Contributing Editor Melissa Limberg submitted this post. Follow The Mizz on Twitter @mizzlimberg
You’ve heard of Gordon Ramsey, right? The scary chef that yells at restaurant workers until they cry and then turns all soft at the end of the episode? Yeah, that Gordon Ramsey. Well, he has a restaurant called BLT in Midtown East. BLT is known throughout the city as a “critic’s pick” and it is piloted by Hell’s Kitchen winner Paul Niedermann. I had no serious expectations, but I knew it was a steakhouse so I was ready to get my filet mignon on. In fact, I fasted the entire day in anticipation of all the calories I was hoping to consume.
I arrived into what was a small but busy setting; very bistro-esque. I felt like I walked into a dimly lit, schmoozy after work scene. Along the bar they had small bowls of spicy popcorn and salted almonds stationed sporadically between patrons. I tried each for the sake of a good review. The almonds were nothing special but the spicy popcorn was top notch. We were taken back right at our reservation time. The place felt lively for a Thursday night dinner crowd. Dressy attire was worn by all and most men were in suits. In fact, it definitely gave off the vibe of an old boy’s club – women were in the minority. I don’t mind this at all, because as a young New York woman I’m always looking to be propositioned by an older businessman. (I kid, I kid! Unless one is reading this right now, in which case… call me!)
The walls were adorned with black and white photos of old New York and the seating was comfortable and intimate. So intimate in fact, that we were able to have a conversation with the table of men next to us – it was almost insisted upon us to eaves drop on their conversations. As luck would have it, they were extremely nice and allowed me to survey everyone’s plate to see what they were having. (They even offered me a bite or two, but I politely refused.)
A few moments passed and we were served a plate of crositini with duck liver mousse. You may ask yourself, “Self, what is duck liver mousse?” I’ll tell you, it’s basically fois gras with strawberry jam on top of it. Simple, yet the jam makes a pleasing sweet addition to the saltiness of the duck liver. I am not a huge fan of fois gras to begin with because it’s very rich (not to mention high in fat content) but I thought it was well done. Next came the popovers. I adore a good popover. What is not to love about that delicious eggy goodness buried inside a thick crusty outer shell? It’s hard for me to think any popover is a bad popover to be honest. Though I pride myself in being able to turn down bread at restaurants – I gobbled up the entire thing without blinking an eye. And I didn’t feel bad about it. At all.
For my appetizer I ordered the tuna tartare with avocado and soy-lime sauce. It came out in a beautiful display served on a bed of ice under the plate that housed it. One of the better tuna tartare’s I’ve eaten. Order it if you’re a fan. A friend ordered the seafood tower for one, and she had no trouble finishing it and I heard no complaints… so I’ll imagine it was a hit.
Now, what you’ve already learned about me in my previous post about Catch is that I always order the filet mignon. I love it. I can’t get enough of it. I think it’s the best. This night, however, I felt like I should really explore the best possible option that this well known steakhouse had to offer. I asked my waiter what he thought I should order and he was quick to recommend the 28-Day Dry Aged Bone-In NY Strip Steak. 20oz of delicious meat? Alright, bro, sock it to me. There are five ways you can order a steak at BLT: blue (cold in the middle), rare (basically still cold in the middle but a little more than blue), medium rare, medium, and well done. I chose my typical medium rare. My dates both had steak as well and also ordered the steamed asparagus and truffle mashed potatoes as side dishes.
After a medium length wait time (plenty of time to chat with our new friends at the next table) our dishes arrived. My heart sank, I could tell almost immediately that I should have ordered my usual. The bone-in NY strip was a little aggressive for me. I’m not a fan of fatty cuts of meat, and this was exactly that. It was pre-sliced for me, so it earned some bonus points. Though I had ordered medium rare it was served, what I consider, rare. The friend who ordered her steak well done was given what she considered to be a medium searing. The third, who also had medium rare, was content with the boneless NY strip. I ended up only finishing about half of my steak – leaving all the bits of fat off to the side and the underdone meat uneaten. This usually never happens, I am a carnivore of carnivores.
Underwhelmed but unwilling to accept defeat, I knew there was one way to gain back momentum: dessert. Two of us decided to treat ourselves (C’mon! I fasted all day, people!) One ordered the blueberry cobbler and I chose the peanut butter chocolate mousse with banana ice cream. I took my first bite and YUMMMMMMMMMMM. Oh, Gordon Ramsey! How hast thou perfected dessert in such an unbelievable way? I knew, at that moment, that I needed to find Gordon Ramsey and possibly marry him. Well, this is a bit over the top, but seriously… it was SO GOOD. (Not to mention Gordon really isn’t my type.) The banana ice cream was the perfect compliment to add to a peanut butter and chocolate combination. Truly divine. The blueberry cobbler on the plate across from me was served beautifully and warm. I took a scoop onto my spoon and it was phenomenal. The blueberries used were robust and fresh. Of course, I am a chocolate lover so I wouldn’t have traded my own… but the point is, the desserts were spot on.
Overall, dinner at BLT was good. It wasn’t amazing, it didn’t wow me… but it was somewhere I’d go again if someone wanted to. The location is great (less than 10 blocks from home!) and the atmosphere was typical of midtown east (i.e.: a bit stuffy). Price point is expected of fine dining in a Gordon Ramsey kitchen. (Almost $400 for 3 of us – dinner + drinks) Should you go there? I don’t know, man, I’ve had better steak in NYC. If anyone out there is a huge BLT fan and wants to prove me wrong, I’ll happily go again… but you pay.