Monday, June 04, 2012

Sashimi, steak, and dessert @ Alexander's

Friday night, I wanted just a little more food after eating a ton at TGIF that evening.  Something light, like some raw fish.  And Emil, as always, wanted foie gras.  So, we headed to our goto place: Alexander's Steakhouse, to grab a quick bite at the bar.  This is one thing I adore about Alexander's - where else can I get quality sashimi, while dining with someone who is eating a steak topped with foie?  They are so much more than a steakhouse!!!

Since I've reviewed Alexanders about a thousand times, I'm skipping all the details not related to the dishes we actually had that night.  This review is also less detailed in general, as I wasn't really taking notes, and was just enjoying a casual evening.  Service was fantastic, the staff friendly as always, particularly the bartender who we chatted with while dining at the bar, and the chef who gave Emil some tips on making his own torchon!
Amuse bouche: Gougère.
Our amuse was a little gougère.  It was served cold, which was disappointing, particularly after the insanely amazing gougères we had at Cyrus a few weeks ago, filled with a hot, melted gruyere.  This one was fine, but nothing remarkable.  I liked the parmesan powder on top, it was intensely parmesan flavored and really did wake up my palette!  But man, now I just want the Cyrus ones again!
Intermezzo: Blackberry gelee, kumquat pearls.
Our intermezzo was a little blackberry gelee, which had a strong blackberry flavor.  I didn't really taste the kumquat in the pearls, but they added a bit of pop.  Not sure what the leaf was.  Emil thought it was too sweet of course.
Tai Sashimi: Japanesse snapper, cucumber, violet, agretti, black bean dashi, red onion.  $17.
What a beautiful dish!  Yes, I was at a "steakhouse", but I was getting raw seafood, with this incredible presentation.  This is what I adore about Alexander's, it is just soo much more than a steakhouse!

The tai was served as 4 generous cuts, skin on.  It had a good firm texture, but wasn't very flavorful.  It wasn't bad, it just wasn't particularly good.  I had tai sashimi the next night at Atelier Crenn as well, and was similarly disappointed by it.  I haven't had a lot of raw tai, so I don't have many comparison points, perhaps this is just a fairly mild boring fish in general?

The dish included some lightly cooked edamame, that were a really nice texture, and added to the Japanesse feel of the dish. There were also some thin slices of red onion that complimented the fish well, along with agretti and some other herbs that I couldn't identify.  The cucumbers were very thin slices from the entire cucumber, rolled up. They were fresh and flavorful.  The dashi broth was very light and didn't have as much flavor as I'd like.  I'm not quite sure where the violet was, perhaps in the crispy things on top?

The entire dish was light and refreshing, which is what I was going for, but somehow didn't quite come together for me.  I wanted more intense flavors.  There was a tiny slice of jalapeno (?) that really completed the dish for me.  The bite I had that contained the kick from the pepper was really quite good, but unfortunately, I only had one such bite.  My other bites just didn't have a whole lot of flavor pop.  I'm glad I tried it, but I wouldn't order again.
10 ounce grilled filet mignon ($47) topped with seared foie gras ($22).
Emil of course ordered his regular dish, the filet mignon, with seared foie on top.  He orders it rare, and they always deliver it perfectly executed with a giant hunk of foie.  I'm more of a medium-rare girl, so I just had a couple bites of this from the edge.  It was tender, with a great sear, and a flavorful crust.  The foie of course was creamy and delicious and added to deliciousness the dish (though, I'd personally prefer a tiny bit more sear on it).  This is a reliable classic, always worth getting at Alexander's.
Brand new dessert, I didn't get the name of it.  $12.
They had a new dessert on the menu tonight, and knowing what a dessert-o-holic I am, they sent it my way.  I didn't catch the name of it, nor the full description since I wasn't expecting it, so I'm certainly missing details here.

The main component was a lemon poppyseed cake.  It was served in a large chunk, several medium sized chunks, and some small cubes.  It had a great lemon flavor, a nice crunch from the poppyseeds within, and was quite moist.  I'm not really a fan of this style of cake in general however, and I'm particularly just really sick of lemon, so I didn't love it.  But, if you like this sort of thing, this was really well done.

The cake was accompanied by some lemon ice cream.  It was creamy, very strongly lemon flavored, and fairly sweet, but balanced by tartness from the lemon.  Again, I'm pretty sick of lemon so I wasn't into this, but surprisingly, Emil was, due to the tartness.

The rest of the plate was a bunch of components I love: Tiny little violet meringues! Violet cream!  Candied crushed violet petals!  The tiny purple meringues were adorable.  There was also hard style meringue that was crisp and way, way too sweet, even for me.  Perhaps it would have gone well with the tartness of the lemon, but it seemed like sugar overload.  The cream had a very subtle violet flavor.  I absolutely loved the crunch and taste of the candied violet.

I wouldn't order this one again, but entirely because it is just things I don't generally care for, as everything in the dish was well done, and lemon and violet are a lovely combination.
Bowl of rice pudding.
This is normally part of the elaborate "Tropic Thunder" dessert.  I have a serious thing for pudding based desserts (rice puddings, tapioca puddings, mousses, crème brûlée, etc).  But I really wasn't in the mood for a huge dessert, and I really have been kinda anti-passionfruit lately, which the real dessert features prominently, so I asked for just a bowl of the rice pudding.  They nicely obliged :)  The rice was cooked nicely, firm but not crunchy, the pudding was creamy, and it had a slight coconut flavor to it.  A little boring on its own, but this isn't how they intend you to eat it, as the real dessert has a slew of other components.  I actually couldn't finish it all that night (they brought me a very large bowl full!), so I took it home and enjoyed it the next day with fresh strawberries and blueberries on top, and it was delicious!  I'd love to see more rice pudding dishes on the menu, preferably without passionfruit, so I can enjoy it again!

Not pictured was our cherry cotton candy (really, really intense awesome cherry flavor!) and our mignardises (one of the violet meringues, a black sesame macaron, and a tiny cake).
Alexander's Steakhouse on Urbanspoon
Related Posts with Thumbnails