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3 Mistakes Commonly Made by Steakhouse Chefs

Isn’t it great when you walk away from a meal out with absolutely no complaints? When you’ve been completely satisfied with the food, service, atmosphere, and every other aspect of the experience? This is what dining out is all about, especially when it’s a special occasion, or just a much-needed night out with friends and family.

But these experiences seem rare. Why is that? Why do so many meals fall flat, and why are they forgotten so soon — or remembered in the wrong way?

In the case of steakhouse experiences, it could be any number of things. The quality of the steak itself is a big one. Many steakhouses just don’t invest in quality cuts of meat, which means that no matter how perfectly the chef prepares it, and no matter how great the service and atmosphere, the experience just won’t be all it can be — because corners were cut at the very beginning, when it was time to source the beef.

The most reputable steakhouses out there will have extensive knowledge of the beef they’re serving, including where it came from and what makes it special. Even the least expensive steak on the menu will be impeccably prepared and will be of good quality.

Let’s say the quality of the meat is fine, or even good. Another reason why many patrons leave steakhouses unsatisfied is that the steakhouse chef didn’t do a good job cooking the steak as ordered. People tend to be very particular about this, and if the steak is ordered medium-rare (for example) and it comes cooked medium or even medium-well, the customer might still enjoy the steak — but they won’t have gotten exactly what they wanted, and the experience would have been just that much better if they had.

Another mistake some steakhouse chefs make is to use too many spices or marinades in their steak preparation. When you’re handling a high quality cut of beef and preparing it using professional appliances and tools, very little is needed in the way of flavor enhancements. A little rock salt pounded into the meat is often the only thing used by professional steakhouse chefs. A lot of people can’t believe this, especially if the steak is really flavorful. But that’s the beautiful thing about steak — the best cuts are prepared in a way that simply brings out their natural flavor, without using species or sauces to cover it up too much.

Timing is another thing that can wreak havoc on an otherwise great steakhouse experience. When you have a table full of people, all of whom have ordered steaks, the chef needs to be very skilled in order to get the timing right. All those steaks need to be hot, along with the sides, and brought out at the same time in order to succeed in creating a good experience.

How to find a steakhouse that does all these things

Look for established, reputable steakhouses that have plenty of good customer reviews and high scores in social media. And when get there, ask a few questions about the steak. You should have a fairly good idea whether this is going to be worth an encore visit!

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5 Signs of a Bad Steakhouse

If you’re like most people, there are two types of steakhouse experience that stand out in memory. The first is a really great experience. We’re talking about a meal where everything was spot on, from the host who led you to your table, to the atmosphere and ambiance, to the wait service and ordering process, all the way to the amazing quality of the steak on your plate.

The other type of steakhouse experience people tend to remember is one that lands on the opposite end of the spectrum. From the moment you walk in, the service and atmosphere seem off. The waiter seems disinterested, and may not even know the answers to your questions. When the steak is set down in front of you, both the presentation and the taste are uninspiring. Then the bill comes, and the whole things seems to cost far more than it was worth.

All of the mediocre experiences that land between those two extremes are easily forgettable. Why? Because it’s really those great experiences you’re after, those steakhouses that leave an indelible mark on your memory — in a good way.

So how can you spot a “bad” or mediocre steakhouse before you walk in the door, and save yourself the trouble? Here are five signs of a bad steakhouse:

1. No information on where the steaks come from

One thing that definitely separates a high quality steakhouse from everyone else is the pride they have in the different cuts of meat they serve. Bad steakhouses don’t know much about the steak they’re offering — probably because there isn’t much to know.

2. Uncomfortable atmosphere or ambiance

It’s not just about the food — a good steakhouse experience is also about the surroundings, the tables, the cutlery, the décor. If a place looks drab and uninviting, chances are the rest of the experience will be on par with that — including the food.

3. Low ratings

Online ratings are perhaps your biggest ally when looking for the best steakhouses in your area. Look for establishments that earn consistently high scores amongst clients, and read the details of the reviews. You should be able to get an idea about the steakhouse fairly quickly from reading what other people have said.

4. Bargain basement prices

If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. This saying applies to so many different things, steakhouses included. If the cost of your steak dinner is unusually low, corners are definitely getting cut somewhere. A good value is one thing, but ultra-cheap steak dinners rarely satisfy the discerning patron.

5. Usually empty

One of the sure signs of a good steakhouse is a constant flow of customers in and out. If you walk by a steakhouse and it always seems to be empty, this is a strong sign that people are staying away for a reason. You might find a diamond in the rough that no one knows about yet, but in general, be wary of steakhouses that are constantly sitting empty.

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Jersey Shore Restaurant Week

Jersey Shore Restaurant Week at Prime 13 Steakhouse, Wood Fire Grill. November 3-12th, 10 days! 3 Courses! Reserve today.
Restaurant Week Menu prepared especially for you.

Appetizers

Golden crispy mozzarella

lightly fried with plum tomato sauce and fresh basil.

Sauteed shishito peppers

potatoes and garlic with crushed red pepper, EVOO drizzle.

P13 Bacon

house smoked, cast iron seared, caramelized onions, P13 bbq sauce.

Asian Clams

sautéed in white soy, ginger, garlic, butter, vegetable stock, crostini.

Entrees

Flank Steak

chipotle garlic herb marinated, wood fire grilled over Jasmine rice, black beans, Pico De Gallo, avocado crema.

Pork chop

house smoked, wood fire grilled, demi glace, whipped potatoes, sautéed broccoli.

Pan seared codfish

Bearnaise sauce, baked potato, sautéed broccoli.

Pan seared Bella Evans chicken breast

chorizo and cheddar potato croquette, sautéed broccoli.

“Cowboy” bone-in rib eye

wood fire grilled, baked potato, sautéed broccoli (add $17).

Filet Mignon,

wood fire grilled, whipped potato, sautéed broccoli (add $12).

Desserts

Flourless chocolate cake.

Fresh berries and whipped cream.

Cannoli tacos

crispy wanton, diced strawberries, chocolate sauce, whipped cream.

Three Courses for $32.17 plus tax and gratuity.
No combining offers or promotions.

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3 Reasons to Spend Thanksgiving at a Steakhouse

It’s that time of year when the leaves start to change, the temperature starts to drop, and people start making holiday plans. Thanksgiving comes first, and it’s one of the busiest travel weeks of the year. People crisscross the country to join their friends and relatives for this annual tradition, and before you know it, Christmas and New Year are right around the corner.

Thanksgiving is actually one of the most stressful days on the calendar for a lot of people. Besides the traveling and entertaining, fixing a traditional meal is part of the stress. A home cooked feast is a great tradition, but if you’re like a lot of people, you’ve flirted with the idea of leaving that old electric turkey carver on the shelf, and going out for Thanksgiving dinner/lunch.

But you still want the meal to be special, so what do you do? What kind of restaurant or cuisine is a good way to replace the traditional thanksgiving meal? A lot of people are skipping the turkey altogether and going for steak dinner. Here are three reasons why you should considering doing the same this thanksgiving!

1. No cooking

If you’ve ever cooked a thanksgiving meal, you know how stressful it can be. Getting the bird just right, along with all the side dishes and drinks, is a huge challenge. By the time you sit down to eat, you’re already stressed. How are you supposed to actually enjoy it?

2. Mouth-watering meat

Turkey is what it’s all about on thanksgiving, right? There’s nothing like that tender, juicy, flavorful experience. Or is there? A steak experience at a high-end establishment can give you a new take on what it means to enjoy a succulent piece of meat.

3. No cleanup

Cleanup is one of the worst parts of the traditional thanksgiving feast. Hours and hours go into the preparation, the meal itself is over in a few minutes, and soon you’re on to the cleanup phase. A professional steakhouse experience will give you the time and energy to enjoy this time with friends and family, without having to worry about the pile of dishes afterwards.

How to choose s steakhouse for thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a special occasion, and let’s be honest, for a lot of people, nothing can even replace the traditional family gathering at home. But for those who do decide to go a different route this year, and treat themselves to a more “relaxing” thanksgiving experience, not just any venue will do. If it’s going to be a steakhouse, you want to make sure it’s the right kind of steakhouse. That means a steakhouse that takes pride in the cuts of beef it serves, the expertise that goes into the food, and quality of sides and drinks, the knowledge and attention of the waitstaff, and the comfort of the ambiance. Only when all of these elements come together do you have an experience that just might be worth substituting for your traditional thanksgiving experience.

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Is it Healthy to Eat Rare or Medium-Rare Steak?

If you’re going to shell out big bucks for a fancy dinner, you want your food to be prepared flawlessly. When it comes to steak, though, there are often differences in opinion about what the “perfect” preparation is. Everyone has different preferences about how well done they would like their meat to be cooked.

Most high-end steak chefs and connoisseurs agree that the worst mistake you can make when it comes to cooking red meat is to overcook it. Overcooked steak tends to be tough, chewy, and devoid of tenderness. In fact, you’re likely to see any estimable waiter at a quality steakhouse cringe at the sound of the words “well done”.

But is the alternative safe? Many people are wary about ordering steak per the chef’s recommendation for fear that the outcome will be steak that is too rare and therefore could be dangerous to eat. What guidelines should be followed when it comes to eating rare steak?

Dangers of Rare Meat

The main danger of rare meat is that it might not reach a high enough internal temperature to kill any bacteria that may be in the meat. Ideally, meat should reach an internal temperature of at least 145°F to ensure that it is safe for consumption.

Making Safe Choices

In general, steak that is cooked to at least medium rare doneness can guarantee that it has reached an internal temperature that makes it safe to eat. If you prefer your steak rare, there is a slightly higher risk — but this is still the preferred method of steak preparation for countless aficionados out there.

Your best options for eating rare steak are to do so at a high-quality and reputable steakhouse. In such establishments you can rest assured that chefs are well-educated about the different cuts of meat, the risks of eating rare meat, and the best practices for reducing associated risks. In particular, delicacy dishes such as Beef Carpaccio or Steak Tartar that feature raw meat should only be consumed at high-end restaurants with a flawless reputation.

If in doubt, ask the waiter to ask how the chef recommends a given cut of meat should be cooked. While there are instances where choosing to consume raw meat comes associated with few risks, there are other instances where it should be avoided no matter how nice a given steakhouse is.

Finding a High-Quality Steakhouse

Looking for a top-shelf steakhouse that meets all of your needs for superior cuisine, excellent service, and knowledgeable staff? Check out reviews online to find the best value option that will meet all of your expectations. At a high-quality steakhouse you can rest at ease knowing that you and your dinner party are in good hands. If you prefer your steak in the rarer side, it’s even more important to find a steakhouse with a highly professional and reputable approach to steak preparation. There is obviously something to be said for steak that’s rare or medium-rare, but no matter how well it’s done, the important thing is that it’s done right.

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5 Great Occasions for a Quality Steak Dinner

Nothing quite feels celebratory the way a steak dinner does. There is something special about the food, ambiance, and service you get with a high quality steakhouse that makes it a perfect place to celebrate a special occasion. While probably not right for a child’s birthday party or a giant wedding, there are tons of more intimate special occasions for which a steak dinner is the perfect option.

1. Wedding rehearsal

In some ways the wedding rehearsal is almost more special than the wedding itself just in that it usually involves a more intimate group of close friends and family. What better place to kick off a weekend of celebrations than at a great steakhouse? Depending on the number in your party, feel free to ask if the restaurant has a smaller dining room or more secluded area so that your celebratory dinner can be a bit more private.

2. Graduation

Whether it’s a high school, college, or graduate school graduation, someone put in several years of hard work to get to this day, and it should be commemorated. A steak dinner is a great way to celebrate the hard work and give cheers to the exciting opportunities that lay ahead. Just make sure to book a table well in advance, as there are likely to be plenty of other families looking to celebrate on graduation day as well, and spots at the best places can fill up quickly.

3. Promotion

Congrats! Promotions are exciting and definitely a reason to celebrate. Whether it’s yours, a coworker’s, or a close friend or family member’s, come together to rejoice about new professional opportunities with good steak, craft cocktails, and good company.

4. Send-off

Goodbyes are often bittersweet. No one wants to see a friend leave, but usually there’s something to celebrate as well. Whether it’s a new job or a recent marriage, changes can be good and deserve to be celebrated. A steakhouse is a great way to remember the good times while also wishing someone the best for what lies ahead.

5. Birthday

Gathering friends and family for a special birthday dinner is always a treat. Try something different this year and opt for steak! At a high quality steakhouse, you can’t go wrong.

Choosing a High Quality Steak House

If you’ve got a special occasion coming up that warrants a top-notch celebration, look no further than an excellent steak house. That said, though, how does one go about choosing a steakhouse that won’t fail to meet expectations? It definitely involves doing some research.

Start online and look at customer reviews. Pay attention to comments about the quality of the food, as well as the quality of the service and the overall value for money. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, don’t be afraid to give them a call and get more information. Do they have a private room or special booth that would suit your party’s needs? Will they allow you to bring a cake or do they have a special dessert if you’re celebrating a birthday? The top steakhouses are all about customer satisfaction so they should be quick to do what they can to make your experience a special one.

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3 Things You Didn’t Know About Steakhouses

Everybody has their own opinion about what makes a great steak, but there are some things you can’t argue with. For example, the source and grade of the meat are a crucial factor in terms of flavor and tenderness. Preparation is also key. You can have a beautiful cut of beef on your countertop, but if you don’t know how to prepare it correctly, you won’t realize its full potential. Different people also have different preferences when it comes to how their steak is cooked, and if the chef (whether at home or in a professional steakhouse) can’t get individual preferences right, that’s also a problem.

There are things about steak that pretty much everyone knows. Potatoes go great with steak, for example. Anything from thick-cut fries to baked potatoes to Au Gratin dishes are a great way to round out a steak dinner. Most people also understand that there are different cuts of beef that come from different places on the animal. The difference between a filet mignon or ribeye and a T-bone, for instance, is fairly common knowledge — even amongst those who don’t eat a lot of steak.

But there are many things about steak and steakhouses you may not know. For example:

1. Not every steakhouse chef is highly trained

There are certain steakhouses out there — large national chains, for example — who don’t exactly have the highest standards when it comes to the talent and training of their chefs. You’ll usually know when the plate hits the table and you dig in. If there’s any doubt about the experience or skill of the people in the kitchen, you should probably take your money somewhere that does it properly and professionally.

2. Not all of the best beef comes from America

The Japanese have a passion for great steak, and their cattle-raising traditions have reflected this over the centuries. If you’ve ever heard of Kobe or Wagyu beef — and if you’re like most people, you probably have — you’re heard of Japanese beef. Some of the most expensive and sought-after cuts of beef in the world come from the country of Japan, and while much of this beef is still exported throughout the world, Japanese strains of cattle have also been exported. These days, if you order a Kobe or Wagyu steak, it might actually be raised right here in the United States.

Now — we do have some of the best steak in the world, from cattle raised right here. But if you’re going to talk about great steak, product from Japan definitely deserves a mention.

3. The best steakhouses aren’t always the most expensive

It’s a common myth that you always get what you pay for at a steakhouse. There are plenty of establishments out there that look good and talk big, but when it comes down the quality of their food — and the bill that comes at the end — something is definitely off. Overcharging for a mediocre steakhouse experience is more common than you might think. The only way to avoid this type of scenario is to look for highly rated establishments and rely on your own experience.

What will your next steakhouse experience be like?

Whether you’re grilling at home or heading out for a professional steakhouse experience, knowing more about the art and passion of steak and steak preparation will enhance your enjoyment of this great culinary tradition.

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How Important is the Quality of Beef in a Steakhouse?

The steak dinner is a great American tradition (it’s actually a great tradition in many countries, but we think it holds a special seat at the table here in the USA). But the truth is, steakhouses are incredibly varied. Just like any other type of cuisine, there are whole spectrum of steakhouses — from high-end places where the prices would make you blush, to “hole-in-the-wall” steak joints where you get what you pay for.

There are also, of course, high-end steakhouses that don’t get the job done, and aren’t worth the money at all. There are also places that don’t look or sound like anything special, but actually turn out a very good steak dinner on a consistent, regular basis.

If we really stop and think about this spectrum of steakhouses across the country, an obvious question comes to mind. What are the most important factors that differentiate a good steakhouses from a mediocre or bad one? Is it the service, the atmosphere, the prices? What about the sides, the cocktails?

The more we ask these questions, the more it becomes apparent that one factor stands above the rest: The actual quality of the beef being prepared and served.

Now obviously, the higher grades of beef are going to cost more from the supplier, and the menu price is therefore going to be higher. But steak is one of those areas where you get what you pay for. That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of fantastic values in the steak world. USDA Choice, for example, is the middle grade of beef here in the USA — and although it’s not as good as USDA Prime, it can give you a phenomenal value when prepared by the right steakhouse chef.

We can also take about USDA Prime cuts, and high-end foreign imports like Wagyu from Japan. These are definitely going to cost you more — but for a real connoisseur of steak, the flavor and tenderness will stand out in memory. Even among the USDA grades, there are different suppliers of different qualities that may be favored by different steakhouses and patrons. Grass-fed beef from local suppliers, for example, can be an absolute knockout on the plate. Again, much of it comes down to the professionalism and skill with which the beef is prepared.

A steakhouse that fires on all cylinders

When you visit a steakhouse, quality beef obviously isn’t the only consideration. You do want great service. You want that comfortable atmosphere, those delicious sides and craft cocktails. And it’s obviously a plus if the prices and specials are good. But without that all-important element of quality beef, you won’t really have the steakhouse experience you’ve been craving. That’s why it’s important to find steakhouses that pride themselves on the beef they serve, and are happy to explain in detail about various cuts of beef on offer. You should know exactly what your getting when it comes to the steak, and the texture and flavor should exceed your expectations. When that happens, the rest of the experience will usually fall into place!

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What’s the Most Common Complaint Against Steakhouses?

Whether for dad’s birthday or a special anniversary, a steakhouse can be a great place to celebrate and enjoy a delicious meal with friends or family. Ideally, the food, ambiance, and service will all be perfect. Sometimes, though, things don’t turn out as planned. When it comes to dining at a steakhouse, there are plenty of complaints that diners may have, especially when expectations (and prices) are high. Read on for three of the most common complaints against steakhouses and some ideas for how to avoid them.

1. Steak wasn’t cooked right

A nice steak dinner isn’t cheap. So when something isn’t just how you’d like it, it can be especially frustrating. Any steak enthusiast knows the pain of a poorly cooked steak, especially if it’s overcooked because the damage is done and there’s no undoing it. Steak that spends too long on the grill or in the oven can be tough and chewy, a far cry from the tender melt-in-your-mouth steak you were expecting. A high quality steakhouse should have chefs in the kitchen that are experts in what they do and for whom cooking steak to perfection is second nature. Aren’t sure how to order your steak? Don’t be afraid to ask the waiter what the chef recommends and then adjust to fit your personal preferences.

2. Service was slow

If you’re shelling out big bucks for a steak dinner, you expect phenomenal food and great service. And nothing can kill the mood like a painfully slow wait staff. When it comes to taking orders, refilling drinks, delivering food, and clearing plates, an attentive wait staff can make a dining experience exceptional. On the other hand, sluggish service can ruin the evening. Don’t forget that when you’re looking for the perfect steakhouse, service matters just as much as food.

3. Waiter was clueless

High-end steakhouses distinguish themselves with impeccable attention to detail. This applies to the décor, food preparation, and wait staff. As with any nice restaurant, any waiter or waitress at a good steakhouse should know the ins and outs of the menu, including the cuts of different steaks, recommendations for how well a given cut should be cooked, and appropriate wine pairings for different items on the menu. A steakhouse that invests time and training in their wait staff is bound to provide a much better experience than one that doesn’t.

Choosing the Perfect Steakhouse

Given that there are plenty of things that can ruin a steakhouse dinner, it’s important to invest some time into finding the perfect option near you. Read reviews online looking for trends in customer satisfaction both with the food and with the service. Don’t just look at ratings, but actually read a range of reviews to find out what diners loved and hated about a given steakhouse. Spending a bit of time on the front end to research your options will increase the likelihood that your steak is cooked to perfection and your experience does not disappoint.

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What Do Steakhouse Chefs Know that We Don’t?

One of the most common questions asked on cooking blogs or culinary shows is how recreational cooks can recreate the experience of a steakhouse dinner at home. How does one achieve the succulent flavor, charred crust, and tender inside of a perfectly cooked steak? In fact, many foodies consider a steakhouse meal to be one that cannot be replicated at home and therefore an extra special treat. There are a number of reasons why a steakhouse meal is often left to the professionals.

For one, many steakhouses do have equipment that most home chefs do not have access to. Broilers in a high-end steakhouse can reach temperatures exceeding 750° Fahrenheit, much hotter than most at-home ovens. Additionally, part of the reason that a professionally prepared steak is so hard to recreate is that steakhouse chefs often go through special training to learn how to select and prepare phenomenal steaks. Read on to learn more about what it takes to become a stand out steakhouse chef.

Steakhouse Chef Training

All chefs who have a culinary degree will take courses related to the preparation of meat and different cooking techniques. Apart from this general education, chefs hoping to secure a job in a high-end steakhouse will often take additional courses related to butchery, grilling, and steak preparation. Through these courses, steakhouse chefs will expand their body of knowledge and expertise in selecting, preparing, and cooking top of the line steaks.

In addition to this academic training, steakhouse chefs often get their foot in the door by working at a lesser-known steakhouse or as a sous chef in a prestigious steakhouse. Through years of experience, steakhouse chefs are able to hone their craft, learn from other experts, and perfect their skills when it comes to steak preparation. When ordering steak at a high-end steakhouse, it isn’t uncommon for diners to ask the steak to be cooked “how the chef recommends” to take advantage of this expertise.

Choosing a High Quality Steakhouse

If you find yourself craving a perfectly cooked steak, your best bet for satisfying your urge is to head to a high quality steakhouse. Like any other type of restaurant, steakhouses run the gamut from mediocre cookie cutter chains, to high-end institutions with white linen and all the bells and whistles. While most of us can’t afford a top-of-the-line steakhouse every day of the week, there are plenty of quality options that are more wallet-friendly if you take the time to look.

Finding the best possible steakhouse to fit your budget will require doing a bit of research. Read reviews online and check out restaurant websites to get a sense of customer satisfaction and value. Once you’ve settled on a steakhouse, take advantage of the staff’s expertise by asking for recommendations on cuts of meat and sides. Steak generally isn’t a meal that one eats all the time, so it’s worth doing the research necessary to ensure the experience is special. And if you really want to recreate a professional steak at home, you can get there — it just takes training and practice!