The perfect steak out
enjoy your steak with a side of hip at THIS LEADING LIGHT OF A RESTAURANT
The perfect steak is an elusive thing, but the pursuit of perfection is always a noble venture. Dublin restaurants seem to be on this quest at the moment and we are reaping the benefits.
Expect to see eye colour mentioned soon.
The Butcher Grill opened in Ranelagh late in 2010 and has quietly built up a reputation for its steaks and fish dishes and creative tasty fare, including their beef and bone marrow cheeseburger.
Ranelagh is also one of the coolest and best places to go to eat these days and I decided to treat my hip radio producer friend, who is lucky enough to live nearby, knowing he would fit right in.
P's starter of thinly sliced Iberico pork studded with pistachios was dressed with an apple and balsamic puree.
As if this wasn't tasty enough there were also some crisp fried balls of black pudding to add some earthy textures.
My own starter was similarly delicious -- fresh crab softened with good mayonnaise on toast surrounded by almost two dozen caramelised queen scallops still attached to their bright orange corals.
For mains we could choose from the menu of fish and meat dishes, but the main attraction here is the blackboard with the day's selection of steaks.
On a previous visit I tasted a corn-fed, strip loin steak from Arizona which is considerably richer and sweeter than grass-fed beef found in Ireland.
That steak was excellent but I believe that a bit of chewing actually brings out the flavour of the meat more, so this time I opted for Dexter ribeye.
Dexter are a small native Irish breed not much bigger than a large sheep. The steak was richly flavoured with a delicious supple yet firm texture.
The cooking was close to perfect but it was not quite consistently rare all the way through. Our waiter agreed and immediately promised to remove the side dishes (crispy chips and seasonal greens) from our bill -- a generous gesture as I had not actually complained, merely commented.
Steak this quality is not cheap so be warned that this (almost perfect) piece of meat cost €38.
P's prawn skewers were originally a starter which they doubled and turned into a main course. Charred and smoke flavoured from the wood-burning grill, the prawns were delicious and I managed to steal two in exchange for slices of my steak.
From a short but reasonably well chosen wine list we ordered a Ribera del Duero, which was a little warmer than I like but our waiter apologised and quickly chilled it to the correct temperature using an ice bucket.
Our shared dessert was a substantial slice of pecan pie packed with pecans and served with a creamy rich walnut and maple ice-cream.
The Butcher Grill is one of the shining lights in a village already packed with good restaurants.
With flawless service and a seriousness in their approach to food, there is also the bonus of being surrounded by lots of pretty people.