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Installation (Wordpress Part): Steakhead's Atlanta Eats Blog: June 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Steak Week for Steakhead!

Last weekend, Lady Steakhead celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary at Kevin Rathbun Steak. We split the dry-aged porterhouse for absolutely heavenly piece of meat! The steak was cut into strips or medallions and placed back around the t-bone for a wonderful presentation. Oh, and did I mention we started with the steak tartare?

The next day, Lady and Baby Steakhead took off for a family reunion (due to work reasons, I was not able to join them), which has created somewhat of a bachelor week for yours truly. Tuesday night, I hosted a poker tournament at the house, accompanied by beer and pizza. (Came in 3rd in case you were wondering). Last night, it was a sweltering night at the Chop House watching the Braves (between the ungodly heat and the Braves clobbering the Nats, I was pretty miserable). Tonight, I am checking out Blackstone, a steakhouse in Vinings. All of this before TWO physicals in the next two weeks. My cardiologist won't be very happy with me....

Full report on Blackstone coming this weekend. Cheers!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Tap Gastropub Opens In Midtown

What is a “gastropub”? According to Tap, the new restaurant/bar from Bob Amick’s Concentric Restaurants (One Midtown Kitchen, Two Urban Licks, etc), it is a pub “which specializes in high-quality food, a step above the more basic pub grub”. If this is what Amick was looking for, I think he basically succeeded with Tap.

We had a “boys night” at Tap last night, which is located in the shiny, new 1180 Peachtree skyscraper on Peachtree and 14th St. The bar area was buzzing when we arrived, and with a wide selection of domestic and international brews available, we were happily occupied as we waited for our table. From what we could tell, the main dining spaces were either outside or upstairs. Between the two, outside is where you want to be, especially this time of year. We were seated upstairs, which had a nice view looking out over Peachtree, but was unfortunately right next to the kitchen.

For the most part, the staff at tap is friendly and accomodating. Our waitress in the bar was very helpful, the hostess was nice and took a genuine interest in our experience, and our waiter was pleasant enough. But there is room for improvement here. For example, when I ordered two plates of the steak tartare appetizer, the waiter...who may have been half my age... asked "Do you know what that is?" Ummm, do I look like I just walked in here off the farm?? Our group spanned the ages of mid 30s to early 40s, and with the exception of one guy who was wearing shorts and flip-flops, we were dressed like we have eaten a few high-end steaks and lobsters in our life. Dumb question. Here's another example- after dinner, we decided to grab a table outside and have a nightcap. The outside waitress would walk past our table, pause, sort of look at us funny, and then walk away. After 10 minutes of that, we left. If we needed to be seated by a hostess, which was not apparent, then tell us.

Food wise, Tap was decent. The aforementioned steak tartare was awesome. We also tried the buffalo calamari and the steamed potstickers. The calamari was good enough; the pot stickers were not at all memorable. I will at least give our waiter kudos for increasing the order from 5 pot stickers to 7 so everyone was able to get one. With only 6 entrees, the dinner menu isn't huge, but everyone liked what they had. I probably ordered the worst, going with the $12 burger. There are definitely much better in the city, and at this price, I don't expect the pile of fries to be 4 times the size of the burger. Others had the halibut and some had the pork chop, and they all seemed to enjoy their choices.

As Midtown continues to evolve with all the new high-rise condos being built, Tap should do quite well. The outside patio on one of the premier intersections in the area should be quite popular on warm summer nights. It's probably a little more about scene than substance, and, as its name would suggest, it's more bar than restaurant. But in the theme of the "gastropub", the food is definitely a notch above compared to other bars in the area.

Steakhead Recommends: When the weather is warm and you can sit outside
Price: $$

Friday, June 01, 2007

Kevin Rathbun Steaks His Claim Among Carnivorous Elite

Kevin Rathbun has hit a homerun with Kevin Rathbun Steak. It ain’t cheap, and it wasn’t quick, but boy was it good. Let’s start with the space. KRS is almost the anti-thesis of the original Rathbun’s. Whereas Rathbun’s is an open space, with plenty of light, KRS sports dark wood paneling, dark color tones, and little overhead light. For a steakhouse, this masculine feel not only works, but for me, is a necessity. It tells me they take their beef seriously.

KRS offers a different approach to the cold seafood tower appetizer. Unlike places like Chops, where they price the appetizer at a flat rate per person, you create your own tower at KRS. Each seafood item is priced around $8-9 dollars making it more financially feasible than the strict per person charge. You don’t get as much food, but if you are about to indulge on a 21oz. bone-in ribeye, do you really need more? Our group of three had a tower of shrimp (3 jumbo shrimp), ahi tuna sashimi (5-6 pieces) and hamachi sashimi (5-6 pieces). There could have been an extra shrimp or two for $9, but I was not at all disappointed with the sashimi quantity (or quality).

The menu is fairly traditional for a steakhouse. A good selection of seafood and non-steak items. The sides are a la carte, but the quantity is not like other steakhouses where one side is good for 2 people. For the three of us, we had 2 sides and we probably could have gone for a third. One interesting note on the sides- the twice baked potato is listed as “Market Price”, which led one of us to ask what has happened to the price of potatoes lately to warrant market pricing.

But let’s face it, the real reason you come to a place like this is for the steaks. KRS offers multiple choices here including two dry aged porterhouses- one for 2 people and one for 4 people. I couldn’t even think about what the 4-person beast looks like on a plate. Two of us went with the 12 oz filet (a 6 oz version is also available), while one friend went with the bone-in ribeye. You have your choice of various sauces for your steaks. My choice- the peppercorn au poivre- was served in a side dish so you can regulate how much you wish to use. My filet was outstanding- a great cut of meat that I could have cut with a butter knife.

I am already planning my next trip to Kevin Rathbun Steak. My anniversary is at the end of the month, and since Lady Steakhead didn’t join us last night, this would be a great occasion to introduce her to it. I probably better my make my reservations now, though. If it’s anything like Rathbun’s, weekend reservations at KRS will be hard to come by.

Steakhead Recommends: Yes
Price: $$$$