Saturday, October 29, 2011
The Perfect Steak
Dinner at Antonio's is usually reserved for special occasions. Aside from impeccably- presented and prepared food, service is almost always flawless and the ambience is one of the most breathtaking and genteel in the country. But this time, we just HAD to go, for the sole purpose that the Deal Grocer vouchers I purchased months ago were expiring. I mean, we had to go. Right?
Days before our day trip to Tagaytay, Matt was already dreaming of ordering steak. Thing is, we swore never to order steak at Antonio's, simply because there are more intricately-prepared dishes to be enjoyed. Besides, there are at least two places in Manila where they know how to cook a perfect steak- and one of those places, modesty aside, is in my kitchen. So, we go to Antonio's to enjoy their roasted rack of lamb or maybe the duck breast, but never their steaks.Although, recently, Matt has been disappointed with the steaks he ordered in our go-to restaurant for Prime Rib-eyes. So, he decided that maybe it was time to give Antonio's steaks a try, thinking that these guys would definitely know how to properly grill or broil a beautiful piece of meat.
As I expected, our Prime Porterhouse Steak was- for lack of a more appropriate word- perfection. First of all, let's talk about the quality of the meat- cut over an inch thick, with zero gristle, cooked medium rare, going towards medium as it sat on the hot plate. A porterhouse, for those who do not know, is actually a large t-bone, with one side of the bone being the tenderloin, and the smaller side is the top loin (when sliced off the bone, becomes a New York strip). The meat was lightly seasoned with cardamom, salt and pepper, swimming in it's juices and good-quality olive oil. Overall, the meat was tender, but the top loin part was beyond pillow soft. Oh, and I think I should mention that Matt had a "food-gasm" when he took his first bite of the potato gnocchi. I mean, his head literally fell backwards.
On the side, we were given lemon wedges, chimichuri, steak sauce and some pink Himalayan rock salt to flavor the steak with. Matt and I were perfectly happy just dousing the meat in it's natural jus, with a sprinkling of pink salt. In our opinion, that's all it really needed. Even the crispy onion strings they put on top of the steak was mere garnish.With the meal, we had a bottle of this 2006 Amarone I bought from Terry's Selection (I really should start taking wine notes and not be such a lush- Cutie, what is this again?) which went wonderfully with the grilled meat- it was full-bodied, with rich-almost unctuous- dark berries and prunes. Even matt, who prefers more delicate reds, loved the flavors and balance of this one.
Once again, we had a perfect evening at Antonio's, and we definitely would not think twice about having steak there on our next visits.
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