. Thankfully, I found every experience at Redd, and every dish, of the highest quality. It’s among my favorite dining spots in Napa Valley.

Its pristinely simple décor certainly whispers post-modern cool, but Redd’s infused with enough warmth to avoid stuffiness. Careful, stylish selection of tables, chairs, even silverware, and an occasional eruption of fresh flowers for chlorophyll and color imbue Redd’s refreshingly spartan design.

But really, it’s about Chef Richard Reddington’s food. Reddington’s long culinary pedigree includes work at renowned restaurants in New York (Park Avenue Café and Daniel Boulud’s Restaurant Daniel); San Francisco (La Folie, Rubicon); and France (the Michelin three-star Arpege and with Roger Vergé at Le Moulin de Mougins).

To be frank, I’m not sure why Redd isn’t one everyone’s list of favorite Northern California restaurants. So afford yourself the opportunity to dine there; it’s a stellar experience.

The Damage: $25

The Grade: Exceptional / Awesome (5 out of 5)

The Skinny: Redd
6480 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599
Phone: (707) 944-2222
Website: http://www.reddyountville.com/

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