Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Miscellaneous Food: New York (Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House)

In Law Abiding Citizen, Gerard Butler's character, in an implausible storyline, shows up the criminal justice system while in prison by offering to give police and prosecutors information about a crime he himself had committed, in return for a steak from Del Frisco's.

That, I'm guessing, is a measure of the reputation that Del Frisco's has created for itself, and it's not all that difficult to see why. Del Frisco's is one of those old-school steakhouses with an ornate dining room containing waiters in starched white shirts and black waistcoats, and where ordering anything smaller than 24 oz and more cooked than medium is likely to earn you reproachful stares from the neighbouring tables.

It was my first meal in New York, and I was lucky enough to be hosted to dinner at this institution of a steakhouse along the Avenue of the Americas, not far down from Rockefeller Centre.

Although the steaks are the obvious attraction, some of the starters and side dishes here are equally deserving of acclaim. Chief among these were the crab cakes with a spicy Cajun sauce.  Pure chunks of fresh, sweet crab meat mopped up with a creamy, piquant sauce made for a really delicious start to the meal.

The caprese salad, one of the specials for the evening, was perhaps a little out of place considering that the rest of the menu was not exactly Italian, and the mozzarella cheese seemed to me to be a somewhat dry. 

"That's really a portion for one, sir," said our waiter with what I imagine was intended to be sympathy, when I indicated that three of us would be sharing a 24 oz porterhouse steak. Even though I knew that 24 oz was more than sufficient given that I wasn't that hungry and W and S weren't going to be eating all that much, I capitulated and ordered another 8 oz filet mignon.

To be fair, both steaks were beautifully cooked, and absolutely spectacular with just a simple serving of broccoli. The strip side of the porterhouse was particularly toothsome, deftly seasoned and brimming with meat juices. 

Del Frisco's is also particularly well-known for their sizable onion rings, but I've never really been a fan of onion rings, and just because the ones here are four times the normal size doesn't mean they're four times tastier.

If, by any chance, you still have space for dessert after the meal, there are all sorts of traditional, stick-to-your-sides sweets on offer, and the New York cheesecake doesn't disappoint. Thick, creamy and generous, the cheesecake is best shared between two or three people.

The chocolate souffle cake, served with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream, was rather too sweet for me, but the truth is that no one comes to Del Frisco's for the dessert. 

At the end of the meal, we staggered out of the restaurant, filled to the brim with prime, USDA steaks, doubly-satisfied: for my generous hosts, a great way to wind down a trip to New York, and for me, starting a holiday on a particularly high note filled with good meat and wonderful companionship.

Del Frisco's 

1221 Avenue of the Americas
Tel: +1 212 575 5129