Thursday, August 13, 2009

BLT Steak - Restaurant Week Review

Chicken liver pate with bread - our amuse bouche.

Popovers - warm and tasty.

Last week Cal and I met fellow foodie and blogger Malika from Atlanta Restaurant Blog and her significant other, Glen, for dinner at BLT Steak - see Malika's review here. We wanted to try this place during restaurant week since it's regular menu would blow just about any budget. I've heard about this place for years when reading about NYC restaurants, where it was founded by Laurent Tourondel. The BLT label is now attached to about ten restaurants across the country. For $25 we had a choice of 3 appetizers, entrees and desserts. The chicken liver pate (above), popovers and brownie bites (below) were also included.

Our table of four was seated at a booth near the bar. It was loud and became louder as the evening progressed - despite my feelings one has to admit that this is a popular place, although part of the crowd could have to do with being there during restaurant week. We were also near the door connecting the restaurant to the W Downtown Hotel, so we saw a lot of people coming and going. One upshot is that the restaurant validates the valet parking fee for up to 3 hours, which is great since it's something like $15. I also liked our waitress, who was very excited to tell us about everything - she also spoke clearly and loudly (she had to!) so that we would hear all of our options.

Gazpacho with Tabasco sorbet.

Duck terrine.

The gazpacho was delicious. It tasted like a special vinegar was used and I enjoyed the tangy soup itself as well as the spice brought along with the Tabasco sorbet - a unique idea that was well executed. The duck terrine was okay, but a little heavy for me. I did adore the popovers (their signature item) presented with a recipe card - cute idea. I didn't try the beet salad, which was the other appetizer offered.

Salmon - very flaky and tasty.

Hangar steak with onion and jalepeno mashed potatoes.

Although the name contains the word "Steak", I enjoyed the salmon over the hangar steak. As I've said before on this blog, I am not a meat-lover, so perhaps this is why I wasn't so fond of the steak. It was presented with a rich sauce as well as with butter on top; a grilled onion and jalepeno mashed potatoes accompanied the steak as "sides". The potatoes lacked punch for something professing to include a hot pepper. The steak was also presented with a little plastic "medium rare" sign that reminded me of Quincy's or Ryan's - anyone remember those places?! The salmon on the other hand was delicious, cooked perfectly with a nice sauce, over cauliflower.

We also tried one of their signature drinks, the huckleberry mojito, which was another overpriced cocktail without much depth. For me it was too strong, which I'm sure others would not complain about! Others at our table ordered red wine, which was a whopping $15/glass!

Red velvet cake with coconut ice cream.

Fruit cobbler.

Carrot cake with ginger ice cream.

Brownie-like pastry served at the end of the meal.

The desserts were all okay, although I did really enjoy the carrot cake with ginger ice cream (very gingery). The coconut ice cream was tasteless and the fruit cobbler nothing special. The complimentary brownie bites were too rich to end this already rich meal.

The regular menu is not up on the web for the Atlanta location, but from what I saw a person would be hard pressed to eat a full meal (without drinks) here for less than $75 per person. For me a place this expensive should feel more special and should be more memorable. We had a great time dining with friends, but next time we'll go someplace else!

After dinner we headed to the 16th floor of the W to check out the bar - nice view! If you're in the area you should definitely check this out. I'd be much happier paying high dollar for a drink up here than spending so much downstairs at the restaurant.

BLT Steak on Urbanspoon