I wonder how many steakhouses we need in New York! Not that I am not pleased when I get to try new ones, but I am amazed by the count and always surprised when a new steak joint opens few steps from another one. Yes, I was surprised when I heard Mastro's, the chain from Arizona that caters to the rich and wealthy in California, was opening its first outpost in the East Coast, replacing McCormick and Schmick's, a seafood place. Imagine: close by, you have Ruth's Chris, Gallagher's, Bobby Van's, The Capital Grille...
But what struck me at first with Mastro's was the decor. First of all, the entrance looks like one you would find in Las Vegas: flashy with its neon lights. Then, when you enter, it feels more like a club that offers dining than a steakhouse with music: there is loud music, with live entertainment at certain hours, increasing the noise level in the dining room. In fact, the two tables next to us were so loud that we asked, at some point, between the appetizers and the entrées, to be moved to another area that was definitely more enjoyable. And they did it gracefully, without any issue.
In terms of decor, it is stunning: from the paintings on the walls, the lights or the wine display. I should mention the TVs that are everywhere and fairly uncommon in this type of places.
Food wise, they offer the classics of a steakhouse, but with a large selection of seafood. Not surprisingly, they brought us a bread basket, with different kinds (my favorite being the pretzel bread): I guess the bread basket is a signature in steakhouses!
For the appetizers, I tried:
I was curious to try them, as it was the first time I saw them on a steakhouse menu. They were served with a croustillant that was very flakey, making it difficult to share. It was just ok for me, the sauce missing flavors.
The jalapeño tuna sashimi:
Quite good and refreshing, it is the kind of dish that makes you feel less guilty to indulge with a large steak.
The oysters Rockefeller:
Not my favorite dish, the spinach overpowering the oyster.
The crab cakes:
I liked them: you could definitely taste the crab and it did not have tons of fillers.
For the entrée, I hesitated between the bone-in ribeye and the porterhouse for one. I went for the ribeye as it is my favorite cut. And I was not disappointed!
I asked for the steak to be medium-rare but it was more on the medium side. It might have been the time it took us to switch tables. But you know what? It was tender, juicy, with a nice char on top. I should mention the way they cook their steaks: they broil them at 1500 degree Fahrenheit and then serve them on a 400 degree Fahrenheit plate with clarified butter at the bottom. So, you get that fantastic butter smell, each time they bring steaks to a table (I think i just drooled just thinking about it).
This was perfect with the wine we picked, a Chateau Boutisse, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, 2010 from France.
For the sides, I tried:
Gorgonzola Mac and Cheese:
The steamed asparagus (not my choice...):
The French fries:
My favorite was definitely the Mac and Cheese that, although I did not taste that much gorgonzola, was decadent, having tons on cheese on it! I highly recommend it.
For dessert, I tried their signature warm butter cake that was sublime: slightly warm, buttery and sweet.
I also tried the key lime pie that came with some homemade whipped cream (schlag?). It was just ok, being way too sweet, even after eating it with some whipped cream. The best part was definitely the crust that I believe was made with Graham crackers.
The meal at Mastro's was very good. Would I go back? Probably, but this time, I will bring my noise canceling headset!
Enjoy (I did)!
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