TOP 5 DINING: STEAK & SEAFOOD

 

Whether it’s grilled, seared, steamed or sautéed, these chefs finesse their menus with sauces, secret spices and skill, allowing you to go from traditional turf and surf to ‘out of the box’ creative taste and flavors.


BROOKLYN AND THE BUTCHER

At Brooklyn and the Butcher steaks are seasoned with a special Butcher’s Blend Spice, a wellkept secret. “I call it our Essence. All I can tell you is that it has more than 12 spices and herbs,” says Kendell Sheppard, executive chef. “And we use it on things other than steaks. In fact, most people would be surprised at the dishes that have it.”

Before Sheppard works his magic in the kitchen, diners have to decide on the style of steak and any toppings they’d like for embellishment. That’s decision-making to savor! Among the styles are Brooklyn (bacon, Gorgonzola, mashed garlic), shrimp scampi, Au Poivre (black pepper crust, Port demi-glace, maître d/butter), Oscar (lump crab, asparagus, béarnaise sauce); horseradish crust; and The Butcher (sautéed mushrooms, cipollini onions, bourbon sauce). Toppings include steak butters, lobster tail, chimichurri, shrimp, scallops, lump crab, bone marrow and béarnaise.

He prefers his own steaks medium rare but understands not everyone shares his taste. “A well-done steak has always been the dreaded hockey puck among chefs. To each his own. If that’s how a guest wants a steak prepared, I’m happy to make them happy.”

The pièce de résistance of seafood offerings is the Seafood Tow- er. “When I first came here, we served a seafood tower for private parties, but I said, ‘Why not serve it in the dining room?’ I added a small, medium and large. The large version can serve up to 12 or 15 or a hardy group of four,” he says.

148 E. Market Street | New Albany, IN | 812.590.2646


JACK FRY'S

Executive Chef Steve Gustafson thinks today’s chefs are having a lot of fun being creative with their steaks and are encouraging customers to think out of the box of the traditional New York strip or filet or ribeye. Even so, his grilled filet, served with asparagus, fingerling potatoes and sage beurre blanc, and topped with prosciutto and Parmigiano-Reggiano. is a top seller at Jack Fry’s. The Wagyu sirloin marinated and seared in duck fat is also pulling in rave reviews, as are its accompaniments of sautéed spinach and horseradish-potato purée.

Gustafson has some words of wisdom for those who want to prepare the perfect steak at home: “I prefer to grill steaks, but there’s a lot of interest in cast-iron searing. Both preparations need super high heat to get a nice crust and hold in the juices. Too many home cooks under season steaks. The meat needs more salt and pepper than you think. Also, very important is to let the steak rest for about ten minutes after taking it off the heat.”

Crab cakes and spicy fried oysters are popular Jack Fry’s meal kick starters. For those diners who want to stay with a seafood theme for their entrée. Gustafson wins them over with almond and pistachio-crusted seared salmon. It’s paired with rice and is accentuated by cipollini onions and tomato-chive beurre blanc. A daily seafood special may be created with scallops, mussels or whatever appeals to the chef’s whim and represents the most interesting product from his purveyors.

1007 Bardstown Road | 502.452.9244


LE MOO

Thrillist ranked Le Moo among the top 31 Steakhouses in America. Food Network was equally enamored with the powerhouse steak emporium, naming it one of the country’s Top 25 steakhouses. Such accolades are especially appreciated by Sous Chef Haley Charron, who estimates she has prepared more than 5,000 steaks.

Although Le Moo aficionados are highly opinionated about their preferences of filets, ribeyes and New York strips, Charron says the Miyazaki Wagyu is the most coveted item on the menu. Kept secluded in a special refrigeration unit, it is presented raw at the table to allow diners to see the marbling. The A5 marbling score is the highest a steak can achieve. Also given to the table is a certificate of authenticity that states the specific cow’s identification number, birthdate and har- vest date. “The certificate shows the cow’s family tree, going back three generations, and it’s all in Japanese. The best part is the snout print, almost like a baby’s foot print. Some people love that; others are a bit taken aback. But I assure them that these cows led great lives, being massaged every day and fed beer to enhance the flavor,” says Charron.

While Le Moo’s name and reputation may put steaks centerstage, Charron and her kitchen crew are masters of seafood and fish such as King Crab legs, Scottish salmon with white Cheddar cheese grits, Canadian lobster tails, Texas red fish with mashed potatoes and bacon-braised cabbage, and sea scallops with mild mushroom cream sauce and country ham.

2300 Lexington Road | 502.458.8888


MESH

Rob Temple, Executive Chef at Mesh, is a go-to expert for steak preparation, a technique that isn't as simple as one might assume. "I think in any kind of cooking, there's a degree of finesse and a need for skill and knowledge. That applies to the simplest things. One of the most challenging things to cook is an egg. It requires the perfect temperature and the right consistency. Steaks are much the same way. Cooking a steak isn't an easy task, simply because of it's simplicity," he says.

He regularly wows dinners with his steak preparation prowess. The filet, served with bordelaise sauce, mashed potatoes and asparagus, is one of the most popular dishes on the Mesh menu.

What are his tricks of the trade for a great steak every time? "High heat is important but that can be difficult in a home unless you have a hood to vent the smoke. So, it's best to use a grill. Gas and charcoal grills both have their advantages, but a char-grilled steak is always the best. Let th emeat sit out of the refigerator for about an hour before grilling. Season with salt and pepper before and after grilling. Let rest for three to four minutes before cutting so that the juices stay in the meat," he advises.

Although it has gained a stellar reputation for his steaks, Mesh has several interesting seafood options, including salmon for which Temple uses an Asian bourbon glaze that imparts intriguing levels of flavor.

3608 Brownsboro Road | 502.632.4421


PAT'S STEAKHOUSE

Pat Francis is continuing the legacy of his family’s business, Pat’s Steakhouse, which opened more than 60 years ago.

“My father, who grew up in St. Joseph’s Orphans Home, worked hard all his life and instilled that work ethic in all of us. My five kids grew up in the business. Two of them and my two sisters still work here for me,” he says. Pat’s Steak- house is about other families as well. A recent group celebrating a young girl’s birthday included four generations of relatives. Dining at the restaurant is a tradition that has been passed down through many families.

He attributes the restaurant’s success to the highest quality of food and to the service offered customers, pointing out that many of his employees have worked there for 25 to 40 years. His personal involvement extends to cutting all the steaks, which have been aged 28 to 32 years, himself.

The 8- to 9-ounce Lady Filet is the best seller while the 32-ounce Porterhouse T-bone and 18-ounce filet mignon are specialties of the house. All steaks are served with a salad and two vegetables. When he’s asked what wines pair well with his famous steaks, he usually recommends a Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir.

Seafood and fish, such as ahi tuna, fried shrimp, pan-fried oysters, baked salmon and North Atlantic cod are also integral part of the Pat’s Steakhouse story.

In addition to the main dining room, Pat’s features an out- door garden and an upstairs Irish pub that consists of three dining rooms.

2437 Brownsboro Road | 502.893.2062


Posted on 2019-05-06 by Nancy Miller | Photos by Danny Alexander
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