Monday, February 18, 2008

BLT Prime - The rest of the meal catches up to the popover

Last year I gave a less than positive review of BLT Prime. While I loved the concept of marrying French food, including the liberal use of Truffles, with high end beef I just never felt that it lived up to its potential, nor the competition. I would probably not have ventured back but for strong recommendation from a former employee who raved about the American Kobe style Top Cap steak.

American Kobe Top Cap Steak

Well I can happily say that not only was the Top Cap steak excellent (although at $81 it should be) but the rest of the meal was also delicious. While the Kobe, both domestic and Japanese, has always been excellent here the sides despite using ingredients of the highest quality had thus far failed to impress. Until my last visit that is.

A Spinach salad with blue cheese and bacon, which apparently replaced the more traditional wedge that I sampled last time, was very good. The Hen of the Woods mushrooms and a creamy cauliflower au gratin with truffles complimented the main dishes perfectly. Even the tuna I sampled was excellent and perfectly cooked.

The fact that the BLT empire also has a fish restaurant, namely BLT Fish, doers not hurt BLT Prime, the tuna was outstanding.

The Top Cap steak is quite rare on restaurant menus. Although not as tender as prime cuts , the flesh is closer to a hanger or flank steak but with a more robust flavor. I must comment that the grill seems to be finally living up to the claim that it reaches 1700 degrees, the steak was beautifully charred on the outside, as opposed to the rather lackluster presentation of my last few visits. I must reiterate my concern about the adornment of the steak however. I still do not understand why BLT insists on covering their beef with all sorts of spices and herbs. This is prime beef, its flavor should be allowed to be fully realized, not obscured by adornments. I will have to remember to ask for my steaks naked next time. And I will most assuredly be back. While I am still apprehensive about BLT's domestic offerings, the Wagyu is beyond reproach, and the sides and appetizers seem to be finally living up to their potential. And of course the pop overs continue to be outstanding. Recommended.

BLT Prime
111 E. 22nd St.


DocChuck said...

Interesting post.

I’m not too familiar with the “Top Cap” steak, and I wonder if it is in any way related to (or close to) the Flat Iron steak.

The wife and I love the flavor of a flat iron steak, charred on the outside and medium-rare on the inside. The flavor of the Flat Iron, in our opinions, is excellent.

And I would agree with you about the aversion to “covering their beef with all sorts of spices and herbs.”

I have never comprehended why some restaurants (or even some “home chefs”) will ruin a beautiful steak by covering it with crap. A good piece of beef should be appreciated for what it is . . . by itself . . . nothing else added.

Nick said...

The Top Cap is part of the sirloin:

Despite this it is quite similar to flat iron steak. The latter I also find excellent. Because it is located so close to the heart of the steer, it has a very good blood supply so it will have good flavor as well as a deep red hue.