The day following dinner at Rocking Horse Cafe, a friend and I had reservations for our next Summer Restaurant Week dinner – this time at Steak Frites. Steak Frites is just slightly west of Union Square, tucked just past Union Square Cafe. The hostess stand greets you at the door, with a bar area extending directly behind and the dining area surrounding the length of the bar and beyond. I was initially a bit taken back to see there were two large TVs on either side of the bar. Not exactly in line with a nicer steak restaurant.
To start, my friend chose their shrimp cocktail, and I went with their jumbo lump crab cake. The crab cake was pretty good – lightly fried and I liked the pairing with the corn salad. Nice mix of flavors. I thought it was a generous portion for an appetizer, much more so than the shrimp cocktail serving. They had some other options with the Restaurant Week menu – a salad (frisse aux lardon et roquefort), chilled regional oysters on the half shell, and icy blue P. E. I. mussels, prepared with white wine, pastis, shallots, tomato, fennel and herbs de provence.
Coming in to the dinner, I felt the need to go with a steak or some sort of red meat. There was the Filet Of Beef “Oscar”, which was prepared with lump crab meat and asparagus. There was also the New York Strip, served with chopped spinach and crushed potato. However after a heavy dinner the night before, I was most interested in the Seared Canadian Salmon, accompanied with lobster, Maine crab & fingerling potato hash. The salmon was a nice sized portion, and the mix of lobster and crab made this meal a seafood lovers dream. The flavors manged to not compete, rather just softly settle alongside each other. The potatoes would make an excellent side dish on their own. They were thinly sliced, about three times the thickness of a potato chip, so not fully crisp. They were salty, clearly made with plenty of garlic. If you’re going to go into a steakhouse and order, well not steak, I think this an option clearly on par with their red meat. I would definitely recommend this dish.
For a grand finale, we both shockingly elected to bypass the chocolate option on the menu, Pot De Crème Au Chocolate, as well as their Profiteroles “Dame Blanche” (as much as I love profiteroles) in favor of something more fruity. The apple tart was delicious, served with a heaping scoup of caramel ice cream drizzled with caramel syrup. The pastry portion was crispy on the outside, and just the right amount of moist on the inside stuffed with as many slices of apples as room permitted. It was a nice slightly lighter way to cap off the meal.
Steak Frites – 9 East 16th Street (between Union Square West and 5th Ave) – 212.675.4700