Tag Archives: Steakhouse

Fish Bones

First up, let’s say that as compared to other restaurants in USA we’ve been to, service is a bit of a mess here. The servers are a little scatterbrained and slow, and maybe it was our location, but they hardly swung by our table at all, and we really struggled to get their attention throughout our meal. Judging by the numerous awards they’ve put up on their walls around the reception area, you’d expect much better service.

 

Portions here are the largest that we’ve ever seen in the whole of USA. Our starter of garlic bread was 5 massive slices of bread, served on an enormous plate. Unfortunately, there was hardly any garlic in their garlic bread. The slices weren’t even buttered well. Our other starter of bbq sauce prawns was puzzling. The prawns were stone cold, and served with bbq sauce on the sides. After struggling to get the attention of one of the servers, we asked if they’d mixed up our order, but they said that they hadn’t – their bbq sauce prawns were just that: cold prawns with bbq sauce. The prawns weren’t that much of a hit – there was a weird seasoning going on, and the bbq sauce was very necessary to distract us from that strange seasoning. This was a very dodgy start to the meal.

Fish Bones prides themselves on their excellent fish, and aged steaks, so that was what we ordered.

 

While we waited for our mains, we were served the accompaniments to our main courses – a portion of salad large enough to be a meal for one, and a whole loaf of bread, large enough for an entire family of 4. The salad was slightly overdressed, and since A hates olives, she barely touched hers. The size of the accompaniments was just shocking, and I doubt anyone would be able to finish an entire meal as it was presented to us.

 

A’s main was the catch of the day, a grilled seabass, served with some rice and vegetables. The fish was cooked quite nicely – it was fresh, moist and tender. Seabass is that kind of oily fish that retains its moisture well, so it would be quite shocking to be served a dry seabass. What was shocking about this seabass though, was that the skin was very poorly cooked. Firstly, there were many scales left on the fish skin, and it was chewy and rubbery. Perhaps Americans don’t eat the skin of their fishes, but we still find it such a shame that such a wonderful part of the fish was neglected.

 

K’s main was a steak, with a baked potato. We realize that it may not look so in the photograph, but that was the single largest portion of baked potato we have ever seen, and the size of that steak was also staggering. It would honestly have been enough for 2 people, that steak. Having said that, the steak was cooked perfectly. It was absolutely, hands down, the best steak K’s had in a very long time. It was moist on the inside, and there was a nice amount of caramalised fat on the edge to give it more flavour and texture. The seasoning was also spot on.

We left Fish Bones, after a very inconsistent meal, incredibly full. We both agreed that the steak was awesome, awesome, awesome, but they were let down by their handling of the fish. Plus, starters weren’t great. Overall, the whole place needs a revamp, and they should stop resting on their laurels. The décor is incredibly dated, the seats are falling apart and uncomfortable, and service needs to be kicked up a few notches. Till then, stick to the steaks when you’re there, and ask to be seated in a brighter area in the restaurant where they might be more likely to spot you frantically waving about at them.

Service: 6/10
Food: 6/10 for the fish, 8/10 for the steak, 7/10 overall

Craftsteak

3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702 891 7318

Tucked away in a little corner of MGM grand is craftsteak, Tom Colicchio’s steak restaurant. For those not big on US reality television, Tom Colicchio is the head judge on Bravo TV’s Top Chef, a competition where some of the nation’s best up and rising chefs compete for the title of Top Chef. We’ve enjoyed the food at his casual sandwich takeaway, ‘wichcraft, when we were in NYC, and were very excited to dine at his more atas steakhouse in Las Vegas, so our reservations for dinner were made literally the day they opened (think it was a month in advance). Being such huge fans of the show, there was absolutely no chance we were going to miss out on a dinner at his restaurant.

Service is excellent at Craftsteak. The moment you sit down you’re presented with a plate of steaming hot buns with some butter, and they’re truly some of the most delicate bread rolls we’ve ever had. Knowing that we were in for a really huge meal, we had to consciously remind ourselves not to overeat on those buns, and save some space in our tiny little Asian tummies (yeah right,) for our meat feast.

We went easy on the appetizers and ordered just a portion of lobster bisque to share. Our server offered to have it divided into 2 separate bowls so we didn’t have to fight across the table for it, which was really nice of him. The bisque was awesome. It smacked you across the face with flavour, and had wonderful chunks of lobster. It was a far more refined soup than clam chowder, but still without holding back on the flavour. Great start to the meal.

The next thing that happened was just bizarre. A photographer woman came around the restaurant to every table, and offered to take photos of the diners. She basically made us do the strangest poses ever for her while she took our photos. We had to put our arms over each other in the most awkward places, and if the session had gone on a little while more she would honestly have begun to ask us to climb on top of each other and sit on the table or something like that. It was very, very strange. No table was spared from her crazy requests, and it genuinely felt like a scene from Just for Laughs. Our photos must have turned out really badly, as she didn’t come back to ask us to buy them. Hopefully they’ve been destroyed, never to see the light of day ever again.

After that baffling intermission, dinner service resumed. Our Porterhouse was brought to us, together with our sides of grilled mushrooms, sautéed spinach and Yukon gold puree. It was a lot more food than we had imagined it would be, and we wasted no time digging in. The sides were all extremely well prepared. Our favourite side dish was definitely the Yukon gold puree. Yukon gold potatoes are extremely well suited for such a preparation, and they were honestly the best potato puree we’ve ever had. It wasn’t too creamy or buttery, yet still managed to be smooth and luscious with the most amazing consistency. This is one of the things we still dream about regularly. This was totally worth its weight in gold.

The steak was also incredible. The seasoning was far more subdued in this porterhouse as compared to the other porterhouse that we had, at Hawksmoor in London, and we liked that this version showcased the meat beautifully. With this steak you get to taste the flavours and textures of the 2 different cuts of meat. On top of that, with this type of preparation in Craftsteak, you get to enjoy your steak without the distraction of too much seasoning or salt. In fact, unlike most restaurants we’ve been to in Europe, or USA, salt and pepper is absent from the table. They’re so proud of the way they prepare their food at Craftsteak that they know that you have no need to add more salt or pepper to your dish. Indeed, even though the seasoning isn’t aggressive, the wonderful natural flavours of the meat are enough to give you that party in your mouth.

There’s a very good reason why Tom Colicchio is the head judge of Top Chef – his food is well and truly in a class of its own. We loved his casual sandwich joint in NYC, and here in Las Vegas he has once again impressed us with his upscale, glamourous steakhouse. There are probably a million places to eat at in Las Vegas, but this is one place you should definitely head to. If you’ve had a really good day at the tables, you can do as the guy next to us did, and order their most expensive type of meat, some black angus steak thingy, or you can do as we did and get a porterhouse, which is large enough for 3 to share. Either way, you will most definitely enjoy the service and the food at Craftsteak as we did. Now, we so desperately want that Yukon gold puree recipe!!!

Service: 9/10
Food: 8.5/10

Hawksmoor

157 Commercial Street
London E1 6BJ
020 7247 7392
http://www.thehawksmoor.co.uk/

Opening Hours
Lunch:
Monday to Friday 12-3pm;
Saturday to Sunday 11-4pm
Dinner:
Monday to Saturday from 6-12am

Hawksmoor is a steakhouse situated near Liverpool Tube Station. It was going to be A’s birthday on Sunday, and we wanted to celebrate this occasion the day before and go somewhere we have never been to. We have heard a lot about Hawksmoor. In fact, we intended to go there some time ago, but had to cancel our reservation unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances. This time round, we were determined to make it there and boy were we glad we did!           

 

We started off our meal we a spring cocktail (gin, lemon, mint, and some other yummy stuff inside) which was for two to share. It came in an enormous glass, and it was light and refreshing – very spring-y indeed.

 

We asked our server for recommendations and she was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. It was very useful to learn about the different kinds of meat as it helped us make our decision and we could avoid the cuts with a lot of fat, which A would not like. We settled for an 850g Porterhouse steak, and we added a portion of bone marrow, some steamed spinach, triple cooked chips and macaroni and cheese.

 

There is a blackboard listing the various cuts of meats and the weights available. Once one of them has been ordered, the servers will strike it off the list – so it pays to go early and order quickly. The steaks are large enough to share (ranging from 800g to 1.1kg), and 400g per person is a reasonable (and very sensible) order. The table of two next to us ordered an astonishing amount of food – practically double of what we had, and we were just horrified when they actually managed to finish almost all of it.

The food took a while to arrive – for a while there was absolutely no food leaving the kitchen, which reminded us of the episodes of Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen we watched. When the food arrived, we couldn’t stop marveling at how wonderful the steak looked, and how delicious the macaroni smelt.

In short, the steaks were out of this world.

Our porterhouse steak came nicely sliced for us, with the bone dividing the fillet and sirloin portions. The meat was cooked a perfect medium rare, just as our server had recommended. Having both sirloin and fillet in the same cut allowed us to get the best of both worlds – the fillet was very meaty and intense, and the sirloin was more tender and had just the right amount of fat to A’s liking. There was a very subtle sweetness to the meat, which was absolutely lovely. I thought initially that the sweetness came from the sauce, but A pointed out that it was the caramelisation process while grilling the meat that produced the natural sweetness. This was a sign of the meat being properly cooked.

The marrow was heavenly. The bone was split into two, which made scooping the marrow far easier than it was in Chez Fernand. A wouldn’t have any of it – she wouldn’t have enjoyed it anyway – it was creamy and rich and everything that she wouldn’t like, so I polished the whole lot by myself in an instant. The triple cooked chips were quite disappointing though. We expected them to taste far better than they did. By the sounds of it we expected something that was crispy and slightly charred, but to be honest, they were just about slightly above average chips. The ketchup sauce that accompanied them was very special though – it was more watery than the normal bottled ketchup, and there was a very nice fresh tomato-y taste to it – perhaps it was home made?

The macaroni and cheese smelt heavenly when it first arrived, so we had all sorts of great expectations for it. It was definitely a great tasting dish, but we had to add a little salt to it first. A thought that the macaroni was overcooked though. Our spinach was perhaps the healthiest part of our meal. We consciously went for steamed spinach instead of the buttered or creamed version, which was very wise as it gave us a clean, healthy contrast to all the other rich and fatty foods we ordered – a palate cleanser between each sinful bite, if you will.

We thought of ending this wonderful meal with desserts, but unfortunately their dessert menu was quite meager, so we skipped it. Anyhow, we were suitably full from all the food and it would have been too much to eat had we ordered dessert.

Overall, Hawksmoor is a place we highly recommend. Their steaks are fantastic, and if you are quite clueless about steaks, as we are, you will find yourself learning quite a lot just by asking your servers, who will help you find the perfect cut and size to order. We thoroughly enjoyed this meal, and think we will be back for more.

Service: 8.510
Food: 8.5/10