Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Review of Club A Steakhouse.

I recently had the opportunity to use the voucher I purchased on yelp, for a four-course dinner and bottle of wine for two, at Club A Steakhouse, located on E. 58th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. Club A is fairly new to the NYC steak scene, and with powerhouses like Delmonico's and Wolfgang's, to name a few, already dominating, it is certainly tough to establish yourself when your prime meat is well, prime meat. However, judging by my own dining experience, I believe that Club A can adequately rise to the competition.

I decided to treat my dad to the steakhouse for his birthday, and we were both impressed by the immediate hospitality that greeted us as soon as we walked into the restaurant. Owner Bruno personally escorted us to an opulent upstairs dining room, which featured a small fireplace and plush seating, and looked out upon lighted bushes that filled the length of the large picture window at the back of the room. Mirrored walls created the illusion that the room was larger than it actually was. As we were seated, a red rose and a long-stemmed candle were placed on our table, along with a bread basket full of a variety of warm breads to please any palate, such as onion focaccia, rosemary rolls and walnut raisin bread (I had at least one of each...yum!).

With the yelp deal, we were offered a choice between a Malbec and Pinot Grigio. As a rule, I always choose red wine with steak, but it was my dad's night so I let him choose, and he went with the Pinot. (I should have noted the wine names, but I forgot). Nevertheless, mixing red meat with white wine did not taste nearly as controversial as I expected and, in fact, I rather enjoyed it.

For appetizers I was debating between the caesar salad and the thick Canadian bacon (Although I'm not generally bacon's biggest fan, I've had a similar appetizer at Wolfgang's and it was to-die-for), and decided to go with the salad, if only to choose something healthy to accompany all the carbs, steak, alcohol and sweets I would imbibe before the night was through. The salad was good, but a little too much dressing made it tangier than it should have been.

While waiting for our next course, we were served some lobster ravioli "on the house," and it was fantastic (I'm not sure if this is a norm of the restaurant, if it was because of my dad's birthday, or perhaps the waiter overheard my dad and I discussing this blog...). The creamy sauce and tasty lobster meat made this dish really stand out.

Options for entrees were a 10 oz. filet minion, a 12 oz. hanger steak, a veal dish, and some seafood items, such as salmon. Side dish options included potato puree, fries, and creamed spinach. I went with my staple steak, the filet minion, medium-rare, and my dad and I choose to share sides of potato puree and creamed spinach. The steak, garnished with asparagus (my favorite green vegetable!) was of the succulent, melt-in-your mouth variety. The outside was more well-done that I wanted, but the medium-rare inside was perfectly tender. The herbed potato puree was smooth and buttery, and a superb complement for the steak. The creamed spinach was flavorful, but a bit too salty.

There was a constant flow of wait staff who were so attentive, it made me feel like I was some wealthy debutante being doted upon by personal hired servers. Bruno himself made continual rounds to the tables, and when he learned that it was my dad's birthday he had two glasses of champagne brought over for us. The personable owner told us that his family had lived in the building which housed the steakhouse for approximately thirty-three years, but that Club A had only been open for three years, as the business was previously an Italian restaurant.

To top it all off, when the waiter brought our dessert, an array of divine cream puffs and tiramisu drizzled with sweet sauces, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" had been spelled out in chocolate sauce on the serving plate. We ate to our heart's content and were quite pleased, overall, with the both the quality of the food as well as the ambiance and service. My few, small complaints did not belittle the meal at all, as we delighted in our meal until the last bite.

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