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What is the Most Popular way to Serve Steak?

There is nothing more enjoyable than being served your favorite steak, perfectly seared with a puddle of sauce and side dishes. There are a number of ways of making a great steak when serving people at a corporate event or a dinner party. Different people employ various techniques when cooking and serving steak. This means that steak can be served differently depending on their taste and preferences. In this article, we will be looking at five of the most popular ways to cook and serve steak at large dinner parties.

Oven-Baked Steak

A steak or wild game can be prepared the old-fashioned way using an oven. It can easily raise and sizzle when you set the oven at the right temperature. Before placing the steal in the oven, it is important to start by searing it quickly over a hot pan. A thermometer can be used to ensure it is cooked to your liking. The steak is then seasoned with salt, pepper, and rosemary before heated over medium-high on a large non-stick pan. The steak is then sliced before being served alongside roasted veggies and a scoop of Parmesan mash.

Grilled Steak

Preparing steak over a flaming grill is one of the best methods of serving a steak. Grilling steak requires a simple process and it is very easy to master with enough practice. The steak is placed on hot coals to cook on both sides depending on how well it needs to be prepared. The dish can then be topped off with butter before being served with a side of Gouda Mac-N-Cheese. More butter makes this type of steak more delicious as it blends well with the tasty and gorgeously browned crust. Other people add some salt and pepper to enhance the taste.

Pan Seared Steak

A pan-seared steak is normally cooked like a grilled cut of beef but is not exposed to an open flame like on a grill. A heavy-bottomed skillet or a cast-iron pan is used because it holds more heat and the steak is cooked to perfection. The cooking times for pan seared steak are similar compared to grilling. However, it is important to have your kitchen fan running and a mesh splashguard handy. It can be served with maple glazed carrots or a vegetable side with a nice flavor such as the roasted parsnips.

Reverse Sear Steak

This type of steak is usually prepared on the hottest part of the grill before it is moved to an oven for a gentler finish. The first procedure helps to trap the juices inside the steak by sealing off the surfaces. If you want to serve the best reverse sear steak, you should not mind the extra effort as it allows it to heat to perfection making the steak juicier. It is important to serve the steaks immediately or allow them to rest for a minute or two before bringing to the table.

Steak Tartare

Steak tartare is one of the most overlooked ways of preparing a steak since it does not appear to require any type of preparation at first glance. However, it is a popular way of serving steak in France and has been adopted in most restaurants in the U.S. To ensure food safety, few critical steps are usually taken even though the outside meat will not be exposed to direct heat. The rest of the ingredients such as mustard, pepper, salt, lemon juice, egg yolks, capers, and chives are presented on your side plate so that you can combine them at your own pleasure.

Sous Vide Steak

If you want to try something that is a little more complicated but you do not have the whole day to prepare on a grill, you can try out the sous vide steak. This type of steak is placed in airtight bags before they are prepared slowly in a water bath at low temperatures. Sous vide steak does not require resting like other recipes. It is usually served straight from grate to plate and you can always add some side dishes to achieve a healthy and tasty meal.

There are many ways to serve a steak based on the method of preparation. Side dishes can always be served based on individual tastes and preferences rather than your own perspective. There is no need of ruining a juicy piece of beef if you are not certain about preparing and serving your own steaks at home. However, if you are good at preparing different types of steak, you can employ the above techniques when serving to ensure your guests enjoy a great meal.

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Why Great Steak Restaurants are hard to find

Going out to eat is always an enjoyable experience for many. Eating delicious food in a good environment, surrounded by individuals you care about without having to spend time preparing anything or clean up afterward is always a wonderful time. However, the fun does not just stop there, as going out provides you with an opportunity to try out all kinds of cuisines offered by a restaurant. One great meal you can enjoy in a restaurant is steak. Nevertheless, not many restaurants serve great steak, and this article is going to explain the reason behind this.

It is Hard to Find Properly Aged Steak

Properly aged and prepared steak tastes incredible. Most restaurants do wet aging, which offers a mushy and waterlogged experience. The best restaurants dry-age their steak for several weeks. This leads to an intense, funky, and rich steak. This simply means that well-aged steak will have a better taste than what is not properly aged. The main reason behind this is that good restaurants age their beef to improve the flavor and tenderness of the cut. Since aging is a tough process, this can be a good reason why it is not easy to find great steak restaurants.

The Equipment used to prepare the Steak

Big steakhouses and restaurants prepare their steak through broiling. Although some may use grills, they do it in a way that not everybody would recognize. However, most restaurants use overhead, infrared broilers, which produce significant amounts of heat to cook steaks. Although you can still purchase the same equipment, it would not be necessary to prepare good steak. Instead, what you require is high heat that is in direct contact with the steak.
This is the main reason why a high quality pan is required to prepare incredible steak. A basic iron pan comes in handy in steak preparation. It is heavy on the metal and has the ability to hold a great amount of heat. It radiates heat into the steak and allows it to cook hot and fast enough, leading to outstanding results.

The Preparation Process

Good steak restaurants prepare their steak in a unique way. The best process entails preheating the pan to a high temperature, and then dropping the steak for about two minutes. Later on, butter is added and the pan put into a preheated oven for five minutes or more, depending on how the cook wants it done. The result will be a rich and buttery steak.

The Grade Matters

Restaurants and steakhouses that serve the best steak offer the best and most expensive grades of beef. This high grade is commonly referred to as USDA Prime. This type of beef accounts for close to 2% of the whole beef production in the United States. Since this steak is in high demand, it makes it hard for consumers and some restaurants to access it. If your local restaurant does not offer this type of steak, consider travelling around, as there is better steak waiting for you out there.

The Cook’s Experience

Good restaurants will have highly experienced chefs that have been preparing steak for years. Therefore, it is most likely that they cook delicious steak, which you will automatically find appealing. The best cooks have learnt from the mistakes they made in the past and have mastered the art of preparing great steak, which amazes everyone lucky to get a taste.

The Seasoning

Good steaks require some seasoning. Steak is seasoned with butter, coarse ground black pepper, parsley, and kosher salt. You have to season your steak at the right time to achieve that perfection, and this is what great restaurants do.

The Side Dish Offered

For a special dinner at your local restaurant, there is usually no better meal to have other than steak. Although the steak might be the main attraction, it is always a good idea to have it with something else. A side dish can make or break your overall steak experience. The best steak restaurants know this, and that is why they offer you a variety of side dishes to go with your perfect steak.

Steak earns its reputation in an old-fashioned way. People do not consume it because it is exotic, healthy, and cheap. Instead, they love it because of what it makes them feel when they put it in their mouths. When chewed, steak delivers tenderness, flavor, and juiciness. Despite this, not many people understand the meaning of great steak. Incredible steak requires proper aging, preparation, and service.

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What is the Most Popular Steak in America?

Most often we expect to be served the tastiest, juicy and tender of steaks when visiting a steakhouse or a restaurant. The best steaks for broiling or grilling are those derived from the rib, tenderloin and short loin sections of beef. Although taste is subject to individual preference, the juiciness and tenderness are what most people enjoy in a steak.

A new generation of restaurants and renowned butchers have redefined what makes a popular American steak in a country obsessed with beef. There is a heated debate as to which type of steak is the most popular among all steaks ordered at top steakhouses in the United States. In this article, we will be looking at the best steaks to order and which one is considered the most popular in American restaurants and steakhouses.

1. Cowboy Rib Eye Steak (Tomahawk)

It is also referred to as the tomahawk steak and contains the most abundant fat marbling. The Cowboy Rib Eye steak is known to be the most flavorful and juiciest of all steaks because it is robust, beefy and fatty. It is usually referred to as Prime Rib when roasted and is derived from a cut similar to the standing rib roast. This type of steak becomes a ribeye chop when sliced into steaks, broiled or grilled.

2. Tenderloin Filet (Filet Mignon)

Although the tenderloin filet has very little fat marbling, it is known to be the most tender of all steaks. It is a good choice for anyone watching their fat intake because it is both lean and tender. When compared to other cuts, the tenderloin filet has the mildest flavor because the little fats render into the steak when being cooked. If cooked beyond medium, the filet mignon can become dry. However, the buttery texture of this steak is what makes it so desirable. It is one of the most expensive on the list thus considered a special occasion steak.

3. New York Strip (Kansas City Steak)

The New York Strip steak is almost as tender and contains less fat than the cowboy rib eye steak. It is succulent and buttery and has a flavor of its own. Some steakhouses feature the bone-in version of the New York strip steak making it delicious and tasty when both grilled or pan-fried. Most often, this type of steak is sold with a half-inch of fat on one of its sides. If you are watching your fat intake, you can trim off this side after cooking. This helps take advantage of the richness and flavor it adds to the steak.

4. T-bone Steak

If you are undecided as to whether you should go with the New York Strip Steak or the Tenderloin Filet, then the T-bone steak will be your favorite choice. It is typically two steaks in one because it is separated by a T-shaped bone featuring both the New York Strip and filet portions. The bone makes the meat difficult to sear when pan-fried. Unlike other types of steak, the T-bone steak is much better when broiled or cooked on a grill.

5. Top Sirloin Steak

Although the Top Sirloin steak is very flavorful, it is less tender compared to other cuts. It is a type of steak with very little marbling and is considered a relatively lean cut. If you want the most affordable cut, then top sirloin steak will be a good choice for you since it can be skewered with vegetables and cut in cubes for grilling. It can be prepared in any manner just like the cowboy ribeye steak. However, it is often pounded, or marinated to make it tender.

6. Flank steak

The flank steak is another popular type of steak in America. It has more connective tissues because it is derived from the lower half of the animal. Although this makes it less tender than other types of steaks, it also gives it a great flavor. The Flank steak is usually served in thin slices and the larger size of the steak makes it perfect for entertaining.

The Cowboy rib steak is known to be the most popular steak in American restaurants and steakhouses because of its robust, beefy and fatty nature. Other types of steak such as the New York Strip, tenderloin filet and T-bone steak have also gained high popularity in recent times. The tastiness and juicy flavor of each of these steaks may vary depending on the ingredients used and method of preparation. The choice of steak will also depend on the amount of fat it contains especially if you are concerned about high-fat consumption.

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What is the Process of Aging Steak?

Aged steak is more tender and flavorful compared to the normal steak you purchase at your local store. The main reason behind this effect is that aging enables enzymes to break down complex connective tissues in steak, and allows water to evaporate away.

It might sound a bit weird to some people, but when it comes to beef, fresher is not always better. In fact, good steak should be aged for a few days before conception. What does this process entail and what is its effect on the quality of meat?

There are two main methods of aging steak – dry aging and wet aging. This article will have a look at both of them, and will give an in-depth analysis of how these processes take place.

Dry Aging

Although there are people that prefer wet-aged steak, most people opt for the one that has been dry-aged. This is because only small enzymatic changes happen when wet aging, leading to minimal changes. This means that wet-aged beef will have a more metaling and bloody taste. On the other hand, dry aged steak will have a richer, fuller, and more complex flavor.

How to Dry Age Steak

Here are steps you need to follow to dry age steak from home:

Make Your Refrigerator Ready

The first thing you will need to do is make your refrigerator ready for dry aging. You will have to limit changes in humidity and temperature levels on your refrigerator. It is critical to keep your steak at the right humidity and temperature levels to ensure an effective aging process. Having a separate freezer for this purpose is highly recommended.

Nevertheless, if you do not have access to another refrigerator, you can still use your regular one. However, you will need to clean out all possible contaminants because meat absorbs strong odors and flavors from the surrounding. Therefore, foods like fish, garlic, and cheese should not be stored in the same refrigerator with aging meat.

Preparing the Meat for Dry Aging

The first thing you need to do here is select high quality a large and high quality cut of meat. You want your steak to be the kind that implements quick cooking methods such as rib steak, and New York Strips. Try to avoid small cuts as much as possible, because dry aging causes a lot of moisture loss, causing these pieces to shrink in size.

The other thing you have to do when preparing the meat is to examine its color before storing. The color helps you know the tenderness of the steak, and assists you to determine the exact time the aging process should last. Light beef should be aged for more than 7 days, while darker beef should not be dry-aged for more than a week.

The final thing you have to do is unwrap and thoroughly rinse the steak. Make the meat dry by patting it with paper towels, and then wrap it in cheesecloth.

Dry Age Your Steak

The final step of dry aging entails placing your steak in your refrigerator for the designated period. You can place your meat on a tray or place it directly onto a rack of your freezer. After the first day, remember to rewrap your steak to eliminate fibers left behind by the paper towel covering. After this, you can go ahead and age your steak for the period you had determined based on its coloring. During the aging process, you will realize that the steak develops an unpleasant smell. This could have a negative effect on other foods in your refrigerator. That is why we recommend that you have a designated freezer for dry aging.

After the end of your dry aging period, you can now remove the steak to cook it. Before preparing your meal, you should consider shaving off the dry exterior parts, which are most likely not edible. Underneath this hard surface, you will find the tender and flavorful steak. You can cut this meat into small portions, cook, and enjoy.

Wet Aging

Wet aging is one of the most common methods used to age steak. Wet aging entails vacuum sealing steaks, which is a similar method used when freezing meat to prevent freezer burn. Since wet aging requires little time, less equipment, and does not cause loss of product, it is cheaper and easier to find.

How to Wet Age Steak

To wet age steak, start by choosing a prime cut of beef, like tenderloin or filet. Afterward, enclose the meat in plastic using your vacuum sealer. Place this sealed plastic bag in the coldest part of your refrigerator, which is usually at the bottom shelf. The aim of using a sealed plastic bag is to prevent the steak from absorbing odors from the surrounding. Doing this also allows the steak to age in its own blood and natural juices. Leave the steak in the refrigerator for not more than 7 days. When ready to cook, remove it and cut it into small pieces. It is good to note that this type of aging can impart a sour or metallic flavor to your meat.

Great things come to those who wait. This is true in life, and in steak. Aging meat offers a great payoff in terms of enhanced tenderness and flavor. This article has provided a deep analysis of the two main methods of aging steak – dry aging and wet aging. The process aging process for the two is quite different. Wet aging does not require a lot of equipment or time. On the other hand, dry aging requires controlled refrigerators and takes longer. Many people prefer dry aging because it gives meat an extra depth of flavor. Nevertheless, dry-aged steak is quite expensive, mostly due to the equipment used and the long time taken. On the other hand, wet-aged steak is a bit inexpensive but not as tasty as dry-aged one. Whichever type of aging you decide to go with, you can be sure that aged steak is much better than fresh steak.

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Top 5 Signs you are in a Great Restaurant

If you take your meals at restaurants on a regular basis, chances are that you have overheard a few complaints regarding the service, food quality, arrangement, and many other things. These issues might have made you think twice about visiting that facility again. So, what really makes a good restaurant?

Is it the food, the surrounding, the service, the general staff, or the ambience? All these factors are very important to look at when searching for an incredible restaurant. Nevertheless, there are a few signs that can automatically tell you that you are in an outstanding restaurant, as discussed in this article.

Outstanding Food

The only reason why people go to restaurants is to get food, and these people expect to enjoy a great meal. A great restaurant does not take chances when it comes to serving high-quality food. Such a restaurant sets high standards in regards to the quality of food served. The restaurant works hard to ensure customers get the same high-quality service every single time.

Most restaurants pay a lot of attention to the ambience, forgetting the food. Many people like fresh homemade food. In fact, the simpler the menu, the better the food. Good food makes people feel comfortable visiting the restaurant, and they gain more trust in the establishment. Fancy and complicated dishes create a bad customer experience, as they will have no idea what dishes to choose.

Tasty food and great service makes a restaurant earn good reputation, making customers return to the facility regularly and even bring their friends. Furthermore, an outstanding restaurant will have a professional chef that prepares meal using the best possible ingredients, all the time, to ensure a consistent service. If the restaurant you go to does not offer fantastic food, then that is not a great restaurant.

Excellent Service

A great service can lift up average food. However, tasty food can never make up for a bad restaurant service. For you to know whether you are in a great restaurant, the staff must show passion in the service their offer. They should exhibit a work ethic that aims to make their customers happy. Floor staff members that are experienced and know their job, see the most fleeting expressions of frustration, and even the slightest issues such as a napkin drop.

Great floor staff is never intrusive and barely breaks in a conversation before the right moment. They get the atmosphere of your engagement with loved ones, and will get the sense to stay away if you look like you are having a romantic moment or an argument. Moreover, the staff will have a deep understanding of the menu and will explain it without using notes. The wait staff should never raise an eyebrow if you ask them to take back a pie to be cooked the way you want it, or bring you ice-cubes. Such a service will mean that you are in a good restaurant, which you should make your regular spot.

Great Restaurants are Comfortable

Another thing you need to look at when evaluating whether you are dining in a good restaurant is the quality of comfort offered. The food can be amazing, but the restaurant has to be properly designed to bring offer the best possible experience to its customers. Good restaurants are unique and work hard to incorporate the design into the food and service. They should reflect a mindset and personality of the customer.

Chairs should be comfortable to sit on, and should never be in a high-traffic area or offer a bad view. A great restaurant pays attention to details and sets the right mood for its customers. Noise is another essential sign to look at. Noise control for restaurateurs can be tricky, and only a few restaurants get this right. Even if the restaurant plays some music, you should still be able to hold a conversation without struggle. There should be a balance between awkward silence and having to scream at your loved ones.

The temperature is another essential element. The restaurant should have good interior design and the right equipment to make sure there are no drastic temperature changes.

The Level of Cleanliness

A clean restaurant indicates that its owner has high standards and cares for your health too. It also probably shows that the restaurant offers outstanding food and great service. Cleanliness contributes greatly to the restaurant’s overall ambiance. When you get into a restaurant and realize the tables are not properly cleaned, or the floors are full of debris, then you should automatically know that you are not in a good establishment.
The level of cleanliness extends to the bathrooms, where clean and fresh bathrooms indicate a restaurant’s standards. A great restaurant should look clean and well structured. This helps create a positive mood that ensures a good dining experience.

Great Wine Service

Great restaurants often have a list of wine at a variety of price points. They do this by mixing up recognizable names and boutique drops, created by an expert instead of working with a product from a single wine representative with their own objective. Good restaurants serve wine at the table with the right glassware, and at the correct temperature. The staff serving should understand the different brands available and should guide you to ensure you make the right decision. This will depend on your budget and preferred taste.

Every person has had an experience in dining at a restaurant. Whether good or bad, people have their own unique standards and opinions when it comes to restaurants. Nevertheless, there are basic rules that great restaurants abide to, which enable them to be successful. The most important factor to pay attention to is the food. Without good food, a restaurant can never be great. Other essential elements include customer service, ambience, and overall comfort. These and many more factors can make or break a restaurant, making them great signs to consider when evaluating whether a restaurant is great.

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Top 5 Side Dishes to go with a Perfect Steak

For a special dinner at home, or just a random night at your favorite restaurant, there is no better meal to have than steak. However, although steak might be your main attraction, it is always better to have it with something else. Keeping this fact in mind, we have come up with awesome ideas for tasty side dishes you can have with your favorite piece of steak.

Dishes that go well with Perfect Steak

1. Potatoes

Nothing goes better with a prime cut of steak than potatoes. Whether mashed, baked, or roasted, potatoes are guaranteed to make a steak dinner more delicious.

Potatoes of any kind go well with perfect steak. However, if you would like a more sophisticated touch, we recommend that you try out truffle-mashed potatoes. They offer a rich flavor, and truffle, which combine to create a savory and creamy side dish to consume with your steak.

Potato Side Dishes for Steak

  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Sweet potatoes are incredible wedges, and work well with steak.

  • Crispy Hassel-back Potatoes
  • These potatoes offer both taste and novelty to a dish, and add visual contrast to your steak.

  • Traditional Chips
  • If you feel like you can handle it, you can consider deep-frying your chips and enjoy them with your perfect steak.

  • Baked Skinny Fries
  • If you are concerned about the calorie content of your dinner, you can consider baking your fries.

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • If you want a classic steak-and-potatoes meal, you cannot get something better than what this recipe offers.

    2. Asparagus

    Asparagus is a healthy vegetable that makes steak taste delicious.

    Asparagus Variations for Steak

    Here are a few examples of how you can consume steak with asparagus.

  • Roasted Asparagus and Steak
  • As you cook your steak, consider roasting the asparagus in your oven to accentuate the sweet flavor of this vegetable. You can add balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, or Parmesan cheese to boost the overall taste.

  • Seared Steak with Basil Butter, Spring Onions, and Asparagus
  • This outstanding dish brings the steakhouse home, offering a combination of pan-grilled asparagus, a compound of basil butter, and spring onions.

    3. Salads

    Consuming steak with salad offers you a lighter option compared to starchier and heavier dishes like mushrooms and potatoes.

    For salads, we recommend that you prepare a simple arugula salad with tomato on top. If you would like to go with veggies, consider going with a summer squash salad or grilled zucchini. To do this, just throw some zucchini and squash on the grill with the steak, and allow them to get nice and charred. You can also use toasted pecans to add flavor to the grilled veggies. Using toasted pecans helps add an intense nuttiness, which shines through the subtle flavor of the grilled vegetables.

    Good Salads for Steak

  • Potato, Snap Pea and Pickle Salad
  • This is a delicious version of a warm potato salad, but with lots of little bites and scallions.

  • Warm Chicory Salad with Mushrooms
  • You can use this salad with wild mushrooms, or consider substituting with sliced pears.

  • Grilled Zucchini Salad
  • Place zucchini slices on the grill and allow them to hang out in a lemon oregano dressing to absorb the rich favor. Let the zucchini absorb as you prepare the steak, and serve the two together.

  • Broccoli Salad
  • Broccoli salad provides one of the best light crunches to go with your steak.

  • Tomato Chickpea Salad
  • You can make this salad while the steak is in the grill. While preparing it, be sure to crisp up the chickpeas, as this will help add an extra crunch.

  • Minty Snap Pea Salad
  • This refreshing salad comes with bite-sized balls of milky mozzarella that ups your overall steak experience.

    4. Rice

    Rice is the number one grain that fuels the world. It is easy to grow, nutritious, and cheap to purchase. This is the main reason why it is a staple food for numerous people around the globe. A combination of rice and beef offers a tasty meal that is not only a favorite for many, but also quite economical.

    Rice Variations for a Perfect Steak Meal

  • Cilantro Lime Rice
  • If you would like to dress up your steak with some chimichurri sauce, then you must consider cilantro lime rice to go alongside it.

  • Fluffy Rice with Peas & Potatoes
  • A great way to add vegetables into your meal is to include them in your rice. Most of the flavor comes from added spices like turmeric, curry leaves, and cumin seeds, but what really makes up the dish are potatoes and peas. This side dish goes incredibly well with some good steak.

  • Butter Squash Rice Casserole
  • You do not have to worry about preparing rice and vegetables differently. Instead, you can consider making them together in this butter squash rice casserole. While this is cooking, you can be preparing your steak. Just serve the two together when done.

    5. Mushrooms

    Mushrooms are loved for their butter and beefy richness that they possess. These characteristics make them delicious side dishes for all kinds of meals. Although mushrooms can be very easy to make, they can turn out gummy and terrible if not perfectly done.

    If you love mushrooms, you will have an awesome experience consuming them with your favorite piece of steak. Mushrooms make the whole meal heart, rich, and delicious.

    The Best Mushroom Variations to go with Steak

  • Garlic Parmesan Tuscan Mushrooms
  • This offers a delicious and easy to prepare side dish to go with steak. The good thing about this diet is that you can do it very quickly, and it does not break your low carb diet needs.

    Having the perfect steak requires you to dedicate some time to select a good side dish to go with it. Adding some puddles of sauce or fries makes the meal decadent, while serving it with a simple salad leads up to a lean and nutritious supper for you to enjoy. Your cut of steak needs a good plate mate. So, choose wisely.

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    Steak Etiquette 101

    Going out for a steak is routine business for a lot of people. In fact, a lot of people head to steakhouses for actual business meetings and dinners. Others just want a good cut of beef. Maybe it’s been too long since the last steakhouse experience, or maybe you’re the kind of aficionado who heads out regularly to your local chophouse. You might even be someone who visits a steakhouse only on special occasions.

    In any case, it’s common for people to visit a high-end steakhouse they’ve never visited before, and find themselves wondering about proper steakhouse etiquette. Is there such a thing? For example, is there a right and wrong way to order a steak? What about silverware and other aspects of table etiquette? Are there any other etiquette-related issues to be aware of before making steakhouse reservations?

    The answer is that stuffy or snobby etiquette is generally something to avoid at steakhouses. It’s about creating a warm and friendly experience that is also high professional. It’s not about making people feel uncomfortable, or beholden to a lot of pesky rules.

    Dress code is something you’ll definitely want to be aware of, as there are plenty of high-end establishments out there that require a dinner jacket or a dress. Showing up for your reservation and being told that you’re not dressed properly to enter the dining room is an experience that every steak lover wants to avoid. These days, the finest chophouses are more likely to be full of customers who are dressed in a casual but modest way. Dress codes are often unspoken, if they do exist.

    In terms of ordering a steak and asking questions, customers should feel very comfortable. It’s true that steakhouse chefs generally don’t like preparing a steak “well done” – but then, you’re going to be the one eating the steak. It’s your preference that matters, no matter what steak you order, or how you order it cooked. A waiter may offer suggestions, and valuable information about the source and quality of various cuts – but it’s ultimately up to you.

    Etiquette will also depend upon present company. For example, if you’re at a steakhouse with a potential business partner or first date, you’ll probably want to avoid things like leaving your cloth napkin on the table, or chewing on your steak bone at the end of the meal. These are common sense points of etiquette that hold true for any type of restaurant.

    Generally speaking, steakhouses often have a reputation for being “stately” and a bit more formal in their presentation of great steak; but steakhouses that put more emphasis on appearances than they do on food are quickly falling out of fashion.

    It’s all about the steak

    One thing you can be sure about – places that focus heavily on appearances and etiquette may not actually be the right choice if you’re looking for top quality steak. That’s not always the case – there are certainly some fancy steakhouses that deliver where it counts. On the whole, most steak aficionados and casual steak lovers head for establishments that have a good mix of warmth and professionalism.

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    5 Non-Steak Entrées to Try at a Steakhouse

    Steak is a hugely popular main course – there’s no doubt about that. The number of steakhouses around the world has risen in recent years as people develop more and more appreciation for the art of a superior steak. Even restaurants that don’t specialize steak have added it to the menu – whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you want the real deal, however, it still appears necessary to visit an establishment known for sourcing and serving a higher level of steak.

    But let’s face it – sometimes you visit a steakhouse when you just aren’t in the mood for a steak. Maybe somebody in your party doesn’t eat meat, or is a vegetarian. All kinds of situations can arise in which you’re sitting at a table in a good steakhouse, yet you or someone at your table just doesn’t want steak.

    Obviously, your options will depend entirely on the menu at that particular restaurant. But if you’re lucky, the steakhouse you’re visiting will have options like the ones listed below, to make sure that everybody walks away satisfied.

    1. Salmon Oscar

    In case you didn’t already now, “Oscar” style seafood refers to a piece of fish that’s topped with crab cakes, asparagus, and béarnaise sauce (béarnaise is made from egg yolks, clarified butter, shallots, tarragon, chervil and vinegar. Add in some classic whipped potatoes, and don’t just use any fish: Use a super fresh piece of wild caught salmon. Provided it’s done right, this is one dish that isn’t going to leave much to be desired.

    2. Sea Scallop Risotto

    Sometimes, the simplest dishes are the most classic. There aren’t a lot of different ingredients in a good sea scallop risotto – just high quality essentials combined for an amazing final effect. You start with a bed of creamy risotto and fresh thyme. On top of this, you lay the freshest pan-seared jumbo dry sea scallops. It’s all in the freshness of the ingredients and the expertise that goes into the preparation.

    3. Twin Lobster Tails

    This takes simplicity to a whole new level. When you’re enjoying lobster at your favorite steakhouse, you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. In fact, you don’t need any! Start with super fresh, wild caught lobster tails. Add the right seasoning, and baste them with butter. A splash of fresh citrus is all you need to finish the job, and you’ll be riding high.

    4. Ahi Tuna

    Once again, the freshness of the fish is everything. But in this case, preparation can also go a long way. Add flourishes like a sesame sear, Teriyaki glaze, Julienne Vegetables, Jasmine rice and crispy wonton for a knockout dish that’s sure to please the discerning palette.

    But let’s get back to the steak…

    Usually, steakhouses with giant reputations aren’t kidding around when it comes to sourcing their steak. That also means they take seafood and other options seriously, and only source the finest ingredients available. When you skip the steak at a steakhouse, don’t hesitate to ask the same questions about source and ingredients for seafood and other items on the menu. Enjoy!

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    Can Steak Be a Healthy Part of Your Diet?

    When it comes to staying healthy, there is always a new piece of information, a new diet, or a new exercise fad that people are talking about. Obviously, we all want to stay as fit and healthy as possible – but it’s hard to make sense of things when the information is always changing.

    Chocolate and red wine are great examples. One minute, we hear that they’re good for the heart. The next minute, we hear that one or the other is linked to certain illnesses. For a lot of people, the experience of a good piece of dark chocolate, or a nice glass of red wine, tips the scales in favor of the “healthy” argument.

    Where does steak fit into this picture? There has been plenty of discussion on whether red meat is healthy, and if so, in what measure? Fortunately, we don’t have to guess at these questions – there is plenty of useful dialogue and information available.

    One of the potential health benefits of lean beef (much like chocolate and red wine) is that it seems to have heart benefits. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people with diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains experienced lower levels of LDL cholesterol when they added around 5 ounces of lean beef to their diet every day. Some of the fats in beef (namely stearic acid and oleic acid) have been show to improve cholesterol levels.

    Another potential health benefit of steak involves the mood-lifting benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. These chemicals appear to protect against depression and anxiety disorders, according to an Australian study. When participates in the study consumed 1-2 ounces of beef per day, their odds of developing depression or anxiety were much lower. It’s worth noting that grass-fed animals produce more of these helpful omega-3 fatty acids.

    Let’s not forget that red meat (including beef, lamb and bison) is a great source of protein. There are also many other useful nutrients in a quality cut of beef, including iron, zinc, and vitamin B-12.

    Now obviously – all good things should be enjoyed in moderation. Eating an over-abundance of steak can lead to certain health issues, but this is true for virtually any food. Red meat is a regular part of the diet for a large proportion Americans (and people the world over) who lead healthy and active lifestyles.

    The trick may be – as your parents told you – to eat your vegetables. People are much more likely to reap the benefits of high quality red meat when they maintain a diet that’s high in veggies, fruits, and whole grains. If you keep up that side of things, and get plenty of exercise, your doctor is probably going to have a lot more positive things to say about your red meat intake.

    Everybody is different, and various dietary choices can affect people in different ways – but one thing is for sure: it’s difficult to argue with the taste, flavor, and satisfaction of an expertly prepared cut from a reputable steakhouse!

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    4 Wines that Pair Well with Steak

    Pairing wine with food is a very old and complex practice. You’ve probably been to an upscale restaurant where a sommelier, or wine steward, makes recommendations on food and wine pairings. There are professional associations all over the world for maintaining standards in this area, and it takes years of dedication and hard work to gain recognition as a professional sommelier.

    At the same time, pairing wine with food is not something reserved only for trained professionals and dedicated foodies. It’s a common practice shared by everyone who appreciates a good glass of wine with a fine meal – and you don’t have to be an expert to know a good pairing when you taste it!

    When you think about your next steakhouse visit, wine might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Maybe you prefer a cold beer with your steak, or a craft cocktail, or maybe you’re rather stick with water or soda. But if you haven’t ever tried pairing a glass of wine with a fine steak, it’s definitely worth a try.

    1. Cabernet Sauvignon

    This red wine is often the “go to” when it comes to steak. Due to its full-bodied and fruity taste, it pairs nicely with the succulent and full-bodied flavor of a high quality steak. A sommelier could explain much better than we can, but Cabernet Sauvignon has a high alcohol content and plenty of tannins from the skin of the grapes. This gives Cabernet a smooth finish that really brings out the flavor of a good cut.

    2. Malbec

    This Argentinian red wine has been growing very popular lately, and we’re seeing it more and more in restaurants of all types. Best of all, Malbec pairs very well with steak. They love red meat in Argentina, and this is the most popular wine to pair with it. It has a very rich and flavorful profile that accentuates the flavor of a good steak, and it’s often among the more affordable wines on the list.

    3. California Zinfandel

    Another red wine that makes an excellent pairing with steak is a dark, flavorful California Zinfandel. This is a more acidic wine with fewer tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon, which means that Zinfandel goes very well with fatty steaks. If you’ve got a steak with really good marbling, consider pairing it with this wine. Interesting fact: Zinfandel is also sometimes used as a steak marinade.

    4. Rosé

    People often gravitate towards red wines when it comes to pairing with steak, and there is good reason for this – but don’t rule out a chilled, refreshing, crisp Rosé. This is always a popular pairing with steak or other grilled meats. A warm summer evening on the patio could be a perfect opportunity to try this combination for yourself.

    Ask your local steakhouse for recommendations!

    Now that you’ve got a grasp of wines that tend to be paired with steak, ask your waiter for recommendations from the wine list. Wine might not have been your first choice for steak, but once you experience a good pairing, you very well may want to repeat the experience!