John, a Lunch Belle reader from Florida, asked me and a friend to join him for dinner at Club A Steakhouse during his recent business venture in New York City. For me — a woman who, by fault, doesn't take herself that seriously — receiving an invitation to dine with one of my readers was both flattering and exciting. Without question, I invited my dear Emily, who just so happens to be my biggest cheerleader and unofficial publicist.
Unlike some of its competitors who are located on "grittier" blocks of New York City — ahem, Keen's Steakhouse or Peter Luger — Club A Steakhouse resides in one of East 58th Street's "dime a dozen," pristinely-maintained brownstones. And its location, believe it or not, is what truly sets this particular "beef shrine" apart. Diners seem a tad bit more elegant and sophisticated, a trait that lends in creating a more demure and, coincidentally, romantic atmosphere.
Em and I chose to arrive on the earlier side of our 7pm reservation so that we could briefly catch up over a glass of wine at the restaurant's bar. Between sips of pinot noir and nibbles of CAS's (Club A Steakhouse) devilishly delicious house-made potato chips, 7pm quickly approached, as did our gracious host.
House-made potato chips: now *this* is my type of bar snack!
Notice the long-stemmed decanter!!
An assortment of the freshest breads, paired with a sweet-cream butter
Greek olives and parmesan cheese nuggets
After perusing CAS's menu, we chose to begin with thee extra-thick sizzling Canadian bacon. Assuming that it would be similar to the version I've had at Peter Luger, I was completely surprised by what was actually presented. CAS's bacon was at least three times the size of what is served at Luger's, meaning that there was much more succulent, smoky, and slightly caramelized meat. For all of you pork lovers out there, this dish ranks at the top of my "must-try before you die" list. Absolutely phenomenal.
Quite possibly, this bacon could put an end to world wars if given as a peace offering. Trust me, this hunk of love will change your life.
Pork chop? No. Ham steak? No. This, my friends, is a thick "slice" of bacon
For my entree, I ordered the bone-in filet mignon, to be prepared medium-rare. With a selection of seven side sauces, I chose the creamy-mushroom as an accompaniment to my steak. And for the table, we agreed to split three side dishes: truffle macaroni & cheese, hashbrown potatoes, and creamed spinach.
Not since my experience at Wolfgang's Steakhouse have I had such a quality cut of beef that was perfectly charred on the outside and moist and buttery on the inside. Each bite was more tender and rich than the last. Of the side dishes, all three were equally outstanding but, if I had to choose just one, then the hasbrowns would take home the trophy. A crisp and salty exterior gave way to a pillow-soft interior.
From the bone-in filet mignon, moving clockwise: truffle macaroni and cheese, hashbrown potatoes, creamed spinach
Bone-in filet mignon
As if tons of bread and butter, bacon, steak, and three rich side dishes weren't enough, our server returned to make strawberries with homemade sabayon, table-side.
Emily gave the sabayon her "thumb" of approval
Oh, what a night! After dinner, we retired to CAS's second floor, where we sipped champagne and listened to live music.
From everything that encompassed CAS — decor, food, drink, and service — to my fabulous company, I had the pleasure of experiencing one of the most memorable and magical meals since the inception of The Lunch Belle. Thanks again, John.