There are no shortage of places for a good steak in New York.
At traditional steakhouses, beef takes center stage while everything else only serves mostly to fill up the menu. Does anyone know that Peter Lugers has fish or the menu? or rather, does anyone know Peter Luger’s has anything other than porterhouse at the menu?
On the other hand, at most mid to high end American restaurants, you’ll be able to get yourself a steak. While these steaks may be grass-fed prime cuts, they are unlikely to have been aged precisely to the chef’s liking.
BLT Prime is a happy medium between those two extremes. The steaks are expertly dry aged on premise, while non-beef items on the menu were designed by celebrity chef Laurent Tourondel.
I refer to Chef Tourondel’s involvement in the past tense, because Chef Laurent Tourondel is no longer involved in the BLT Restaurant Group. Quite ironic for the brand clearly bears his name (Bistro Laurent Tourondel). Chef Tourondel and his partner split two years ago, and after a long and drawn out legal process, a settlement is reached to allow Chef Tourondel use of the BLT name going forward, but his recipes during the BLT Group partnership are no longer his property.
I know this because I’m a food obsessed writer. To the scores of happy diners at the restaurant, nothing’s changed since Chef Tourondel opened this place back in 2005. People on Zagat and Yelp simply love this place, and it’s for good reason. BLT Prime still has serious chops.
Over and over again, the restaurant strikes a balance between a hardcore steakhouse and a fine dining restaurant. NYC steakhouse classics like Canadian bacon is tweaked, but without tempering with the aggressive grilled flavors. The familiar cheese and tomato salad was also made more interesting with the unique plating and more complex flavors.
I was quite impressed by the cube presentation of the tuna tartare, but are food writers still allowed to express love for a tuna tartare? It’s all so extremely early 2000s.
Of course, with Prime in its name, it still comes down to the red meat. The porterhouse was thick, juicy, and topped with herb butter. In terms of the flavor of the beef, it’s right up there with the Peter Luger descendants.
All was well, except towards the end I was struggling to finish the delicious steak. Maybe there’s a reason other steakhouses don’t serve great appetizers…..
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From the notepad: Apologies for the dark photos, daylight was fading and I did not have my flash. The famous BLT Prime popovers are a fun replacement for bread, and you get a recipe towards the end of the meal so you can attempt to make it at home…. right….