Monday, January 31, 2011

Smith & Wollensky

As I hinted at yesterday, Becky and I both took the day off work today. Call it a one day "staycation." We did this in honor of New York's Restaurant Week, which has become a bit of a tradition for us. During Restaurant Week a large selection of participating restaurants offer three course meals, with lunch for $24.07 and dinner for $35.00. They offer a limited menu and if possible pack the tables a little closer together. But at the nicer restaurants that price is a steal for that much food. So, you might think that our tradition would be to try out a selection of different restaurants that would otherwise be inaccessible to us. That was actually our original intention. But then the first time we tried it (in 2008) we abandoned thoughts of going elsewhere. Our restaurant? Smith and Wollensky.
For appetizers, Becky enjoyed fried calamari (which she proclaimed to be the best she's ever had) and I ate split pea soup (not exactly my favorite, but theirs is good and I didn't love the other options). Mostly though, during this course we enjoy the bread basket. It is piled high with four different types of bread, plus some crispy chip-like deliciousness. I'm a sucker for a good bread basket. As best I can describe, the options are pretzel bread, sourdough bread, crunchy delicious oatmeal bread, and strange fruity bread.

For main dishes, we pick the obvious. Do I even need to tell you that it is the 10 oz. filet mignon? Well, I probably do because I haven't actually linked you to the menu yet. But nonetheless, obvious. Since becoming my significant other, and being influenced by the uncooked steak love that runs rampant in my family, Becky has been on a slippery slope towards ordering rare steak. Today she took the plunge and, for the first time, ordered a rare steak in a restaurant. When she did this the waiter questioned, "would you like a warm center or a cool center?" It turns out there is a super secret "extra rare" option, which of course Becky passed on (she's still on the slippery slope after all) and I of course gleefully accepted. Steak verdict? Delicious. We also enjoyed adding some hash browned potatoes and some white wine on the side.

For dessert we again selected the same option. Chocolate mousse cake. Rich, creamy, chocolaty deliciousness for the win.

One of the things I like about this restaurant (and other similar restaurants) is that all of their stuff is personalized with the restaurant name. As in, the plates say "Smith and Wollensky" and the silver is engraved with "Smith and Wollensky" and the napkins have a woven likeness of the restaurant facade and even the mints have "Smith and Wollensky" candied right in.
To justify the price (even with the deal this is a lot more than we would usually pay for a lunch, once you consider wine and side dishes and taxes and tips!) we called it a late joint birthday celebration, despite the fact that they were both about a month ago. A very happy birthday to us! Long live the Smith & Wollensky tradition!

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