Saturday, December 27, 2008

Steakation

I'll be honest - I kind of hate the saying'staycation.' It is a little contrived and a bit too cutesy for me. 'Steakcation' however, I can endorse wholeheartedly.

When we decided to make the most of our cancelled vacation though, we figured let's make the most of it and enjoy some of the sites, sounds, smells, and tastes in our own backyard. We love to dine out - but we often fall back on the practicality of cooking at home instead. When we travel however, we never cook. We may picnic now and again but we prefer to research, plan and enjoy the culinary landscape of every destination.

My list of restaurants to try in Seattle is long and frequently updated. Great new restaurants seem to open every week. When it comes to a splurge meal though, I like to look to places that have provided the trifecta restaurant experience for me in the past: food + service + quality ingredients.

I've been to 'The Met' a couple of times and it delivers on all three components of the "trifecta" in spades. All the beef is dry-aged for 28 days, there is the requisite sommelier, captain, server & 3-4 bussers that make up what I consider to be exemplary service and they have great bread/salads/wine to round out the menu offerings. It isn't cheap, but dollar for dollar I think you get your money's worth here.

Gavin and I decided to go to The Met earlier this week. We have been making a list of activities and restaurants to enjoy during our vacation and wanted to pick a couple of splurge meals that we only treat ourselves to once in awhile. We went the The Met in June and had a fantastic meal. Then, when we were in Chicago in November we experienced a great steakhouse dinner there at Gibsons.

There is something inherently comforting about the bustling steakhouse dining experience. I have had some great steaks around Seattle at Betty, Cremant, Canlis, Saltoro and Cafe Presse. Nothing quite compares though to the gluttony and excess of a good steakhouse. I love the waitstaff in their white lab coats, the rich, dark wood paneling, the mirrors and the sommeliers and captains in their tuxedos. I love the valet, the coat check and the meat display case.

Well, once we made the reservation for tonight we started stalking the menu online. We had pretty much decided on what we'd order by the time we walked in the door. Our server only confirmed what we already knew: the American Wagyu "Long-bone" Rib-eye was the way to go. Sweet Jesus, this was a big steak! The guys delivering our platters started humming the theme-song to The Flintstones. Yikes! What did we get ourselves into?! 36-ounces including bone and fat. If the picture above doesn't give you enough 'to-scale' comparison, allow me to compare my steak to a tube of lip gloss:

Good GAWD did these steaks deliver on the flavor! We ordered some Béarnaise and steak sauces on the side, but pretty much turned our noses up at them because all you really need are the juice and fat drippings on the plate to dip the steak into.
The bitter reality is that we each only ate about half our steaks (we were too proud and stubborn to consider sharing). We'll fry up the leftovers with some eggs for breakfast this time, but have agreed that we can enjoy this indulgence again in the near future by sharing one steak.

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