enoSTEAK is upscale without being stuffy

Not that I need another reason to visit The Ritz-Carlton, but enoSTEAK gave me one. Austin (The Hungry Dogg) and I met some friends for drinks prior to our dinner where I had a few strong skinny margaritas and he, some killer Manhattans.

Although our friends did not join us for dinner, we happily munched on the bread service enoSTEAK provided of sliced multigrain ciabatta grilled with extra virgin olive oil alongside a pot of chicken liver pate layered with rendered duck fat and topped with honey balsamic shallots.

If you are a fan of burrata, Gioia Cheese Burrata Mozzarella ($12) is a great start. Salt cured ham adds a nice salty component and chilled yellow peach soup is a refreshing addition as well. Frisee and micro basil are placed on top while basil oil is drizzled around it.

Another shareable appetizer is Tuna, Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Tartar ($15) with citrus dusted wonton, onion, cucumbers, wonton chips. The chunks are evenly diced and perfectly proportioned giving it a great mouthfeel.

When I saw this next item, I knew I had to order it. Smoked and Cured Meat, and Cowgirl Creamery Cheese Board ($14) comprises cheese from one of my favorite places — I’ve always been a huge fan of Cowgirl Creamery and make it a point to visit when I’m in San Francisco. I love the cornichons, radishes and crostini which made for great pairings with the meats and cheeses.

Being at a steak house means when it came to entrees, we were definitely going for …. ummm ….. steaks. Grilled Prime Bone-In New York Steak 16oz ($56) sounds huge, but if you share appetizers and sides, you’ll be able to polish it off if you have a hearty appetite. The meat has a great chew factor and flavor, but order it as rare as you possible are able to handle it and it will be a joy.

My favorite was the Grilled Prime Rib Eye Steak 14oz ($54). Tender and perfectly marbled throughout, the meat was succulent, juicy and well-flavored. This would definitely be my pick on a return trip.

When you order a piece of steak, you can choose from the list of Signature Compound Butters to slather onto the meat — 30i enoSTEAK butter, black summer truffle, roasted heirloom tomato, gardens herb and garlic,  — my favorites were the latter two.

On the topic of sides, make sure you get the Petit Basque Cheese and Chive Sour Cream Yukon Gold Potatoes ($9). These pureed potatoes are sinfully decadent with a cheesy finish that will leave you wanting for more.

Sauteed Wild Mushrooms, Spring Petit Peas ($9) is another not-to-be-missed side dish. The sauce is a jus reduction, rich and complex in flavor. I’m salivating just thinking about it.

Although at the Ritz-Carlton, the setting is informal and service, friendly. The dining room is intimate enough for a romantic dinner, but also, designed so it could serve also for business dinners. It is all the best of a steakhouse environment without the stuffiness. 

at The Ritz-Carlton
1 Ritz Carlton Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
Tel: 949-240-2000

enoSTEAK on Urbanspoon


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