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Eat Me is a regular feature about the nooks and crannies of Toronto’s restaurant scene, about the amazing restaurants that are—for some reason—criminally underpatronized.
20080725steak.jpgIf you find yourself with a bit of spare cash, or you’re celebrating an anniversary, want to impress a date, or if you just feel like being decadent, head over to STEAK Restaurant on Richmond Street. Hidden in the back of the hulking Sheraton Hotel (with entrance off of Richmond Street), STEAK provides a refreshingly modern atmosphere, free from the dull conformity of a chain or the drab interior (and even more drab kitchen stylings) of nostalgic steakhouses.
Starters are mainly traditional: salads, smoked salmon, scallops, crab cakes, clam chowder. Shrimp cocktail is massive in both presentation and actuality. Never has the oxymoronic label of “shrimp” seemed more ridiculous, and though the sea beasts are a bit woody, they’re still as fresh as can be, and served with a delicious spicy cocktail sauce.
Moving on to mains, STEAK uses Sterling Silver beef sourced from The Butcher Shoppe, and offers cuts ranging from sirloin (12 or 16 ounce, $31.95 to $36.95) to mignon ($32.95 to $39.95) to porterhouse ($44.95) and prime rib ($24.95 to $31.95) as well as ribs and bison. There’s also Kobe beef ($59.95), long considered the cream of the cow crop. Portions are generous but not offensive. Your steak won’t look like an entire side of cow on the plate (unless you order that). The best thing is that meat is cooked precisely to order; you ask for medium rare, and that’s just what you get. You won’t have to send it back for any kitchen guesswork. The meat is served medium-warm too, meaning the chef has wisely given the beef proper time to cool and collect juices. Smooth carving and dreamy digesting will ensue. In addition to meat, the restaurant offers chicken, fish, and seafood goodies.
Sides (all $4.95) can easily be shared. With a choice of spud (creamy garlic mash, baked, or impressively non-greasy frites) and veg (wilted rapini, tender-crisp broccoli, or grilled asparagus) to accompany your main, you better bring an appetite, a mate, or a very big Tupperware container. Bring a big wallet too. Special occasions deserve special steaks, it’s true, and there are very few steakhouses in Toronto that don’t feel/look/taste like chains or relics from the 50s. Thankfully, STEAK is neither.
Photo by Catherine Kustanczy