Jul. 23rd, 2010

Restaurant Review: BLT Steak Scottsdale Raises the Stakes

Restaurants in Scottsdale: Located inside the Camelback Inn with a breathtaking view of Camelback Mountain, BLT Steak quickly became a hit when it opened and after a visit, it's no wonder why this steakhouse has now been elevated to one of the best steakhouses in town.

We had a drink in the adjacent bar before heading over to the main dining room for dinner. Happy hour here just doesn't seem to get any better. With $5 drinks from 5 to 7 p.m. inspired by classics crafted before, during and after Prohibition, you will find some aptly named cocktails such as Spicy Peach Collins, Tequila Bramble and Blueberry Hemingway.

When we arrived at our table in the main dining room, we were quickly greeted by our server who presented us with a decadent chicken liver pate complemented by fresh bread. She told us the steaks here are char-broiled at 1700 degrees on super high heat, cooked "Pittsburgh style" using USDA Prime or Certified Black Angus beef and topped with herb butter. The high temperatures, we were told, ensures the juices are sealed into the steak creating a crisp exterior with flavorful juicy interior.

One of the best things about this restaurant is Chef Laurent Tourondel's signature warm popovers with gruyere cheese. If you can't get enough of these heavenly treats, don't fret -- they give you a recipe card to take home so you can bake them in your own oven. In addition to the signature BLT Steak menu, blackboard specials that highlight southwestern flavors and ingredients are sourced from the restaurant's on-site organic garden.

The menu at BLT Steak is organized by category, i.e. appetizers and salads, shellfish, meat and poultry, potatoes, vegetables, mushrooms, desserts and cheese. There is also a separate section here for the savory sauces (steak, BBQ, Bernaise, Roquefort, peppercorn and chimichurri are just a few) served on the side to go along with your steak.

For an appetizer, we sampled the tuna tartare, a deliciously fresh and generous serving of tuna served with avocado and accompanied by a soy-lime dressing. We wanted to save room for our steaks but other samplings included hamachi, crab cake, beefsteak tomatoes, lobster salad, shrimp cocktail and grilled double cut bacon.

For the main entrée, I ordered the extraordinarily tender melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon accompanied by a flavorfully rich red wine sauce. My husband sampled the gigantic bone-in 28-ounce cowboy ribeye with spicy horseradish sauce, which was declared one of the juiciest steaks we have ever sampled. Other steaks included a 10-ounce hanger, 20-ounce bone-in New York strip, a 40-ounce porterhouse for two and a Kobe selection of American Wagyu skirt steak, ribeye or a Japanese Kobe strip. There are so many options here you may get lost but the servers are so knowledgeable about the menu they can guide you to the perfect selection.

Generous side dishes are served in Staub cast iron cocottes to maintain a warm temperature throughout the entire dining experience. The braised sweet carrots were the perfect complement to our steaks while the addicting potato gratin was loaded with sumptuous cheese. Don't miss the heavenly stuffed mushroom caps, which were so enormous they may have made a better appetizer.

Just when we thought we couldn't eat any more, our server brought over the tempting dessert menu. She suggested the carrot cake accompanied by a side of creamy ginger ice cream and we were glad she did. The generous portion was more than enough for two guests and was the perfect ending to a wonderful meal.

For a great experience, request a seat on the outdoor patio that seats 25 guests and features a fire pit. BLT Steak is located at 5402 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, AZ. For more reservations or more information, call (480) 905-7979 or visit www.bltscottsdale.com.
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